Coming, as it did, in the midst of the pandemic, the merger last August of nQueue, a provider of printing, scanning and cost-recovery solutions for law firms, and Zebraworks, a company started by ProLaw founder Bill Bice to help move law firms to the cloud, promised to deliver new products aimed at enabling legal professionals to work from anywhere.
Now that merged company, renamed nQ Zebraworks, has delivered on that promise with the release of tw0 mobile printing and scanning products that work on iOS devices and are designed to enable legal professionals to work as effectively from home or elsewhere as they would in the office.
The products, ScanQ and PrintQ, both are accessible via iOS mobile devices and are designed to leverage the company’s Queues technology, which is designed to optimize scanning and printing workflows regardless of whether the professional is working in the office or remotely.
“The legal industry responded incredibly well to the pandemic, allowing its professionals to be productive enough from home almost immediately,” said Bice, who now serves as CEO of nQ Zebraworks, and is cofounder along with Rick Hellers, nQueue’s founder.
“As they return to the office, however, the stakes are raised,” said Bice, who recently gave me a demonstration of the two products. “Legal professionals no longer feel it necessary to be in the office every day, but they do expect to be able to be fully productive no matter where they are.”
ScanQ is a scanning and routing application that legal professionals can use from a multi-function device (MFD) in the office, a desktop scanner at home, or an iOS mobile device wherever they are. However they use it, the interface and buttons are the same.
Using nQ Zebraworks’ Queues, firms can automate and customize scanning workflows, integrating with firms’ document management, expense reporting and accounting systems, all through a single inbox.
ScanQ also enables PDF editing from within the application. That means a user can makes changes, add comments, or add redactions to a PDF directly within the Queues workflow, without having to open a PDF program such as Adobe.
When at home, users can start the process from a desktop scanner. When in the office, they have the advantage of a touch-less experience at the MFD, with all functionality handled from their own desks, helping to maintain social distancing.
ScanQ is based on nQueue’s original scanning and routing engine, InfoRoute.
PrintQ enables secure printing from multiple locations, via laptop, desktop or iOS mobile devices. Print jobs are held in the professional’s Queue until an authorized user arrives at the printer and authenticates release. Authorization can be done by proximity card or from the user’s iPhone, enabling a touch-less experience.
nQ Zebraworks says that PrintQ maximizes privacy, because printed documents do not sit unsecured in output trays. It also minimizes duplicate printing due to discarded documents left in output trays, thereby reducing cost and environmental impact.
“You don’t end up with documents sitting on the printer for hours,” Bice said.
In a recent trial, the company said, a single law firm using PrintQ printed 1.8 million fewer pages in a year, resulting in savings equivalent to $432,000.
“You can’t work from anywhere if your critical paper documents exist only in one location,” said Bice.
These new products, he said, are designed to deliver the full functionality of enterprise-level printers and scanners including secure printing and the automated routing of scanned documents, whether they are working in the office, at home or on the road.
Legal Tech Veterans
The merger of nQueue and Zebraworks reunited Bice and Hellers, two legal tech veterans who had worked together years earlier.
Bice was just 18 when he founded ProLaw Software, building it into a major practice management platform for small and mid-sized law firms before selling it to Thomson Reuters.
Joining TR after the acquisition, he founded the West km division, building one of the first widely adopted knowledge management systems in the legal industry. He later founded Exemplify, a legal drafting platform that was acquired by Bloomberg and that underlies the Bloomberg Law Draft Analyzer.
nQ Zebraworks cofounder Rick Hellers originally founded nQueue in 2003. He is also founder and executive director of the Association of Legal Technologists. A legal tech veteran, he has worked in the legal industry since the late 1970s.
After Hellers had sold an earlier company, TechLaw, he and Bice worked together in the early days of ProLaw, where Hellers helped Bice build up ProLaw’s sales team.