MatterSphere by Thompson Reuters Ltd

MatterSphere by Thompson Reuters Ltd is a unified Case Management System that has been developed over many years. The system benefits from a consistent, repeatable matter workflow process which means that users have more control over their work, their team and organisation. The system is the largest of software developed by Thomson Reuters and is highly flexible and can be modified and tailored extensively.

The System

MatterSphere is built on Microsoft’s .Net platform which has allowed the developers with the opportunity to design the system for specific business functions, effectively and efficiently. The platform allows for multi-model reports, which include features for budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and other functions. The system is accessible from within the familiar Microsoft Office environment and consists of Case Management and Interactive workflow, document management and assembly, Contact Management and client portal.

Strengths

MatterSphere is a very comprehensive system that has extensive document management features, such as version control with check in/out security preventing other users from being able to open and make amendments. One of the finer features includes the seamless integration with Thompson Reuters legal resources such as Westlaw. MatterSphere is one of the very few systems which include an SDK (Software Development Kit). This allows full control for development. All this makes the system intuitive, agile and robust. MatterSphere is highly customisable and many aspects of the system can be modified using system built in functions. The system uses BI (Business Intelligence) and BPM (Business Process Modelling) throughout, enabling users to accurately map their work types to the workflows.

Weakness

MatterSphere has the highest price tag of all Legal Software. The system is designed to be implemented with very large organisations with an in house IT department that have knowledge of Software Development. Even after having an IT department, many hours of development time would be required to customise the system.

Support and training

MatterSphere would require in-depth training for users and as well as technical training for the system administrators. The training costs are relatively expensive. Organisations are expected to provide the System support from their own IT departments although MatterSphere also have a support team where required.

The Future

MatterSphere will need to look at two important factors for future growth. Firstly, they may decide to review the pricing structure which rules out the vast majority of the market. Secondly, they will need to look at making the product in a simple form so that mid-sized firms could use it without the need for a dedicated IT department. Of course, MatterSphere may well stand by the present strategy of serving the elite market where profit is high and competition is predominately low.

The Verdict

MatterSphere is a large, complicated and powerful desktop application. However, if the design and deployment is done well, then it can serve large law firms well by allowing every feature and function to be utilised as it is supposed to. For the vast majority of the user market, MatterSphere will be out of range due to price and size.

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