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Microsoft Announces Matter Center for Office 365 and for SharePoint 2013 On Premises

On August 18, 2014, Microsoft announced the availability of Matter Center for Office 365. Together with improvements in eDiscovery, which were implemented earlier this year, this new addition may contribute to the attractiveness of Office 365 for law firms.

According to the promotional content on the web page introducing this feature, Matter Center works with OneDrive for Business. Matter items “are automatically saved with the right metadata, permissions, and version control.” The sharing features of OneDrive for Business are available for Matter Center, thereby delivering on the promise of a better platform for attorneys to collaborate on cases.

Unlike some of the other recently added features of Office 365, Matter Center is not exclusive to the cloud: “Matter Center can be deployed in the cloud, in a hybrid scenario, or as part of an on-premises SharePoint environment based upon a firm’s needs and existing infrastructure.” So, for those organizations looking into methods of implementing SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 as a records management solution, may want to take a look at Matter Center.

Since Matter Center is available for SharePoint 2013 on premises, or a hybrid architecture built on on premises and Office 365 components, our SharePoint 2013: Records Management set of video training content may also be of interest. This training set is led by John Holliday, who is an attorney and a widely acknowledged subject matter expert on this topic.

One would hope product management at Microsoft will continue this pattern of providing “scenarios” for specific industries across the feature sets available for Office 365. As more features like Matter Center become available, Office 365 will not only become more attractive to law firms, but also more attractive to Microsoft Partners who can develop expertise across all of these “scenarios” and, thereby, provide direction to consumers, who, for one reason or another, may not be aware of the promise of features like this one, not to mention the opportunity it creates to build a useful records management solution for an organization.

Ira Michael Blonder

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