Time for a Technology Audit

From: Law Technology Today, July 9, 2014, This post was written by

Occasionally, law firms need help to move their technology forward, but they are not sure what they need or how to begin. They know that they are not taking advantage of the latest technology, have done some research and every product they see is “a perfect fit” for their firm (at least that is what the sales person is telling them).They seem to need EVERYTHING; from encrypted email to document management, to a secure wireless network.

Where do they start the process? It might be best to start with a technology audit.

What is a technology audit?

A technology audit is an evaluation of the systems that your firm has in place. Before a firm can move forward, they need to know what type of technology that they have and options to improve the firm’s state of technology. From the security of your data to recommended software, a technology audit is a useful roadmap to guide your firm’s technology.

What would I expect during a technology audit?

A comprehensive technology audit begins with a series of onsite office visits and interviews of key decision-makers, including administrators and internal or external IT staff. Any reports of hardware and software inventory as well as maintenance contracts are very helpful in the audit process.

Typically, a technology audit evaluates the following areas: <READ MORE>

People Problems – Tools You Can Use – 3 Part Series from LTT

Challenges with technology come up from time to time. You call tech support, an IT specialist or a trainer, and the problem eventually gets resolved.

But what do you do when the frustrations that bring you to a boiling point stem from people problems? You probably don’t have a 24/7 support number to call.

In a three-part series, recently posted in Law Technology Today, you get a few tools to add to your communication and management toolbox for troubling situations with other people – see below.

 

Tech Support Manual for Problems with People – Part 1

 

Tech Support Manual for Problems with People – Part 2 

 

Tech Support Manual for Problems with People – Part 3 

Should You Buy a New Top-Level Domain Name for Your Business?

From: Intuit Small Business Blog, by Kathryn Hawkins on

Now it’s easier than ever before to buy a branded URL for your business. With the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ rollout of more than 1,400 themed domain extensions over the course of the year, you can now buy the website address of your choice with a .bike, .coffee, or .lawyer top-level domain, to name just a few of the options.

If the .com website address of your choice isn’t available, a themed domain extension may seem like an attractive option — but is it worth building your online brand around it? Consider the following points.

.Com Domains Still Dominate

There are more than 100 million registered .com domains, according to statistics from VeriSign [PDF], which far exceeds the use of any other domain extension. On a practical level, that means most people will default to including “.com” when typing in your URL unless you make a major branding effort to get customers to remember your custom domain.

What if You Can’t Find a .Com Domain That Suits Your Brand?

Domain names ending in .com are generally preferable, but what if your top choice — or even your tenth choice — isn’t available? That’s a common occurrence for small-business owners. In a study conducted by  Wakefield Research, 55 percent of respondents surveyed said they believe  they have lost business because of their domain names. If a suitable .com URL isn’t available, it may make sense to move to a themed top-level domain. For instance, if you own a business called Sunrise Coffee and can’t purchase sunrisecoffee.com or any suitable variants, consider purchasing sunrise.coffee instead. <READ MORE>

Vendor group urges action on MU rule

From Healthcare IT News, CHICAGO | July 11, 2014, Bernie Monegain, Editor

Calls for no changes that could pose problems to stakeholders

The EHR Association, which is made up of nearly 40 EHR companies, urged the Office of the National Coordinator and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide the meaningful use final rule ASAP.

“We emphasize the priority of a quickly issued final rule in eliminating wasted time and effort regarding 2014 work, and urge publication as soon as possible,” it wrote. “We note that, due to time constraints, we anticipate that many physicians and hospitals will make decisions based on the proposed rule, as seems to have been your intent. We urge that these already-made decisions be considered as you finalize this rule, and that no changes be made in the final rule that would prove problematic for those who acted in good faith based on the proposed rule.”

The EHRA is also looking ahead, and it asked the agencies take a close look at the timeline for Stage 3 meaningful use.

“We are concerned … that the proposal for the Stage 3 timeline presents many of the same challenges as were encountered in Stage 2,” the association wrote in its July 10 letter to the agencies, adding that the group had consistently given feedback that 18 months is required after all rules, specifications, test procedures, test tools, test data, implementation guides, etc., are final and available, for EHR vendors to make safe changes and distribute them to their customers. <READ MORE>

7 Ways to Stop Procrastinating Right Now

From: Intuit Small Business Blog, by Lee Polevoi on

As many as 20 percent of adults in the United States identify themselves as chronic procrastinators, but it’s a safe bet the number of people who often delay making decisions or taking action is much higher. “For the most part, we don’t realize that it’s happening or that, in the process, we’re undermining our own happiness,” notes Health.com author Gail Salz, M.D. Procrastinators tend to be far more stressed than those who don’t have this habit; they get sick more often, too.”

