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Abacus Private Cloud Offers Virtual Desktops Secured by Two-Factor Authentication

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, September 1, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a virtual Windows desktop and network service that recently added two-factor authentication (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a contract drafting and proofreading tool, three cloud practice management apps, software for capturing the dark data that doesn't make it into your document management system, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Many lawyers hesitate to store client and firm documents outside their law firm in the so-called "cloud." But the convenience is undeniable. Even more convenient is moving your applications to a virtual desktop environment, which eliminates the need to buy and manage servers. Just as significant differences exist among hardware and software products, the same is true of cloud services. Some focus more on security and client services than others.

Abacus Private Cloud … in One Sentence

Abacus Data Systems' Abacus Private Cloud is a secure, virtual Windows desktop and network service that makes your data and applications accessible from any Mac, Windows PC, iPad, smartphone, etc. using Microsoft Remote Desktop.

The Killer Feature

The "private cloud" in Abacus Private Cloud's name refers to the fact that Abacus Data Systems uses three geographically dispersed U.S.-based datacenters over which it has full control.

The company recently improved access security by offering two-factor authentication as an option at no additional cost. This requires everyone at your firm to use a second form of identity in addition to a password — namely a code sent to a free app available for Android and iOS. During my demo, Chief Solutions Architect Tomas Suros explained that delivery of the code by app is more secure than delivery by text message because of the latter's vulnerability to being hijacked as reported by Wired in June 2016.

Other Notable Features

Additional security measures include encryption of your data at rest and when transmitted, and secure tunnels to your firm's printers and scanners. Administrator tools enable you to control access to applications, documents, printers, etc. Abacus Private Cloud is capable of full HIPAA compliance, enabling you to securely store health-related documents on your virtual network.

Security can tax performance. Suros discussed various means by which Abacus Private Cloud escapes this trap to provide performance similar to local software even when using a 4G cellular connection. For example, all the servers in the three datacenters use solid state drives (SSD), which are much faster than traditional hard drives.

Abacus Private Cloud's Document Service offers virtually unlimited storage for your firm's documents. This acts like a network drive without the hassle of managing a file server. Practice management software Amicus Attorney, now owned by Abacus Data Systems, is among the many popular Windows applications you can run in Abacus Private Cloud. Others include AbacusLaw, Office 365, QuickBooks, and Adobe Acrobat.

AbacusLaw 2016, the new version of the company's other practice management software, has been optimized for Abacus Private Cloud. Many of the new features focus on practice automation, including case handling checklists, standardized workflows, and deadline tracking across your firm.

What Else Should You Know?

The company's Professional Services team sets up your private cloud and software, provides training, and can import legacy data if necessary. Regarding ongoing technical support, everyone has experienced the misery of two or more vendors pointing fingers at each other when you report a problem. Suros refers to this as a "vendor unaccountability loop." By contrast, he notes that Abacus Data Systems is your sole point of contact for any issues that arise. "It's another core advantage of our private cloud over consumer cloud services," he said. Learn more about Abacus Private Cloud.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Networking/Operating Systems | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Dropbox Pros and Cons; Review of Dropbox + Viivo; Review of OneDrive

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, August 19, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Bobby Abrams, Preventing Deleted Dropbox Files From Reappearing

David O'Connell, Review Of Dropbox + Viivo Plus Thoughts On Practice Management Software

Jerald Stein, Review Of OneDrive

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Document Management | Online/Cloud | TL Serendipity

My Dropbox Misadventures and Search for a Replacement; The New Microsoft on Display in Surface Pro Ad

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Joshua Stein, My Dropbox Misadventures And Search For A Replacement

Neil Squillante, The New Microsoft On Display In Surface Pro Ad

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Online/Cloud | TL Serendipity

Reviews of Logitech MX Master, LastPass; Dropbox v. Google Drive v. Private Cloud; Dragon Anywhere Correction

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, August 11, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Review: Logitech MX Master

Tom Trottier, Dropbox V. Google Drive V. Private Cloud

Michael Haller, Review: LastPass

Robert Pennell, Dragon Anywhere Costs $150/Year, Not Per Hour!

