Tackling Law’s Collaboration Challenge

Guest Blog: Sam Moore, Legal Technologist at Burnell Paul LLP

Our friend Sam Moore recently sat down with Grame to discuss the collaboration culture and the issues faced by the legal industry. Here’s what he had to say.


Law's Collaboration Challenge

 

I’ve had many job titles in my career to date – Solicitor, Commercial Manager, Project Manager, Solicitor again, and most recently Legal Technologist. In all the sectors I’ve enjoyed exposure to there has always been some degree of collaboration involved with my peers to address common issues and to tackle sector-wide challenges in a cohesive way. One sector however stands out for me as doing things a little differently – legal services. We as lawyers are trained from the get-go to be tight-lipped, even secretive in nature, and to hold our cards very close to the chest. This is entirely appropriate in the context of client confidentiality of course, and is also vital to the cut and thrust of dispute resolution and robust contract negotiation. However, in my experience, this ‘defensive’ stance into which we naturally slip can also potentially hold us back when it comes to innovation and knowledge sharing.

This tendency towards reticence can also be surprisingly common within legal teams as well, not just between competitors. The issue isn’t that, for example, the property lawyers don’t want to share their experiences with the dispute resolution lawyers, it’s more that neither necessarily thinks to ask (or perhaps they don’t realise that each has something the other might benefit from knowing). The fact is however that all teams within a firm most likely have something valuable to share with their colleagues, if only they had a convenient platform to do so (and ideally were encouraged or even incentivised to take part). This issue is not novel of course, and a cursory Google search for ‘legal collaboration tools’ yields plenty of results ranging from full blown project management packages to more specific legal tech products. I posed this question to one such product developer – Graeme Bodys, Founder and CEO of the award winning collaboration platform nooQ: can technology reboot our collaboration culture?

Graeme Bodys (nooQ) – “Given the amount of information being produced, and given that a vast proportion of our day is spent using technology, I think we need help processing that information and I think that technology has to help make our jobs easier. A McKinsey study found that 28% of our working day is spent using email. A further 33% is spent looking for answers, expertise and decisions. This leaves a mere 39% doing your actual job, and to me that is crazy! Some working days the only achievable outputs are that you have read your emails and attended some meetings. You are merely processing information. This needs to change. This problem is present in every modern office globally to some degree, but the legal profession is more acutely aware than other industries just how valuable time is, especially billable time, and that it cannot be wasted, reclaimed or spent doing trivial matters.

To address these challenges we built nooQ – to visualise what is important to you, and to use artificial intelligence to do the sorting, filtering and recommending so that you can find answers, expertise and decisions much faster. This allows projects to have a secure central repository which combines group conversations, ideas and documents into a shared knowledge space. We want to move away from locking people in meeting rooms for an hour trying to share ideas or documents, and instead move towards truly collaborating across offices at times which suit everyone and getting answers to complex issues in a significantly more efficient way. Firms like Burness Paull who are ahead of the curve can use new technology products like nooQ for idea generation and simple surveys, to gather employee feedback on the best ways to improve processes and optimal technology delivery.”

The Solution

Of course nooQ represents just one possible approach to tackling this issue, and it’s almost certainly not a ‘one size fits all’ challenge. That being said, it’s becoming clear that the burgeoning legal tech industry has identified collaboration platforms as an area ripe for innovation.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned so far about legal technology is that the cleverest solution in the world is useless if the end users don’t have the right mind-set to adopt it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it participate in your weekly sprint review meeting. Before any firm embarks on a technology project to tap the knowledge of their teams it must be well established that these teams understand the benefits to be had, and that everyone is ready and willing to participate. With the right tools and the right approach however, legal teams can reap the huge benefits of collaboration – and not a moment too soon. The legal sector is being challenged on every convention, every well worn path, and every long held view by clients who increasingly demand innovation from their trusted advisors. Unlocking the knowledge within your own teams is to me the most logical place to begin answering that challenge.

 

Connect with Sam on LinkedIn in to see more of his articles.

What is nooQ?

Our first video is finally here!

Well technically that isn’t quite true as a few videos have been produced in the past. However these are now old and out-of-date as we have evolved leaps and bounds since our last video production in 2013. (the old version can be found here).

That is why we’ve been working on an animation that simply and quickly explains what nooQ is and what our platform can do to improve communication and productivity in the current business climate.

After lots of tweaking and fine-tuning here’s our brand new video which explains it all.

Let us know what you think in the comments field below.

Enjoy!

It’s back and we’re going for it!

EIE (Engage Invest Exploit) is back for its 10th year and its bigger and better than ever.

EIE is one of the largest technology investor showcase events around and features the best and most promising that Scotland has to offer across life sciences, ICT and energy sector companies.

We have been part of EIE since 2015 and just like the event itself nooQ have grown leaps and bounds in the last two years. So much so that we have been selected as one of only 12 companies to present a 6-minute pitch in front of an audience of 600+, including up to 160 investors and mentors.

