SharePoint 2013: What's New for Legal? Atlanta Recap


SharePoint 2013: What’s New for Legal? Atlanta Recap

King & Spalding hosted Acrowire’s ILTA 2014 Roadshow about SharePoint 2013: What’s New for Legal? The event was held on September 9th in mid-town Atlanta and lunch was catered by Flik Catering Service; I continue to hear the rave reviews about their pastrami sandwiches! There was representation from 9-10 different law firms with about 30 attendees present. Handshake Software also made an appearance which we’re always grateful for the face time. Thanks to all who took the time out of your busy schedules to learn more about SharePoint 2013.

Of the law firms represented, the majority were mid to large-sized firms ranging from 150-800+ attorneys. SharePoint usage was evenly split, as outlined below:

  • 1/3 are currently using SharePoint 2013 or are in the process of migrating to SharePoint 2013.
  • 1/3 are currently using SharePoint 2010.
  • 1/3 are currently using an older version of SharePoint (2003/2007) OR not using SharePoint at all.

For those not using SharePoint, open source tools are commonly used such as, Drupal or WordPress.

Questions were asked that we have commonly received during previous roadshows or other events. We thought we would share them below:

Question:  How does Microsoft’s announcement of Matter Center change the way SharePoint is positioned in legal?

Answer: Matter Center is still in the very early beta stages. Therefore, it’s unclear how this new tool will impact current DM systems and legal operations. It’s not uncommon for a law firm to create and manage several millions of documents over time so if Matter Center is going to be a top contender as an industrial-strength DM system, it needs to be able to handle this volume, and not just of data, but documents.

With this in mind, it is encouraging to see Microsoft making this pivotal step in catering to the legal industry. I think we’re all anxious and hopeful to learn the future of Matter Center.

Question: Does the migration from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 impact resource requirements?

Answer: Typically, yes. More servers are required which can be an additional upfront infrastructure cost. However, with SharePoint 2013, Microsoft has changed the licensing fees to be more favorable for businesses by eliminating the additional cost for the FAST search engine and licensing for external users. So with the savings from licensing fees previously incurred, the additional infrastructure expense is usually a break even or a potential win depending on how the firm uses SharePoint.

Question: Can you edit external data using excel services?

Answer: Consuming External data in an Excel workbook is a bit easier and you have some new options in Excel 2013, you can now connect to and import data from additional data sources into Excel as tables or PivotTables. For example, connect to data feeds like OData, Windows Azure DataMarket, and SharePoint data feeds. You can also connect to data sources from additional OLE DB providers.

Using Excel to update external data is still not “native” to Excel. There are articles available that describe ways of using PowerShell and UDF’s to accomplish this, but it is not something your average user would set up.

When publishing workbooks to SharePoint and leveraging Excel Services, you can give users the ability to enter data or select data from certain cells that will then modify/update the data shown in the workbook. This is not updating any external data, but allows the user to alter variables (Ex: city, region, quantities, prices) that are used when performing calculations, making the form more interactive.

Below are links to the articles mentioned and a link to see what is new in Excel 2013:




Atlanta was Acrowire’s 11th city in our East Coast Roadshow tour – we have eight remaining for the year. To learn more about our SharePoint 2013 Roadshows and to register, go to: ../../index.htmlwelcome/ilta.

Note: Baltimore, MD has been added to our tour and will be held on November 18th. Check back later this week to register once additional details are published.

Left to Right: Ted Theodoropoulos (President), Luke Seifert (Communications Manager), Eric Byrd (SVP of Client Strategy), Brian Gough (Solutions Architect)ILTA SharePoint Roadshow_Atlanta_7
Roadshow SharePoint 2013 presentation in sessionILTA SharePoint 2013 Roadshow_Atlanta

Flik Catering ServiceILTA 2014 Roadshow SharePoint 2013

A special thank you to King & Spalding for offering up your space to accommodate our ILTA 2014 Roadshow! We hope to see you again soon.

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