Computers have changed drastically in the last many years, but one of the primary constants has been Microsoft Office and its Office suite of applications. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook (among others) have grown to be as common as a keyboard and mouse when it comes to personal and professional computing for millions and millions of individuals, including attorneys.
Because the offerings have changed and updated over the years, though, it has become increasingly hard to determine which version is the best for a specific organization and its needs. Lawyers, particularly, have very specific requirements sometimes. Microsoft Office’s two newest iterations, 365 and 2019, can both work well for his or her job demands, but you will find significant yet often subtle differences.
If perhaps there have been a little paperclip that put their hands up in everyday life, as it once did for Microsoft Office, prompting us with questions and answers. Well, even if Clippit (or Clippy, since many people known him) doesn’t do our bidding anymore, there’s still much to celebrate in the Office suite of applications. Benefits and features abound.
Office 365, for starters, differs from Office 2019 in that it is a subscription service, while Office 2019 is really a one-time purchase. Microsoft advertises 365 because the the easy way make sure that your computers are updated using the new edition and security patches for the software. Tech support is also included. While there are home, personal and educational uses, lawyers can integrate Office into their systems and workflow as fast and beneficially.
In addition to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, firms choosing 365 will also get access to online file storage and be able to connect with the cloud as well for collaboration amongst attorneys along with other parties. As the service is a regular membership, lawyers can choose to pay for monthly per user, or the season upfront.
If one doesn’t intend to upgrade their applications each year, they ought to probably choose Office 2019, as it doesn’t include annual updates. Each license will allow these to download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint onto one user’s machine, whether PC or Mac. Besides these two versions, Microsoft also offers something called Office Online for the frugally minded. It’s a free form of the Office suite for use in browsers online with a Microsoft Office Account.
Lawyers and Microsoft Office
Whichever version a firm opts for, there are particular benefits for that legal industry. To begin with, attorney-client privilege should be maintained at all times. As documents and files are stored and shared, it is vital that these stay secure in the process. Microsoft Office works together with enterprise-grade, industry compliant safety measures: ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, HIPAA BAA, as well as FISMA. Lawyers can control permissions and access to each document on a case-by-case basis, and spam detection is made right in to ensure that phishing and malware attacks tend to be less likely to happen.
As security is key for law firms’ integrity and reputation, so goes efficiency for their bottom line. Thankfully, Microsoft Office is useful here as well. The Office suite is really a solution-oriented software package intended to lower overhead cost while simultaneously enabling attorneys to work longer with fewer frustrations (i.e., more billable hours), increase productivity, and with the 365 package, lawyers as well as their staff can work everywhere when needed, employing the added cloud storage and online-based versions from the applications.
Further, Office 365 will also support Matter Center, a SharePoint solution for all those looking for a legitimate document manager and collaborator. It is a straightforward, easy-to-use interface that allows legal professionals to operate more intelligently and efficiently. The software itself is open source and available to download free of charge online, making it a win-win for those involved.
Regardless of the option chosen, lawyers can all benefit from Microsoft Office and the newest iteration of its applications. Whether via a one-time purchase, a subscription, or the free online-only suite, there is much to help attorneys work better and smarter along the way.