iManage Launches New Cloud Service and Information Governance Initiative

Last July brought a shake-up for the document and work-product management company iManage. It had been acquired by HP in 2011 as part of HP’s purchase of Autonomy. The Autonomy acquisition turned into a fiasco for HP, resulting in both litigation and a write-down of nearly $10 billion.

But in the midst of all this, the iManage leadership was able to buy out the company and its business from HP. iManage’s original co-founder, Neil Araujo, became CEO, and co-founder Rafiq Mohammadi returned to the company as chief scientist. Now, the new management-owned iManage is focused on reinvigorating its core product, Dan Carmel, iManage’s chief marketing officer, told me during a briefing last week.

One essential step towards that end was moving its cloud product off the HP cloud. At Legaltech New York today, iManage officially launched its new iManage Cloud, which it says has significant enhancements over prior versions. iManage Cloud allows law firms and corporate legal departments to get cloud access to iManage features such as document, email and knowledge management, as well as collaboration and governance tools, for a monthly subscription fee.

The new iManage Cloud is available today in North America. It will be launched in Europe in 90 days and in Asia and the Pacific within 180 days. All existing customers can move to the cloud platform at no charge.

“We implemented our first cloud solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments during our tenure with HP,” Carmel said in a statement released today. “Over the past four years, we have refined those systems by working closely with our customers.  We applied all those lessons in the development of the new iManage Cloud.”

Hybrid Approach

iManage’s core product is used by 1,800 law firms and 400 to 500 corporate legal departments, Carmel told me. It is used by 80 percent of the AmLaw 100, he said.

The iManage Cloud uses a hybrid approach that enables full functionality whether users are online or offline. It provides access to the same functionality as iManage’s on-premises version, iManage Work, but cloud access eliminates the need for a robust IT infrastructure and therefore makes it available to firms of any size.

The functionality of iManage Cloud includes:

  • iManage Work for document and email management.
  • iManage Share for secure file sharing and collaboration (similar to what I recently described for Citrix ShareFile).
  • iManage Insight for enterprise search and knowledge management.
  • iManage Govern for archiving and records management.

The hybrid design means that no firm needs to put 100 percent of its documents in the cloud. It can put some libraries in the cloud and keep others on premise. (That decision is made by system administrators. Users can access all documents, regardless of where they reside.)

Subscriptions to iManage Cloud start at $20 per seat and go down based on volume of users.

Enhancements Announced Today

The version announced today brings several enhancements designed specifically for professional services firms:

  • Faster performance, using hyper-converged infrastructure for compute, high performance storage with the use of flash and solid state technology and high speed network connectivity.
  • Lower latency to major metropolitan areas on the east coast and the Midwest, thanks to new cohosting facilities.
  • Enhanced availability and disaster recovery.
  • Compliance with industry standards for security and encryption.
  • Advanced system monitoring and alerting.
  • Enhanced API’s and flexible authentication mechanisms enabling customers and third-parties to integrate with the iManage Cloud securely and efficiently.

New IG Research Center

Also today, iManage announced the opening of a research and development center in Belfast, Ireland, focused on records management, information governance and security issues. The new center will focus on further developing and enhancing iManage Govern, the company’s governance software which it offers as a cloud service or on-premises installation.

iManage Govern includes iManage Records Manager for paper and electronic records management – for which a new version 6.3 was launched today – and iManage Archive Manager for long-term storage and governance of professional work product.