For many legal software companies, major announcements and product enhancements have traditionally been saved up for release at ABA Techshow or LTNY. But with the advent of their own user conference last year, Clio looks to be borrowing from the tech sector (think Apple or Google) and utilizing their own annual event for these types of product releases.
This morning’s opening of the Clio Cloud Conference showcased two new such announcements, namely: a revamp of the product’s UI, dubbed Clio Next; and the release of the company’s new smartphone app for Android.
Clio Next updates include:
- A revamp of the main interface which is now faster and requires less clicks to find what you need.
- Major improvements to its document management (DMS) qualities; possibly challenging 3rd party products like Dropbox.
- Billing functionality also appears to have been improved — single-page bill creation, auto-generation of new fields on bills.
- A cleaner look to the client dashboard (screen cap below, click for larger size).
New Android App
As one would expect, Clio’s new Android app takes its visual lead from the iOS app released last year. It also offers similar functionality to the iOS app, allowing lawyers to work remotely with documents, update their contact list, track time, and so forth. The announcement here, to be blunt, is that Clio now have an App product for Android — an access point not replicated by many competitors. Product shot below:
The whole idea of “product announcements at a user conference” makes a lot of sense, but it’s not a move for every product, or for every consumer audience. Even five years ago, Clio wouldn’t have had the user base to make a conference happen. Ultimately, I think “success” here hinges on a combination of having hit a “critical mass” of customers, and equally important, having nurtured the client feedback loop.
This conference is, in fact, a bit of a test for Clio. Lawyers and law firms need to see the value in attending — to see the value in giving product feedback, and whether that feedback will actually be acted upon. If the client feedback loop is healthy, conference attendance and audience satisfaction will remain high.
And the idea of conducting major product announcements at their user conference? Just an investment.