Mobile Helix Demonstrates New LINK Mobile App Productivity Features for Lawyers at ILTACON 2015

See you Sunday at Caesars!

Ceasars_Palace_atrium Wikimedia Commons greater crop

Mobile Helix, a pioneer in encrypted mobile solutions for lawyers, announced today that it will unveil the latest features of its LINK mobile app at ILTACON 2015. LINK is a single secure app which enables lawyers to work with DMS, NetDocuments, Outlook, SharePoint, and the firm intranet from smartphones and tablets.

Mobile Helix will demonstrate LINK’s new line-up of features which no other single app offers including: viewable NRL attachments; Send-and-File-to DMS; secure document edit; and search of all repositories, including DMS.

Continue reading

Email is Alive & Kicking

Email Jay Yarrow delete 2K emails

Ah, email. Can’t live with it; can’t live without it. If, like me, you work with clients and people outside of your company, email is probably your lifeline.

At the same time, many of us are inundated with email. The Inbox is so overwhelming that people turn to chat to rise above the noise. Thus the debate as to whether email is dead.

Email Productivity Curve

Continue reading

ILTA Webinar : Make the Most of DMS – Mobilize with LINK

logo_ilta peer powered

View the recording here.

Now DMS is easy to use from smartphones and tablets with the LINK mobile app.

• Open an email & view an NRL attachment
• Send and email and File-to DMS
• Compose an email and attach a doc from DMS or SharePoint
• No VPN is used

Continue reading

Enterprise: Time to Get Onboard, “Mobile is Eating the World”

Photo: Charles Forerunner/Unsplash

Photo: Charles Forerunner/Unsplash

Inspired by data from “Mobile is Eating the World” by Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, aka A16Z. 

Smartphones and the software which runs on them are changing everything we do. How we take photos has radically changed. We pay for lunch with our phones and order groceries from an app. It’s easy and efficient.

I am interested in enterprise mobility. Some of the data in “Mobile is Eating the World” should be a wake-up call to businesses. Below, marked with bullets, I have cited a few data points from “Mobile is Eating the World.” My thoughts on enterprise mobility are in blue font.

Continue reading

Crossing Things Off Your To-Do List and Staying In Control While Mobile

Eureka Light Bulb

Now that we understand why it is so difficult to be productive while mobile, in this third post we turn to a potential solution to this frustrating problem.

For several years now, enterprise software has been designed and built to run inside the corporate firewall, accessible from any web browser inside the company network. This made things so much easier – easier for IT to manage and deploy a single installation rather than software on every desktop, easier for a user to be able to use a company desktop, later a company laptop, and now a personal laptop or computer from home.

Those same systems that are so much more connected and convenient than software on our desktops are preventing our mobile devices from being more useful. Mobile devices can’t easily connect to portals and file repositories behind the corporate firewall. The result is that all those systems must be redesigned to work for mobile. So, how can I access the information that I need to cross things off my to-do list when I am mobile?

Redesigning existing systems is costly, complicated and is not feasible for most IT organizations. Fortunately, there is a better way to expose internal systems to mobile devices with a lot less work and effort. Two technologies, when combined, yield the desired functionality without complete rewrites. The first is secure containerization and the second is HTML5.

Secure containers have been in use for several years and are a natural evolution of MDM (Mobile Device Management). MDM enabled IT to lock down an entire device, monitor its location at all times, and even wipe all contents remotely – including any personal apps, pictures, and videos. A secure container enables IT to control just the corporate data on a mobile device, including the ability to wipe and to set policies on its use, without sacrificing personal privacy. This is good for security and is the first part of the solution. However, to be really useful, the container must also provide access to the suite of applications needed to complete the everyday game of Tetris that is our to-do list.

Enter HTML5 – the technology that is already powering many web based portals behind the firewall. With an HTML5 container, accessing internal resources – whether they are documents in a DMS, a corporate intra-net portal, SharePoint, or other web-based technologies becomes much easier.

An HTML5 container is a native app that provides core functionality like offline access and push-notifications. Enterprise web apps run securely inside the container. Very little rewriting is needed, HTML5 is more portable and future proof than native code implementations for mobile. Most IT teams have a good understanding of HTML5 and are able to write apps using it quickly and easily. Many existing apps that run on the corporate intranet run inside an HTML5 container unchanged. In addition, existing legacy systems like Exchange 2003 and SharePoint 2003 have well documented web-based APIs to access them, making it easy for new web apps to be written on top of legacy systems for mobile use.

The world has gone mobile. Now it’s time for corporate systems to catch up. Let me access my files from my mobile phone without sacrificing security. Let me grab a document from DMS and email it to a client over lunch. Let me quickly take an internal attachment, rename it, and send it to an external client while enjoying a cup of coffee. Enable me to get valuable tasks done whenever I have time instead of later when I’m at the office. Let me get more small inter-dependent tasks done on the go – much like I can quickly turn, twist, and move shapes in Tetris. Then I can get more rows cleared from my to-do list and have more time and more patience for my kids.

Thank you for reading. Please comment below and tell us what you think. We would love to hear your thoughts.


