It says something about a product when, even before it officially hits the market, it wins a major legal technology award. That is the case with a product being unveiled today, Infodash. It is the platform on which the law firm Ogletree Deakins built its ODConnect 2.0 intranet, which last week was named Transformative Project of the Year in the International Legal Technology Association’s 2021 Distinguished Peer Awards.
Designed by Acrowire, a technology consulting firm that specializes in custom application and Sharepoint development, Infodash is a highly customizable “cloud first” intranet and extranet platform designed specifically for law firms — and that is particularly well suited to firms with remote workers or disparate office locations.
Built on top of Microsoft SharePoint and integrated with Teams, Infodash provides law firms with a centralized hub that can pull together data and information from other systems and platforms, including financial data, firm directories, calendars, news, client and matter data and more.
A key feature of Infodash is that it is completely customizable to the firm — even to the level of providing individual users within the firm with the targeted information that is most relevant to them based on attributes such as role, practice group, location and more.
Acrowire says the “off the shelf” version of the platform, Infodash Core, can be deployed to a firm in a matter of days and requires minimal ongoing maintenance and administration from firm IT staff. An API allows firms to connect to both external and internal applications to surface data within Infodash. Customization can add components such as client/matter dashboards and enhanced firm directories.
“We partnered with Acrowire to build our intranet platform ‘ODConnect 2.0’ and have been impressed with the comprehensive features the platform provides,” said Susan Sommers, director of knowledge management innovation and solutions at Ogletree Deakins. “Of particular importance to us has been our ability to customize the platform for each user to solve individualized needs and provide personalized content targeted to our professionals.”
Connection, Collaboration, Productivity
Last week, I was given a demonstration of Infodash by Ted Theodoropoulos, CEO of Acrowire, and Adam Young, chief operations officer. They said that the product is intended to serve three major functions within a firm:
- Connection. Infodash helps firm professionals and employees stay connected by providing news feeds, event calendars, and information on notable achievements, milestones, new hires and other celebrations.
- Collaboration. The platform makes it simple for professionals to find and collaborate with others in the firm who have experience and expertise in specific areas. The platform’s integration with Microsoft Teams allows users to start a conversation instantly through Teams.
- Productivity. The platform aggregates key information from across multiple applications, meaning users can spend less time searching across multiple systems for information they need. The Infodash API enables integrations with various firm systems including DMS, finance, HR, client, matter management systems and more.
Infodash also has extranet features that allow law firms to collaborate with clients on matters.
As they showed me Infodash, Theodoropoulos and Young repeatedly emphasized that virtually every piece of the platform can be customized targeted to different audience personas within the firm, and that the entire product would be white-labelled with the firm’s branding and design.
Also, when an employee logs on for the first time, the employee is prompted to select the resources that he or she uses, such as access to Westlaw, or the firm directory, or the room scheduler.
The Infodash Connection Manager is, as Young put it, “where the magic happens,” creating connections with point-and-click simplicity to data sources within a firm, such as iManage, Interaction or Aderant, or via the API to third-party, SQL-based systems.
That connector enables the creation of pages such as the matter dashboard pictured above, which is aggregating data drawn from multiple systems include document management, matter management, client contacts and docketing.
Acrowire says that Infodash is best suited for midsized to large law firms and has already been deployed in more than a dozen Am Law 200 firms. Infodash experts help law firms with their initial deployment, but the platform is designed to require minimal ongoing in-house maintenance due to tools, support and training provided by Infodash.
Pricing is based on numbers of users. The basic subscription includes the core platform and API implementation, licensing, core platform support, maintenance, and access to upgrades. Custom development work is priced based on time and materials.
“Infodash helps law firms maintain firm culture by creating connections, engaging personnel, building loyalty and ultimately retaining employees,” Theodoropoulos said. “And when people do leave, it acts as a knowledge management repository and helps firms retain knowledge gained during their tenure.”