[Another in a series of mini-reports on what I saw at the annual LegalTech conference in New York last week.]
Just after the 2012 LegalTech, I wrote about the new direction taken by Onit, a developer of process-management applications for legal and business uses. After originally launching a Web-based, soup-to-nuts process-management platform three years ago, last year Onit announced it would henceforth focus on developing a new line of simpler, task-specific apps (still cloud-based), called Onit Apps, each designed to address a specific legal or business process within an enterprise or law firm. It also announced that it would be rolling out the Onit App Builder, enabling customers to build their own apps.
Fast forward to this year’s LegalTech, and Onit now has developed a broad array of process-management apps for use in HR, legal, governance and compliance, contract review, sales and other functions. At LegalTech, Onit was demonstrating 10 apps it has developed specifically for legal processes:
- Contract Review & Approval App, for simplifying and managing the contract review process.
- Contract Administration App, for managing contracts and business documents.
- Matter Management App, for organizing a company’s legal information, from documents and emails to invoices and dockets.
- E-hold Management App, for implementing and managing legal holds.
- NDA Request App, for processing NDAs.
- Collaborative Budgeting App, to use in the process of requesting, collecting, reviewing and approving budgets from outside counsel.
- Alternative Fee Arrangement Approval App, for pricing staff and committees to use in managing the review and approval of AFA requests.
- Outside Counsel Engagement App, for managing outside counsel, matters and budgets.
- Legal Process Outsourcing App, for assigning work, tracking progress and reporting on service level agreements.Matter Intake App, for law departments to manage, assign and follow through on the matters they handle.
From what I’ve seen of the Onit Apps, their task-specific nature makes them extremely easy to use. There is virtually no learning curve involved. Likewise, they are easy to set up and configure, so you can be up and running quickly, and they are easy to customize, so one size is not expected to fit all.
One way to look at these is as alternatives to more complex enterprise systems. The truth of the matter, however, is that many organizations are probably managing these processes not through sophisticated systems, but through email. Email is not an effective process- or project-management tool. Things get lost, forgotten and misplaced. These apps are easy ways for companies and law firms to bring order to processes that may currently be closer to chaos.
[Disclosure: Onit has periodically been a paid advertiser on this blog.]