I noted in an earlier post that the free Web-based project management tool Onit was preparing to launch a paid, premium version aimed at enterprise-level users. This week at LegalTech it did just that, introducing Onit Premium, an enhanced version of the free product designed specifically for corporate legal departments.
At the same time, Onit co-founder and CEO Eric M. Elfman reaffirmed what he had told me before, which is that Onit’s free version will remain free. “What you get in Onit for free now will remain free,” he said.
In targeting corporate legal departments, Onit Premium adds project-management features designed to help corporate counsel better manage matters and budgets and automate standard processes. Some of what it allows corporate counsel to do includes:
- Automate legal processes that are currently handled manually.
- Electronically review and approve electronic invoices from law firms and legal vendors.
- Monitor alternative fee arrangements and compare monthly retainers with shadow bills.
- Create custom templates to manage processes specific to a company and its legal department, such as to handle an employee termination or report potential IP infringement.
- Build custom legal forms for company employees to use for such purposes as to request review of a contract or an NDA.
- Create project budgets and monitor actual vs. projected expenses.
- Built project templates with relevant notes, documents and project plan items.
Notably, Onit Premium is designed to be used to coordinate between in-house counsel and their outside firms. It can be used to monitor not only the status of outside legal work, but also invoicing and budgeting. It builds in processes designed to heighten accountability by outside firms, such as by requiring firms to route invoices through the senior attorney on a matter and having that attorney write a one- or two-sentence summary of significant accomplishments during the billing period.
Onit Premium is cloud-based, which means there is no software to install or start-up costs. Pricing is based on a monthly subscription.
One other note: The free version of Onit is now out of beta, Eric Elfman told me. As of today, the website still refers to it as beta, but it will be updated shortly to reflect the change.