Why Crossing Things Off Your To-Do List Isn’t That Simple


Now that we understand how challenging it is to cross things off a real to-do list, this second post asks the simple but important question – why?

Every new technology first makes things easier, relatively speaking, and then it makes them harder again. Why?

First, my mobile phone came along and made it easier for me to keep track of my meetings. It enabled me to communicate with colleagues and customers more easily than before. I didn’t need to go back to the office to send an email, I could do it from my phone. I could check my schedule without waiting to get back to my desk. That was great – but at the same time, the desktop technology in my office kept progressing.

Suddenly, being able to send a text email while mobile wasn’t making my life any easier. I need a file which is back at the office on the corporate network, or inside a DMS (Document Management System, like FileSite or NetDocuments) and the calendar isn’t too helpful without being able to see availability of my team. I have a great device for communicating at all times, but I have no way to see my company intranet portal to check on important client matters. And so it goes…

For several years now, enterprise software has been designed and built to run inside the corporate firewall, accessible by any web browser inside the company network. This architecture made things so much easier – easier for IT to manage and deploy a single installation rather than software on every desktop, easier for a user to be able to use a company desktop, later a company laptop, and now a personal laptop or even a computer from home.

However, life and work today are mobile. The same systems that were so much more connected and convenient than software on our desktops are keeping our mobile devices from being more useful when we work. Our mobile devices can’t easily connect to portals and file repositories behind the corporate firewall. Do all of those important systems now need to be redesigned if they are going to work for mobile?

Redesigning whole systems is costly, lengthy, and complicated and is beyond the reach of all but the very largest and best funded IT teams. This is not a realistic solution. So what is the answer? How can I access the information that I need to just cross things off my to-do list when I am mobile?

Stay tuned. We will explore one potential solution in the third post in this series.
What do you think? Are you searching for the efficiency and productivity benefits that mobile technology promises?

Please join this conversation – we would love to hear your comments and so please share away below.

Thanks for reading.

– Ilya

Is Crossing Things Off Your To-Do List Really That Simple?

Tetris Image

What does your to-do list look like? Mine is like a never ending game of Tetris. I try to follow the advice of Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better ( and make a very concise list of things that need to be done. Their advice is to avoid vague concepts (such as “find a new dentist” or “learn Italian”) and instead write down concrete actionable items (such as “email Jayne and ask what dentist she goes to” or “look up the local university’s Italian class schedule”) – but the problem is that’s too simplistic.

Most of our to-do items are interdependent on other things that need to get done in parallel, or at least done in a certain order. Crossing a single item is never as simple as that – first I need to complete 3 other things, which all depend on other tasks as well, and so on. So, is crossing things off your to do list really that simple?

This is the first of three blog posts on this topic. In this first post we define the problem. In the second post we will examine the challenges with current technology that makes finding a solution difficult, and in the third post we will profile one potential solution.

In Tetris (, I need to move that squiggle over and flip it, so it can neatly complete 1 row, but it leaves a block on the next line, making it harder to clear the following row.

Today I have one simple, concrete task to complete: finish this blog post. It’s only 2 or 3 paragraphs and shouldn’t take very long at all, so I set aside two hours in my calendar to work on it. I grab my iPad and head over to the corner coffee shop where I just finish ordering my white chocolate mocha when my phone buzzes. A client is asking me for the latest edits of a document. The document is back at the office inside our DMS. (Document Management System) I can’t get to it from here. I need to wait until I get back to the office. Another email comes in 1 minute later, asking to move the meeting I scheduled with some colleagues. I would do it now, but I can’t see everyone’s availability on my mobile calendar app. A few minutes later someone wants some documents sent over. They are different attachments in different emails I’ve been exchanging with my partner on this issue over the past couple of weeks, so I can’t just find them and forward the emails to our client as is. So there I am heading back to the office with 3 new to do items, and no progress on the original task. Is crossing a single, simple item off my to do list really that simple?

Sound familiar? Are you looking for the efficiency and productivity benefits that mobile technology promises? Whatever you think, we would love to hear from you so please share your comments below.

Please watch this space. This is the first of three posts that I am writing. More to follow soon!

– Ilya

Mobility for Lawyers – File Access is Key

iphone 6 in hand V2With 91% of lawyers using smartphones¹, Legal IT professionals are deploying solutions to expand mobile productivity at their firms. Here are three tips for mobile prosperity in 2015.

1. Files for the win.
Lawyers are all about billing. Their billable work is frequently related to electronically stored docs: contracts, briefs, and supporting research. Make sure that your mobile solution provides your lawyers with secure mobile access to their files.

The challenge is that files are stored in an array of repositories. Most often files are stored on-premises in a Document Management (DM) system such as WorkSite. Files may also be stored on-premises in SharePoint or Windows/CIFS file shares. At some firms, files may be stored in NetDocuments, which is a growing cloud-hosted DM. Use of public cloud solutions like Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive for file sharing is less common.²

Wherever your firm stores its files, from WorkSite to OneDrive, make sure that your lawyers can access their files from smartphones and tablets. A lawyer needs to be able to quickly find a file, review it, then to email or share the file, along with pertinent advice, to the client.

