Two of the companies whose products are among the most widely used in the legal profession, iManage and Microsoft, are today announcing a global strategic development partnership aimed at innovation, development of new solutions, and delivery of better business outcomes for customers.

The agreement announced today expands on the “better together” partnership that the companies announced last year, and is designed to enable law firm and corporate legal customers to be in a better position to meet the challenges and opportunities of hybrid work environments.

“Today we are announcing this strategic partnership because our customers have been asking for even more integration and co-innovation between two of their biggest solution providers, and we are listening,” said Neil Araujo, CEO and founder of iManage. “This partnership will have a direct impact on customers, enabling them to modernize the experience for the end-users and simplify governance and security as customers move their workloads to the cloud.”

The partnership includes iManage’s full embrace of Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure, with a five-year commitment to Azure. This commitment is fundamental to many of the other benefits that iManage will now be able to bring to the process of knowledge sharing and document management, Araujo said.

iManage CEO Neil Araujo

“The platform enables us to bring the value of the billions of dollars Microsoft is spending in cloud infrastructure to the legal market,” Araugo said. “And it offers us much better access to engineering resources that ultimately help us deliver that experience in a more effective manner.”

The partnership creates a tighter alignment between the two companies and provides iManage with a deeper level of support from Microsoft for future product and solution development, Araujo said.

“Microsoft and iManage are working on a unique technology and business partnership to deliver real digital transformation to the global legal community,” he said. “It has opened the opportunity to work with Microsoft on multiple levels.”

Specifically, Araujo said, the partnership will enable iManage to:

  • Develop deeper, wider, and more influential relationships that unlock multiple resource areas for iManage to work with.
  • Get access into programs and product groups to help it better integrate current solutions and innovate in the future.
  • Better serve its customers through the combination of its deep vertical expertise and Microsoft’s technology.

Four Key Benefits

In a press release announcing the partnership, iManage said that the strategic partnership with Microsoft will benefit customers in four key areas:

  • Enhanced digital transformation through iManage’s embrace of Azure as a platform. iManage says this will improve its ability to deliver a better cloud service and improve customers’ organizational performance, agility, and ability to scale globally. “Tapping into the rich Microsoft Azure services to deliver new functionality, the strategic partnership will enable new ways to fully manage global projects, surface organizational expertise, and coordinate knowledge work among distributed teams, all the while using a highly secure, resilient, and performant network.”
  • Greater collaboration and enhanced user experience. Tighter product integration and seamless interoperability with Office and Teams will improve productivity within the applications where legal professionals most often work, iManage says. “With early adoption to the latest Microsoft innovations, iManage will build on existing integrations to meet the user where they are, delivering new, frictionless experiences that enhance productivity and support anytime, anywhere work while maintaining the world-leading security and governance the market demands.”
  • Stronger data security and access control. “Combining Azure native cloud security with iManage’ s capabilities in policy-based security and the ability to manage, govern, and audit content and all actions around it, customers will have confidence that their organization is secure; protection extends to content in Microsoft products like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, critical to the way users work. iManage’s security is comprehensive, pervasive, and unobtrusive, ensuring no user action is required to enjoy the highest levels of protection.”
  • Product innovation. “Combining the power of iManage and Microsoft, the companies will work in close alignment on product roadmaps and go-to-market activities to benefit from the companies’ respective expertise and capabilities and also provide iManage early adoption to new Microsoft features, accelerating iManage’s delivery of key innovations to customers. Customers will also have access to the latest communities, briefings and events and an ever-growing partner ecosystem.”

“This is a significant partnership that should deliver real value and confidence to our firm and our clients as we continue our own digital transformation,” Lawrence Baxter, chief technology officer at law firm Shearman and Sterling, said in a statement provided by iManage. “It’s not just the operational benefits that excite me, the impact this will have on our users, delivering a seamless modern work experience, with the utmost security, is game changing.”

“More than just impacting how customers are able to take advantage of our products today, the partnership transforms how they’re able to access innovative new functionality in the future and how quickly they’re able to do so,” Araugo said.

You can read more about the global strategic partnership between iManage and Microsoft at this link.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.