Lewis Silkin is a law firm that believes in standing out from the crowd. Rated by the Sunday Times as one of the top 100 UK companies to work for four years in a row, the firm has a well-earned reputation as an early adopter and technology leader. Read how Lewis Silkin switched from Workshare to DocsCorp after two years of failing to deliver on SharePoint integration.
About Lewis Silkin
Lewis Silkin is no stranger to technology firsts or shake-ups. It was among the first to implement BigHand and Mimecast in the UK. In 2011, it was the first top 100 firm to launch SharePoint as a replacement for OpenText eDOCS DM. This would require the firm’s technology providers to integrate their products with the new system, including long-time partner Workshare, which provided the firm with document comparison and metadata management.
The business challenge
Two years later, Workshare was still unable to deliver a workable integration solution. Frustration at the firm got to the point where it stopped using Workshare and switched to Microsoft Word's native compare for document comparison. This was not an ideal solution given the lack of integration and Word’s limited compare capabilities. It was at that point the firm started to look for a more permanent solution.
The firm turned to DocsCorp. “Our decision to change to DocsCorp was driven by the fact that Workshare was unable to deliver a workable integration solution. Even using Word's compare functionality proved unacceptable,” said Lewis Silkin IT Director, Jan Durant. “DocsCorp had a track record and was making a name for itself in legal. We didn’t look at any other provider.”
Within a month Lewis Silkin was piloting DocsCorp’s pdfDocs and compareDocs software, and within two the software was deployed across the entire firm. Lunch and learn sessions were organized, but the reality was the software was so intuitive and easy to use that staff were able to get up to speed fairly quickly. In fact, the transition from Workshare to DocsCorp was so smooth that the staff didn’t realize that it was a new solution. “Our lawyers were thrilled to be using a solution that integrated seamlessly with SharePoint. With Workshare, the integration simply wasn’t there. We worked with them for two years to rectify the situation, but once we made the decision to switch, we were in a pilot within a month and had rolled out to the whole firm in two! DocsCorp really knows its stuff where integration is concerned.”
pdfDocs and compareDocs completely integrated with SharePoint and Outlook to streamline workflows and processes. There were also some extra benefits in terms of enhanced functionality.
pdfDocs binder was a revelation for Lewis Silkin in that staff were able to automate the process of converting and binding vast amounts of documents stored in SharePoint into Matter Bibles and Court Bundles. The process was less labor-intensive than previously, reducing costs and freeing up staff to work on other projects.
Staff members were able to add entire matters, maintaining folder and subfolder structure, into a Binder Project, converting the documents to a single or multi-PDF document, complete with a table of contents, cross-document bookmarks, and links as well as a cover page with headers and footers applied across all the documents. The bundled documents could be saved back into SharePoint directly from pdfDocs binder.
With compareDocs, staff members were able to compare two documents for changes from the custom Lewis Silkin Word compare screen, which they hadn’t been able to do previously. compareDocs also enabled users to compare more document types: Word to Word; PDF to PDF; Word to PDF. compareDocs is the only document comparison engine that compares natively, i.e. it doesn’t convert documents to another format in order to complete the comparison. This provides a unique workflow in which users can continue to work and edit the comparison report with formatting and document styles still intact. With compareDocs there is no proprietary viewing technology; no reformatting of documents; no time wasted.
DocsCorp was able to integrate core applications for document comparison and PDF management with Lewis Silkin’s SharePoint environment within a month—a task that Workshare was unable to achieve even after two years of trying.