The annual meeting of the International Legal Technology Association kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas, and that means lots of announcements coming out this week from companies that serve the legal industry. But for today, at least, it is turning into a Microsoft kind of day.

First was this morning’s announcement that Microsoft is finally launching its long-rumored Matter Center for Office 365, a practice management platform for law firms and legal departments built on Office 365. Now comes another.

This afternoon, NetDocuments, the cloud-based document and email management service, announced that it will fully integrate its services with Microsoft cloud technologies, including Office 365, Matter Center for Office 365, and Azure, Microsoft’s platform for building cloud-computing applications and services.

According to today’s announcement, key aspects of the integration will be:

  • Azure. NetDocuments is working with Microsoft to design an Azure-hosted version of the NetDocuments DMS, to include all existing features and functionality.
  • Office 365. NetDocuments says it “is committed to delivering access to its DMS data through the Office add-in model.” The NetDocuments email management product NetDocuments EM (formerly Decisiv Email) will also be fully integrated with Exchange Online.
  • Matter Center for Office 365. NetDocuments says it is working with the Matter Center for Office 365 team to integrate additional Office 365 design patterns to provide an end-to-end robust document and email management solution on the Azure cloud platform.
  • ndOffice. ndOffice, a NetDocuments-built legal DMS application that embeds NetDocuments functionality in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, will become more broadly and deeply integrated with Microsoft technologies by leveraging the API capabilities of Office 365 and NetDocuments. Supported capabilities will include: device synchronization, mobile apps, concurrent multi-user editing, mobile security, OneDrive for Business and NetDocuments content exchange, among others.

In addition, NetDocuments says that, by moving to Azure and extending to the Office add-in model, other partners will be able to add their product offerings to this framework.


  • myshingle

    Looks like we are headed back to the early 1990s all over again when you have to choose between Mac and Word. These tools all sound fine – but none will integrate with Trial Pad that I use to run trials on my Mac. And many companies (like the Form Company) will never launch a Mac version. Not a fan of this.

  • @myshingle … I see it as being able to choose the best tools to get the job done. If that is Office 365 in the Windows world, then I use Windows. If it is Trial Pad, only available on the iPad, then I choose Trial Pad and use iOS instead of Android. Instead of not being a fan of technology moving forward, embrace the tool, not the platform.

  • Fred Kruck

    Microsoft’s product does not sound like practice management software, at least not as I understand that term to mean. It does sound like an integrated document management solution, but practice management — to me, anyway — means managing cases / files and all the data that goes with that. Admittedly Outlook can handle the calendar and the contacts, but what about dockets, tasks, billing (or at least time-keeping), and all of the other details that true case-management software handles? Or is it simply a matter of those features not being promoted yet?

    And as Carolyn points out — what about the Mac ecosystem? Also may not have been promoted yet – but if it doesn’t exist, then that’s cause for concern.

    • Bob Ambrogi

      Fred, I agree with you. Given that I haven’t actually seen it yet, it’s hard to assess exactly what its capabilities will be.