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Computer Accessories | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Online/Cloud | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

The Best Folding Bluetooth Keyboards Plus 60 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 11, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 61 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Seamus Bellamy of PCWorld on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The Best Folding Bluetooth Keyboards

Tips for Choosing Practice Management Software

Amicus Cloud Adds a Client Portal

Review: iAnnotate 4

The Future of Company Devices May Be as a Service

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Computer Accessories | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Transactional Practice Areas

The Lie of Technology; Email and Security at My Law Firm; Why Our Law Firm Provisions 2 Monitors Per Person; Much More

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, July 8, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

David O'Connell, The Lie Of Technology And Productivity Plus

Email And Security At My Law Firm

Carol Baker, Why Our Law Firm Provisions 2 Monitors Per Person

Burton Bruggeman, How To Use A ScanSnap S510 With Windows 10

Jerald Stein, Great TechnoRelease But This Feature Isn't Exclusive

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Monitors | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

Amicus Cloud Adds a Client Portal to Deepen Client Loyalty and Exceed Expectations

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management system with a new client portal (see article below), PDF software with legal features, an iOS calendar and task management app, and a cloud storage service with an iPhone scanner. Don't miss the next issue.

Clients want good outcomes for their matters, but that's no longer enough. They also want to access their file and communicate with you when convenient for them. This level of attention requires a client portal but not just any portal. Your client portal should work with your existing software, and offer deep functionality that you and your clients won't outgrow.

Amicus Cloud … in One Sentence

Amicus Cloud is a practice management system that now includes a secure, customizable client portal.

The Killer Feature

After you enable the client portal in Amicus Cloud, you can link to it from your website. To create a seamless experience for your clients, the client portal features your firm's name and logo. Even the login and password reset pages contain your firm's branding. Like the rest of Amicus Cloud, the client portal works in all desktop and mobile web browsers.

After the initial setup, you can invite clients to create an account. You can share just about anything in Amicus Cloud — documents, calendar events, notes, tasks, etc. Amicus Cloud displays a different icon for shared items so that you know their status at a glance. You can view all shared items in a list in the new Portal tab.

In addition to sharing information, you can also collaborate and communicate with clients. For example, you and your clients can exchange notes. You can also assign tasks and create custom records for clients to fill out. A dashboard and email notifications keep you and your clients apprised of these communications and other activity. Also, Amicus Cloud contains a client portal audit trail, and can send you a daily email message showing all client portal activity.

"Clients today have different expectations," Abacus Data Systems' Vice President, Software Engineering Chris Cardinal told me. "They want the ability to send you documents, review documents you've drafted, and receive updates. They also want secure electronic communications. With the new Client Portal, you can give all of this to them. Not only will this profoundly impact the way law firms operate, but also clients will feel more connected and in control of their legal work."

Other Notable Features

According to Cardinal, Amicus Cloud sets itself apart from other cloud practice management applications through its desktop-like features. For example, cloud applications typically limit you to one screen at a time. By contrast, Amicus Cloud's multitasking technology enables you to open and resize multiple windows all within the same browser tab. You can minimize tabs along the bottom of Amicus Cloud for fast recall.

Another example — Amicus Cloud's Precedent Workflows combine document assembly with project management. This enables you to automate any process in your law firm, including generating Word documents with client information and stored clauses.

What Else Should You Know?

Amicus Cloud uses integrations to extend its abilities. Key among these is Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Dropbox as they enable you to store all client-related email and documents in Amicus Cloud without changing any of your current habits. Amicus Cloud costs $49.95 per user per month ($45 if you're on an annual contract). Learn more about Amicus Cloud.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Review of Word Add-In PerfectIt Plus 64 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, June 27, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 65 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Robert Ambrogi of LawSites on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Review of Word Add-In PerfectIt With American Legal Style

Ten Technology Mistakes That Keep Solos From Looking Professional

Increase Profitability With Document Assembly

HP Aims at the Mac With Super-Slim Laptop

The 82 Coolest New Features Apple Just Revealed

Understanding the Cloud

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

Battle of the iPhone Scanning Apps (Dropbox v. Scannable); Caren Explains CosmoLex, Tabs3 Connect, Time Matters, Cloud Storage, and More

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, June 23, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Review: Battle of the iPhone Scanning Apps: Dropbox v. Scannable

Caren Schwartz, Caren Explains It All: CosmoLex, Tabs3, Time Matters, Cloud Storage

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Abacus CEO on the Amicus Attorney Acquisition; Review of the 9.7-Inch iPad Pro for Presentations; Reviews of Retrospect and Carbonite

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, June 2, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Abacus Data Systems CEO Alessandra Lezama On The Amicus Attorney Acquisition And Industry Consolidation

Neil Squillante, Review Of The 9.7-Inch IPad Pro For Presentations

Joshua Gordon, Review: Retrospect + Carbonite

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Presentations/Projectors | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Serendipity
 
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