Portals – gateways to consolidate legal department information

The law department of Cisco, which spends each year three percent of its total legal budget on technology, has built a suite of tools, all of which are accessible through a portal. As I conceive it, portal software sits on top of other software packages and pulls together their content (See my posts of Aug. 5, 2005 about supplements to matter management systems; Feb. 12, 2006 comparing an extranet to a portal; Aug. 5, 2005 about a portal in Sears’ law department for litigation support; and April 9, 2006 about a portal in a manufacturer’s law department.)

For example, a portal might draw on the corporate secretary’s database, a document management system, a matter management system and an IP database – all with the goal to compile a full picture of law firm usage or a client’s activities. An intranet site can serve as a passive platform; a portal compiles information.

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