With teams distributed across time zones, an explicit document checkout model limits the ability to produce work product efficiently. There are several limitations to an explicit checkout model:

  • People must manage a schedule around editing the document.
  • When external collaboration is necessary, emailing documents provides a simple delivery mechanism but leaves the firm at the risk of potential data leaks. 
  • Merging changes is a manual and time-consuming process that is fraught with risk.
  • Some users already use private sharing solutions to collaborate without the firm's knowledge, and the resulting work product is not governed. 

Co-authoring allows users to take a fresh approach to working collaboratively on a document. While the document is still explicitly checked out, it can be shared with a selected group of individuals. This ensures a single individual controls the versioning process while all activities during this collaborative session are audited back in iManage Work on the original document. Documents are shared in the firm's secured OneDrive for Business environment during the co-authoring session, ensuring that the documents do not lose governance.

You can access iManage's co-authoring solution by using the:

  • Co-Authoring ribbon group available on the iManage tab in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint if you have iManage Work Desktop for Windows installed on your system, or if you have DeskSite or FileSite and then install the iManage Co-Authoring Add-on. 
  • Co-Authoring tab available only in DeskSite after the iManage Co-Authoring Add-on is installed.

It provides several key benefits to both end-users and the firm.

  • Co-authored document auditing: Activities and contributors are audited to provide visibility into the co-authoring session.
  • No dependency on a Microsoft desktop sync client: Simplified client deployment that reduces the number of failure points.
  • Ability to work from any device: Users can work from their desktop and use their key tools to produce the work product, or they can switch to a mobile device when only light editing is necessary. Their changes are saved so that they can seamlessly switch between devices and continue their work.
  • Support for OneDrive on-premises and as part of Office 365: Flexible design enables firms to balance security with ease of deployment and easily switch between the two deployments with minimal effort. External collaborators, such as contractors, can contribute to a document without needing access to the iManage repository.
  • Streamlined workflows designed for the end user: Sharing, accessing, and saving co-authored documents workflows are thoughtfully designed to minimize user friction and increase adoption.
  • Advanced co-authoring workflow support: iManage Work Co-Authoring supports a variety of use cases, from internal collaboration for quick edits to complex external collaboration that can last months.
  • Advanced logging: iManage Work Co-Authoring users are not just end-users; they are also the IT support staff. Advanced logging helps IT personnel to support users who run into problems.