2. User experience will make it or break it.
If you work in legal technology, you are well-familiar with this dynamic. Lawyers have high standards. Consumer apps are easy and intuitive. Lawyers want the same at work. If your mobility solution does not provide an experience which is on par with consumer apps it won’t be adopted. A single workspace app with email, files, DM, SharePoint, calendar, and contacts is ideal.

Be sure to include lawyers in your trial. Poor user experience is the leading cause of failure of enterprise mobile apps.³ There’s precious little worse than deploying a solution which becomes shelfware.

3. Keep it simple.
The world has changed. Buying physical hardware is old school. Your mobility solution should not rely on proprietary servers. If it is to be deployed on-premises, look for a solution based on Virtual Machines, HTTPS, Exchange, HTML5, that is, infrastructure which you use today. Standard IT infrastructure will keep your costs and maintenance efforts low. If your firm is ready for a cloud-hosted mobility solution, that is often the simplest way to proceed.

At Mobile Helix we specialize in mobile applications which make it easy for legal teams to be productive from smartphones and tablets. If you are exploring ways to provide mobility to your lawyers we would be happy to discuss your needs and how we might be able to help you.


Twitter: @mobilehelix


2. Recent ILTA data indicates that 15% of law firms use Dropbox for large file sharing. This figure was down in 2014 from 2013.

3. Kony Enterprise Mobility Survey.

It’s the Small Things

No, I’m not referring to diamonds and pearls. I’m talking about the mobile user experience. In fact, last week we were meeting with a professional services IT team who was complimenting us on our email features. Their network engineering lead said, “I like the way that you have thought about email. It’s the small things which make a big difference.” So true. The mobile user experience is about small capabilities which make working from mobile devices easier.

Mobile is a new cat. Let’s face it, keying in data is slow and cumbersome compared to the desktop keyboard. Do you key with two hands on your smartphone? Not if one is clutching your briefcase or the subway strap.

The less we have to type on our smartphones, the better. If I am reading an email from Elizabeth and I want to see all of my emails from Elizabeth, I really don’t want to have to type “Elizabeth” in a search box. I want to tap to find all of my other emails from her. And if I want to find an email which Elizabeth had sent me which has an attachment, I want to narrow my search to Elizabeth’s emails with attachments by tapping as well. To advance through those emails, I want to use a swipe gesture.

One of the workflows which we are focused on is taking action on files. If my company’s files are stored behind the company firewall, e.g., in CIFS fileshares, SharePoint, and an ECM, then I want to be able to quickly access those files without typing. If I am waiting for a flight and need to send a file to a client, I want to be able to attach that file to my email in matter of a few taps. If I want to save a file to review it on that flight, I need to be able to do that with a couple of taps.

We enable all of these use cases, and more, in Link. But the work on user experience is never done and we would love your input.

Take our Link Test Drive. No software is deployed on your site. It’s an easy way to see how the little things in Link can enable you to get real work done from your smartphone or tablet. You can contact us here.

– Maureen

What Did You Do Today?

Mobility is moving on.

Today we are in Phase III.

Phase I was the BlackBerry. It was a godsend. Let’s not forget our devotion to our CrackBerries. Email-on-demand turned our worlds around. We could be in contact with our jobs no matter where we were. My first smartphone was a personally owned BlackBerry. I had global customers who were working on all kinds of schedules. I no longer had to tether myself to my notebook PC all weekend. I was free.

BlackBerries got the job done for many years. But they were a closed system.

Phase II was Mobile Device Management. The good news was that now a variety of devices, and especially those iPhones initially, could be used for work. Where I worked in those days, if you were in sales or field engineering, the company isssued you a BlackBerry. But the field engineers bought their own iPhones, and then Androids, and rigged their own access, mostly to email. Unsupported, of course. Hence, the reaction was to manage those devices. Require a pin code. Wipe the device. Onerous, yes. But the company felt compelled to take action to protect its data.

Years later, where are we with Phase II, the MDM Phase? Per GigaOm’s discussions with CIOs, we have not gotten very far. A couple of their findings:

  • Device management was limited to password enforcement and remote wipe.
  • Email was the only widely supported secure app.

Phase II leaves us in about the same place as we were in Phase I, but on more types of devices.

Now, we’re in Phase III.

What did you do on your mobile device today?

Here’s what I did today on my way to a meeting.

I received an RFP via email from one of our customers. I was headed to the train where connectivity is unreliable. I read the email and saved the attached RFP for offline access.

I reviewed the RFP on the train, offline.

Still offline on the train, I wanted to add a reference from one of our existing success stories. So, I went to my company’s List of Customer References via our SharePoint App. I found a great reference to use.

I created a proposal, including the key reference.

Back on line, I checked the proposal into our SharePoint Shared Documents site.

I emailed a link to the proposal to one of our engineers for technical review. He checked it out of SharePoint, added some specs, checked it back into SharePoint and sent me an email with a link to the document.

I received his email. I reviewed the document and his additions. It was ready to submit.

I sent an email to our customer and attached a link to the proposal. Voila. Proposal created and returned. Time for my meeting.

Phase III. It’s about moving beyond email. It’s about taking action on real work. Now.