Both Microsoft Teams and Zoom can be used to hold meetings quickly, but between the two only Microsoft Teams is integrated with LawToolBox matter management and can expand into a comprehensive collaboration solution.  In addition to the robust and unique virtual meeting module that LawToolBox has built to streamline meetings and breakout rooms through templates, there are other significant advantages to Microsoft Team with LawToolBox versus Zoom:

1.  Teams is totally configurable.  Teams can be configured for working and tracking information on specific matters, or it can be used to track general information.  Users can create Teams for a specific case or appeal, and invitees can vary depending on which Team you ae working on.  Beneath a Team, channels can be created by topic, and channels can made private, and tabs can be added extending the Team to specific documents, websites or cloud-based products.  See, Configure Microsoft Teams & LawToolBox for Legal (7 min video).

2.  Both Teams and Zoom can be used to simply start a quick meeting, but Teams also has more advanced meeting and chat features:

2.1-chat 1 to 1, 1 to many, or by any individual team/matter
2.2-convert any text chat into a call or video chat
2.3-you can record sessions
2.4-reply to chat topics out-of-order so all communications on a topic are grouped
2.5-every conversation has a complete HISTORY of communication
2.6-every conversation is SEARCHABLE subject to user permissions enforced by MS
2.7-any chat can be edited or deleted by owner of communication
2.8-you can post screen shots
2.9-you can post files
2.10-post links to websites and files
2.11-quickly hold meetings with external people in a team chat – video
2.12-like or flag any post
2.13-connect files you are editing to a matter conversation
2.14-interact with third party business apps
2.15-you can send an email to a Team channel

See, Schedule Meeting, Chat & Collaborate in Microsoft Teams (6 min video)

3.  LawToolBox  + Teams is an advanced document and file collaboration and management solution.  Many legal professionals use Teams/SharePoint as their document file solution (DMS), while others use it to collaborate on work product and specific documents and then they save their final work-product to a document repository for archiving and later retrieval.

3.1-To get started quickly, in minutes, you can drag all file folders from S-drive to Teams/SharePoint in one general folder
3.2-You can also create a “Team” for each matter and then drag files into matter folder/SharePoint site
3.3-Use LawToolBox “copy template” feature to populate your new matter with files containing template folders & documents
3.4-Collaborate real-time on modern Microsoft files like .docx or .xlsx
3.5-Global Admin can enable Office 365 to “check out” a file
3.6-Global Admin can enable Office 365 to track and retrieve “prior versions” of file
3.7-Uses can share folders or specific files with internal users or external people from SharePoint
3.8-Basic search which displays name of group file is in
3.9-Advanced Boolean search across tenant – search is limited to files user has access rights to
3.10-You can use LawToolBox “recent files” to locate documents you worked on recently
3.11-Use can use Microsoft Delve to run analytics on users and files
3.12- Users can simultaneously save emails directly to a Teams conversation and an “email messages” folder for any channel folder in your Team

See, LawToolBox DMS File & Document Management in Microsoft Teams (7 min video)

4.  LawToolBox integrates an advanced Office 365 matter CALENDAR into Teams.  Calculate deadlines based on the rules (e.g., the rules of civil procedure in state or federal court across the US and even outside the US) and the users Outlook calendars are automatically updated for all members:

4.1-Use a rule-set or choose “general matters” for basic calendaring
4.2-Calculate litigation, administrative, regulatory or custom deadlines
4.3-Add, update, or remove case-specific deadlines and events
4.4-Track a history of who made every change, and when they made that change
4.5-Update team member Outlook calendars as deadlines and users change
4.6-View, email, download reports
4.7-Generate reports by matter, user, team, firm, recent, upcoming, or hashtags
4.8-Auto docket deadlines as PACER emails arrive (outlook only)
4.9-Instantly save emails with attachments to matter in SharePoint (outlook only)
4.10-Collaborate on specific matters or cases with experts, co-counsel or clients
4.11-Create a document folder, OneNote, shared Inbox, calendar (optional)
4.12-Use AI to suggest Outlook contacts to tag as experts or parties for matters
4.13-View analytics on average length of matters and motions
4.14-FIND TIME – when creating an appointment search across attendees calendars to find available time slots (next release)
4.15-the ONLY matter-based calendar for Teams (next release)

1stPlace, SharePoint Integration – Best SharePoint Solution 2018
2ndPlace, App for Teams – Best Office Integration 2018
3rd Place, Add-In for Outlook – Most Business Value 2016

5.  LawToolBox integrates Outlook CONTACTS into Teams. 

5.1-mine contact information from emails, recent contacts through Microsoft “People”, and from your own Outlook contacts
5.2-import contacts in bulk
5.3-designate contacts as “Shared” or “Private”
5.4-access contacts from your phone without integrating into your personal contact list (avoid pocket dials)
5.5-assign shared contacts to any matter and add matter specific notes
5.6- search across general or matter-specific notes on any contact
5.7-assign tags to contacts at firm or matter level
5.8-firm admin can manage contacts and tags in admin portal

6. Teams extends its collaboration through 3rd party business-grade apps like DocuSign and LawToolBox.  “LawToolBox is legal calendaring and deadline management software, and through its integration with Office 365 Teams, it effectively becomes a full matter management suite for litigation groups, combining matter-level calendaring, document management, collaboration, contacts and more.  LawToolBox has received awards for our integrations with Outlook, Teams and SharePoint.  See, LawToolBox Converts Outlook and Teams to Office for Legal (3 min video).

7. Microsoft is adding new features to Teams. Microsoft has added custom backgrounds so judges can use custom backgrounds from their courtroom to help attendees understand everyone’s roles at a glance.  Backgrounds of witnesses can be blurred so that their privacy is protected, and attorneys can watch an entire juries’ facial expressions as testimony is delivered. Teams has added 3×3 panel view so you can see 9 people at once and is soon releasing 7×7 functionality as well as an auditorium view.

In the fall Microsoft will be releasing their own version of breakout rooms and it is anticipated this will allow organizers to call attendees back to a main meeting. Because LawToolBox is built on Teams, when teams improves LawToolBox will just get better.

The video recording and auto captioning features of Teams is further enhanced by the ability of Teams to simultaneously translate and display the captions for 6 different languages at once.

Meetings are built on top of Microsoft Teams can be configured to protect privacy, guard against accidental disclosure of confidential information, built on a Microsoft hardened security platform:

  • chat is disabled for external
  • attendees wait in waiting rooms to be admitted
  • integrated w ability to save docs to SharePoint
  • data resides in client’s tenant
  • use LawToolBox virtual meetings and file-sharing without need for guest access
  • add call-in numbers for virtual meetings at a minimal cost to E3
  • only organizer needs a call-in plan for phone number (minimal cost)
  • E1 or better requirement
  • E3 or better recommended 

Teams is a powerful solution to keep the courts and law firms moving forward during the Coronavirus outbreak, but when you combine it with the matter and docketing management and custom breakout room of LawToolBox, it gives an unparalleled solution for the courts and legal professionals to keep working.

See also:
Thousands of Zoom accounts are for sale on the dark web
US Senate, German government tell staff not to use Zoom …
New York City bans Zoom in schools, citing security concerns …
Zoom’s Data Sailing Into China: FBI Issues Warning of Counter …

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