Clio + Google Apps = Love
Last week legal SaaS pioneer Clio did something extraordinary; they acknowledged the 800 lb. gorilla that I had been pointing out for 2 years. Yes, I’m talking about Google Apps. And yes, this is one more sign that if the Mohammad won’t go to the SaaS mountain then the mountain must come to Mohammad. Which is exactly what Clio did.
I have pushed for complete Google Apps/Clio integration since day 1. Even as Clio launched at the ABA Tech Show 2 years ago I could see that it was made for Google Apps and vice verse. Sadly, it seemed as if nobody at Clio agreed. Or at least they didn’t share my faith that the marriage would be worth the time, the pain, or the expense … until now.
What does this mean to small firms and solos? To begin with, if like me you’ve been experimenting with alternatives in an effort to break the iron grip of overpriced desktop-based systems, you’ve probably managed to scatter contacts, addresses, appointments, and documents across a range of applications like Net Documents, Google Apps, Zoho, Outlook, Word, Excel, and CRM apps such as those hosted by Salesforce.com. That means fragmentation, lack of interoperability, lack of real-time updates … in other words, a mess. But you can now consolidate that information onto Clio or Google Apps (both provide easy loading features for data), then share it effortlessly and permanently. Other features you can now take advantage of include these
- Clio can now be found on Google Apps Marketplace and effortlessly added to Google Apps. As long as you have a Clio subscription you have full interaction;
- One-time sign on – users only need to enter a password once to access both environments and can access Clio directly from the Google Apps navigation bar;
- Synchronization of Clio contacts and Calendar entries with those in Google Apps, and vice-versa (this is the Big One because it ensures maximum coverage);
- E-mail integration between Clio and Google Apps mail (i.e. Gmail for Business) via Clio’s recently-released “email drop-box” functionality.
Naturally this is not the last time Clio or another SaaS provider will bow in Google’s direction; or even Microsoft’s. Office 2010 has made a number of strides in online functionality that may yet tip the scales in the company’s favor. Beyond that, the next advancements in bringing lawyers’ desktops and browsers together may come from any of the many innovators in this field including Zoho, Zimbra, OpenOffice, etc. Only time will tell. But it will sure be fun to watch.