Being a chronic procrastinator (or even a frequent one) can spell trouble for a small-business owner. There are too many things to take care of to make “putting things off until tomorrow” a viable strategy.

Here are some tips on how to change your mindset and behavior to stop procrastinating right now: <READ MORE>

Microsoft Boosts Encryption for Outlook Webmail and OneDrive

From: The Hackers News – Wednesday, July 02, 2014 by

After the wide chain of scandals over US global snooping that seriously damaged the trust on the top U.S. Tech companies, Google and Yahoo! came forward and took initiative to provide more secure, encrypted and NSA-proofed service in an effort to gain their reputation again among its users.

Now, Microsoft has also announced several improvements to the encryption used in its online cloud services in order to protect them from cyber criminals, bad actors and prying eyes. The company effort detailed in a blog entry by Matt Thomlinson, Microsoft’s Vice President of Trustworthy Computing Security.
MICROSOFT’S COMMITMENT
Last December, Microsoft promised to protect its users data from government snooping by expanding encryption across its services, reinforcing legal protections for its customers’ data and enhancing the transparency of its software code, making it easier for the customers to reassure themselves that its products contain no backdoors. <READ MORE>

Mentoring: From Mentee to Mentor

From Law Technology Today: July 1, 2014, Written by

Mentors are a great resource who can help bridge the gap between being a law student and being a well-rounded, experienced attorney. Many people look at mentors as a one-sided relationship: the mentor provides advice, answers questions and may even send some referrals to the mentee. Being on both sides of the mentor-mentee relationship, I can tell you the relationship is, or at least should be, mutually beneficial.

After law school, I accepted a clerkship position with a local Circuit Court. It was likely the best career move I could have ever made and it was there that I found my first mentor in the legal field.  The judge I worked for primarily was not just a boss but was invested in me and improving my skills before I went to work as an attorney. He answered questions about the practice of law but did not limit them to only the practice of law. He answered questions about opening and then hopefully managing and sustaining a law firm. While our professional relationship has changed since leaving the clerkship position, as it should have, that judge provided me with my first experience being mentored and at the time, I didn’t even realize that was what was going on.

I often think about the advice that judge gave me on practicing law. The key, he said, is to always be honest.  If you don’t know the answer, say so and tell them how you can find the answer.<READ MORE>

4 Smart Ways to Get a Better Google Ranking Today

From Intuit Small Business Blog: by Suzanne Kearns on

Google has fine-tuned its algorithms many times over the years, making it a challenge for businesses that rely on web search referrals to keep up. The truth is, unless you play by Google’s rules, you won’t achieve a top spot in the search engine results which many companies rely on to make their website and blog profitable. Here are four tips that will help you get up to speed.

1. Content must be well written and relevant. Gone are the days when a webmaster could stuff a lot of keywords into an article to get the search engine spiders’ attention. Now, it will get spiders’ attention, but may actually result in a lower site ranking. The Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithms all focus on encouraging webmasters to provide relevant, high-quality web content over the spammy stuffing of keywords. What constitutes quality content in Google’s eyes? Here are a few quality control questions according to the  Google’s Inside Search blog.

  • Is the information trustworthy?
  • Is it grammatically correct and free of spelling and factual errors?
  • Do the topics line up with the interests of the site’s visitors?
  • Will people want to bookmark, share, or recommend the page?
  • Is the content above the fold, or does it take second place to ads?
  • Have you situated yourself to be the best source for the information?
  • Are the articles lengthy and full of useful information, or are you still using the old-school shallow content style? <READ MORE>

Encoretech Expands Legal Technology Training; Adds Training-as-a-Service

Posted on June 23, 2014/in /by

Software as a Service (SaaS) – now – Training as a Service (TaaS)?

New training-as-a-service (TaaS) focused on legal training strategies and expansive, yet flexible training service delivery
Atlanta, GA – June 23, 2014 – Encoretech, a premiere learning & development organization delivering technology training and migration solutions to the legal and corporate communities, today introduced the Encoretech Training-as-a-Service (TaaS) offering. As part of the new solution, Encoretech will work with law firms on ways to strategically redesign their legal technology training programs including new hire training and onboarding; online and distance learning; staff skill & proficiency development; learning management system (LMS) customizations; training content development; and utilization of new, innovative training delivery methods.             <READ MORE>