Bart van Wanroij – Managing Director Epona Legal: Currently, the best practice for legal document versioning workflows, is to separate your internal Matters from the extranet Matters and use Major versions (1.0, 2.0) to mark important changes, or to use the parlance of Microsoft, “publish” your documents so that only major versions are shared externally, while minor versions remain as internal or un-approved for external sharing.
Additionally, instead of attaching a document to an email and sending them, your office would instead, share with third parties a link to a document that has been placed in your own Office 365 extranet Teams site where you collaborate with security authorized clients and other matter-level parties. In this way, you can easily revoke access; all the activities are audited, and the data does not leave your own Office 365 environment.
What does this technology cost?
From a software perspective, almost nothing (depending on your tenant subscriptions), as you are simply leveraging your existing Microsoft Office 365 licensed software, and turning it into a modern Legal DMS with Extranet features.
From a technology point of view, Teams would solve your Extranet needs, but that does not mean that your colleagues and clients are ready to accept Teams as their Extranet and replace e-mail with attachments in their day-to-day workflow.
For those skeptical of Teams, it is important to understand that Teams as a replacement for the Skype for Business application (chat and phone calls, desktop sharing and more) would offer improved audio quality, persistent chats and excellent meeting recordings (with transcripts) that might improve your collaboration workflows internally and externally. It is early stage Star Trek for certain!
Are you curious to see what it would look like, and how it would work? Epona consultants are available to demonstrate the features of Teams, coupled with an Office 365 Extranet.