Having been through the pitch and investor preparation process before Graeme has polished his ‘nooQ red’ shoes and is raring to go. Apart from explaining how nooQ can revolutionise the workplace, he will explain how our recent corporate partnership with Purdue University who are helping solve innovation challenges at high profile clients like NASA and Eli Lilly.

This is a taster of what they’ll hear:

 

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We look forward to making new connections  as well as catching up with familiar faces during the two day event in Edinburgh, and wish all participating companies the very best of luck!

 

 

Purdue University

nooQ partners with prestigious American university

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If you are following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram you will already have seen our announcement about our Purdue University partnership. And, boy are we excited!

Missed opportunities, connecting the right people at the right time, no ownership, trust or accountability are everyday challenges presented to universities and corporates making it difficult to create steady revenue streams and new business opportunities.

There is a need for better ways to accelerate innovation and commercialise, to create a scalable, repeatable process which transforms the way a problem is solved.

This is what our new partners at Purdue Agile Strategy Lab has managed to achieve. The newly developed Strategic Doing strategy discipline is specifically designed for open, loosely connected networks. By following a set of simple rules, participants learn to design and guide complex collaborations quickly and move them toward measurable outcomes, and make adjustments along the way, as they learn what works.

Developed as a practical discipline to deal with complex, “wicked” problems, the discipline is reinforced by research findings from cognitive science, organizational learning, positive psychology, strategic management, social network analysis, and complexity leadership theory.

Using the Strategic Doing process the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab has cracked the code and created a repeatable process for innovation and complex collaborations.

Ed Morrison, Director Purdue Agile Strategy Lab states “We are very excited to be working with nooQ. We have been evaluating other platforms for years but nothing comes close to what we can do with nooQ. As a partnership we have very complementary skills. We have the opportunity to use nooQ Innovation platform with 50 other universities currently in our network and corporate partners who have used Strategic Doing to solve complex problems.

“This partnership also will allow universities to create revenue opportunities with commercial partners. For an ever moving landscape, it cracks the communication problem of keeping everyone informed. Most importantly, the nooQ platform has the intelligence to automatically visualise expertise. It enables participants to link and leverage assets to define new opportunities.  Staying on top of complex projects is a never ending challenge. Combining nooQ & Strategic Doing can make implementing complex strategic initiatives radically faster. From years and months (or never) to weeks and days.

 

Discovery Park at Purdue University

Discovery Park at Purdue University

nooQ will be a corporate partner and provide the open innovation platform which will give the university and their commercial partners a unique way of commercialising research and raise continual revenue streams for clients such as NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Eli Lilly.

Combining nooQ with Strategic Doing is a phenomenal opportunity where the end goal is to establish a global standard for innovation and problem solving. And to radically increase productivity by providing a platform which connects people, assets and opportunities automatically.

Graeme says ‘We want to become one of Scotland’s leading software companies with a large presence in the US and Europe. We want to take on the big guys at Google, IBM and Microsoft. People spend far too much time processing information, our award winning, innovative approach will allow companies and universities to create connections in opportunities to improve new products, processes and solve complex research challenges. Strategic Doing will do to innovation, what David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done‘ did for the to-do list.

There are lots of innovation methods out there, but typically it gets very challenging to manage all the brainstorming activity once everyone has left the room. With Purdue, we can take this further. We are really excited by the potential of the Purdue partnership which can be replicated by any university or corporate innovation project. Our deal with Purdue is one big step in the right direction.”

 

500 reasons nooQ can make you more efficient

For those who haven’t come across Zapier yet, Zapier is a web automation app which automates all the monotonous tasks of your business life, saving you time by doing the same repetitive thing over and over and over again, by connecting all your favourite cloud apps with zero code.

So how does this affect you? It means you automatically can connect more than 500 SaaS applications into nooQ. Creating zaps into nooQ means someone else is doing the work for you, saving you time and money, allowing you to concentrate on the business challenges which needs your attention. We won’t go into all 500 reasons – that would keep you here for days, and be very detrimental to what we are here to do. So let’s just touch on a few reasons nooQ’s new Zapier integration can benefit you daily.

Tired of scrolling through lengthy Slack or Yammer feeds? By the click of a button Zapier lets you transfer messages from Slack or Yammer into your personal nooQ dashboard, and by using our volume controls you only see the topics you actually are interested in.

Tired of not being up to date on the latest business chat and discussions? Integrate new Hipchat messages into nooQ and quickly get an overview of what topics of conversation are trending within the organisation.

Tired of not being able to stay on top of project deadlines? Easy! Integrate existing Trello cards to ensure you stay on top of your most urgent communications or deadlines using nooQ’s visual interface.

Tired of not finding the files you need? Consider it a thing of the past by adding your documents, videos, photos from Google Drive into nooQ and ensure you never lose information again as all files and attachments within nooQ are saved in the same spot.

So go on! We’re confident you won’t look back once you’ve given it a try.

If you don’t already have a Zapier account, all you have to do is quickly set one up then add it to your nooQ by using this private link.  

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

nooQ announces partnership with IBM

new way of working with logos

nooQ IBM Partnership

We are excited to announce that we have entered into a partnership with IBM.

