Mobility – what is it?

It seems that Mobility and a Mobile strategy are the craze in the IT press. I am not so sure what this really means but in the Legal vertical I have been dealing with it for the last 10 years.

Is Mobility – access using a Mobile phone? Is it accessing your information while away from the office?

In this conversation, there is not one size fits all.

It depends on the type of law business that you operate. Some firms work during business hours at the office. Some firms work during business hours away from the office. Some firms have users that work many hours after hours at home or on the road.

It also depends on what you expect to while while Mobile. If you just want to look at data or if you want to work as you would while in the office.

The cloud is by its nature Mobile. Your experience is the same whether you are in the office, at home of on the road.

If you want to use your work computer at home just as you would if you were in the office, there is a free solution called LogMeIn. We use the business solution daily. I have used the LogMeIn service for 8 or more years without issue. I can remember a few times when I was not able to access a computer.

If you need many users to work while away from the office and do not want them to access their own computer, then you should look at a Microsoft terminal server solution or Citrix. We have clients that use both. An interesting product is also 2X at www.2x.com.

Some applications have Mobile applications that are specific to your handheld or a website. I use the Salesforce mobile application often and as a consultant it is excellent. As I change the customization and configuration of Salesforce, the mobile app adjusts with those customizations. It is a rich environment and I am able to see all of my data. The same data set that is available when I log into Salesforce. I can also control whether I want a smaller set of data on my handheld device as I manage the mobile users. The data is available when I am offline and not connected to the Cell phone network. This is often the case while I am in Court as Cell reception is not available inside the court rooms.

Time Matters and PCLaw have release a Mobility portion of the version 11s of the applications. The Time Matters mobility product is limited in scope and is very much a first generation product. If you need access to fields on your Matter form, Time Matters Mobility does not allow this which is interesting as the ability to customize the fields on a Matter is a compelling feature of Time Matters. It also does allow access to all of the record types in Time Matters. Access to the calendar will be added in the future but for our customers calendar does not include our Key Dates feature which in my opinion is part of the calendar.

Our recommendation is to use MobileTM from Data Equity. It is mature as it has been in the market for years. All record types in Time Matters are available and you can customize all lists and forms to include any information that are tracking in Time Matters. For me, this is the basic functionality that is required of a mobile Time Matters solution.

In my opinion, Mobility should also extend to allowing your clients to access their Matters. Cloud applications by their nature will include this functionality. In the Time Matters world, this is only available from DataEquity. It is called GuestOffice. It is an eloquent solution with security at the core of the design and the ability to shape your clients experience as they look at their own Matters.  For other consultants that have not seen or used GuestOffice, it can be customized and configured. This means you define the data to which the client has access, the look and feel and you can extend the functionality.

So what does Mobile mean to you?

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