Peter Smithson, Support Team Leader, switched to cleanDocs and compareDocs for stability & reliability

Peter Smithson is Support Team Leader at a leading commercial law firm, well known for its banking and finance practice and its breadth of services to commercial clients. Peter has been at the firm for 13 years, and in his current role is responsible for the management of the helpdesk and support staff.  One of his key objectives is to implement robust processes in order to ensure a high quality of service is provided to both internal and external customers.

The business challenge

When critical legal applications such as document comparison and metadata management fail to work, you contact the vendor. When the vendor fails to resolve the problem in a timely and satisfactory manner, you look for an alternative solution or technology vendor. That’s precisely what Peter did, when his firm was experiencing problems with Workshare Professional in its Citrix environment.

“The problem was really two-fold,” recalls Peter, “We experienced lots of problems with the product, and it was taking too long to resolve the matter. In some cases, nothing could be done ‘because that’s the way the product works.’ This frustration eventually left us with no option but to look for an alternative solution.

Peter was familiar with DocsCorp and its document productivity suite, and so invited them in to demonstrate cleanDocs and compareDocs. The team liked what they saw and decided to pilot the applications in their test environment. The testing was conducted over a number of weeks with the applications running alongside the other applications in the firm’s standard operating environment. The pilot group consisted of secretaries, fee earners and partners—such was the level of interest in finding an alternative solution.

Our solution

All Peter wanted for his firm was a stable and reliable product that could compare the differences between two versions of the same document, specifically Word 2000, Excel and PDF documents. Peter recalls that they initially considered MS Word Compare, but decided against it because it lacked many of the features and functionality that came with compareDocs.

The compareDocs approach to document comparison and workflow is unique. Its easy to use interface lets you compare anything to anything, working seamlessly with the applications legal professionals use every day. There is no proprietary viewing technology, which means there is no more reformatting of documents. In terms of comparing documents, compareDocs lets you compare Word to Word, PDF to PDF, Word to PDF, and scanned images to Word or PDF.

A Comparison Report is generated showing the differences between the documents. You can choose to display changes as a traditional redline or marked up with Track Changes in a PDF document or in a Word document. A Track Changes Comparison Report allows you to accept/reject the changes directly in MS Word. Our firm wanted to output as a redline recalls Peter, “we are stuck in our ways and prefer to output comparisons as redline documents.”

cleanDocs is a metadata management application that removes metadata and hidden electronic information such as comments and invisible text from a document. It is a breakthrough product for desktop and mobile users, which removes more than 100 metadata types from documents at sub-second speeds, eliminating bottlenecks and lost productivity. The product is able to achieve these blistering speeds through binary level and multi-thread processing.

cleanDocs does not need to open the authoring application. In fact, the user does not need to have the application. Instead, cleanDocs analyzes and cleans the documents at the binary or direct file level. It also takes full advantage of multi-thread processing, supporting all available cores. For example, on an 8-core CPU it can process up to 8 documents at a time to make light work of large batch cleaning operations. cleanDocs supports 4, 8, 16 and 32 CPU cores.

Other benefits

According to Peter “there have been no complaints since rolling out the products. In the world of IT, no news is definitely goods news. In looking for a Workshare replacement, we wanted products that were stable and reliable. We didn’t want a long list of amazing features, we just wanted the products to do what they said they would do. Both cleanDocs and compareDocs met the brief.”

“We were also impressed with the user interfaces for both applications.” All DocsCorp companion products share a familiar MS Office look and feel. The modern user interface reduces complexity and clutter, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand. This will also reduce training requirements as it works like most of the standard applications on a user’s desktop.

Although his firm did not require integration with a document management system or with SharePoint, all DocsCorp products provide out-of-the-box integration with the world’s leading document management and enterprise content management systems.

In summary

Peter Smithson, Support Team Leader at a London based law firm, was experiencing product and support problems with Workshare Professional that just couldn’t be resolved. The decision was made to switch to cleanDoc and compareDocs from DocsCorp after a robust pilot. The stability, reliability, clean UI and speed of the products have ended the frustration users were previously experiencing with their document comparison and metadata cleaning applications. 

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