Since we won product awards at Socialnow we have been speaking to IBM about working together. The next logical step was to apply for IBM partnership status, which has been approved.

nooQ will work with IBM and their customers using IBM Connections to apply our intelligent, machine learning algorithms and visualisation to sit on top of existing IBM Connections data.

There are a lot of features in the IBM product that are not in nooQ such as blogs and wiki’s but now IBM customers will have the added benefit of an alternative interface to display personalized content. They will be able to use our volume controls to filter and display visually what is important to them.

We will be focussing on IBM’s next generation Social Business products such as IBM Connections and also excited to see what powerful combinations we can complement and improve including their other next generation social business products with machine learning such as IBM Verse, IBM Watson, and Toscana.

Our CEO Graeme Bodys is heading off to Social Connections conference in Toronto next week to speak to IBM customers, product managers and industry analysts. If you are heading to the Social Connections please get in touch here or @graemebodys – If you want to follow the conference you can follow #soccnx on Twitter

toronto-skyline-large

nooQ beats IBM, Atlassian, KnowledgePlaza & MangoApps to win product awards at Socialnow

Social Now Award Winners

After last years’ success, where we won all three product awards, we were uncertain what to expect before returning to Social Now.

But we did it again – for the second year running, We won!

Graeme and David returned from this years’ Social Now Conference in Lisbon with two brand spanking new awards in the bag.

Graeme had the honours of presenting use cases and the new extensive list of new features; internal news feature, chat function, web clipper, Zapier integration as well as the new mobile app on Android.

 

For the 2nd year running we were voted ‘Coolest Tool’ and ‘Coolest Features’.

presenting in action

Continue Reading…

What does the future workplace look like? (4/4)

Our findings after customer research & feedback

What’s next for nooQ?

In case you missed the earlier parts, they are here

Part 1 Surprising Results From Survey into Enterprise Social 

Part 2 Current Issues with eMail in the Workplace

Part 3 Research into Social Media Usage

We did a survey of over 100 companies into their email habits, file sharing tools, social media usage and how they used enterprise social collaboration tools like Yammer, Slack, Jive, SharePoint and Hipchat.

From a nooQ perspective, we did the survey as we had a lot of demand for different nooQ products. We had demands to improve nooQ Team. We had demands to visualize, sort and filter social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In. We had demands to sit on top of Slack, Yammer, Jive and IBM Connections. Additionally, we had requests to visualize Dropbox and Google Drive.

We are a small team; we can’t build everything so we needed to prioritize what should be next.

Long story short, we will be focusing on nooQ Team now, nooQ Files next and dropping nooQ Social and nooQ email, unless we get a ridiculous offer build them immediately.

Why are we doing that? Please read on.

 

Continue Reading…

Is there a market for a product to combat social media overload? (3/4)

Social Media Usage (Nov 2015)

Part 3 of 4 Blog Series

(If you have read Parts 1 & Part 2, skip to next section)

At nooQ we have created a product to revolutionize team communications.

Yammer started with their Facebook style, newsfeed approach.

Slack has perfected the conversational chat interface.

We think they are both flawed for the workplace.

We have built a product that won every product award at Socialnow.org

We’ve had a lot of demand for new features and new products visualizing email, visualizing social data and other overloaded, noisy systems.

nooQ has huge potential, but we can’t build everything at once.

So we created a survey on our existing team communication product, plus we wanted some research on what to build next.

We also built a real time visualisation on Twitter data, allowing you to turn up and down the volume on people and subjects.

But we needed to examine current usage of email, enterprise social networks, social media and file sharing. We needed to quantify the demand, in order to focus on the right things.

The results were somewhat surprising.

We had 102 completed surveys from participants. We had very carefully selected participants and were delighted with the responses and comments.

Continue Reading…

Current issues with eMail in the Workplace (2/4)

Ratings for Web Mail — Google GMail vs Office365 Hotmail

Part 2 of 4 Blog Series

nooQ has huge potential, but we can’t build everything at once.

We’ve had a lot of demand for new features and new products visualizing email, visualizing social data and other overloaded, noisy systems.

So we created a survey on our existing team communication product, plus we wanted some research on what to build next. We needed to examine current usage of email, enterprise social networks, social media and file sharing. We needed to quantify the demand, in order to focus on the right things.

The results were somewhat surprising.

We had 102 completed surveys from participants. We had very carefully selected participants and were delighted with the responses and comments.

e-Mail Overload

As McKinsey pointed out just much of our time is spent — and, I’d argue,wasted — in our inboxes. Consider the Radicati Group’s E-mail Statistics Report, 2013–2017. Among the study’s most interesting findings:

  • E-mail remains the go-to form of business communication. In 2013, business e-mail accounts totalled 929 million. The number of mailboxes is expected to grow annually at a rate of 5 percent over the next four years, reaching over 1.1 billion by the end of 2017.
  • More than 100 billion business e-mails were sent in 2013 every day. That number is expected to exceed 130 billion by 2017.
  • The average employee receives roughly 120 to 150 e-mails per day, a number that’s growing by 15 percent annually. (This means that, at this rate, you’ll receive twice as many messages in about 4.5 years.)

Continue Reading…