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 abandoned Workshare for DocsCorp after two years of failing to deliver on SharePoint DMS integration.
About Lewis Silkin
Lewis Silkin is no stranger to technology firsts or technology 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 DMS as a replacement for OpenText eDOCS DM. This would require the firm’s technology providers to integrate their products with the new DMS, including long-time partner Workshare, which provided the firm with Workshare DeltaView and Protect for 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 MS Word native compare for document comparison. This was not an ideal solution given the lack of integration and MS 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 MS Word compare native 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.”
DocsCorp is a global software provider to law firms, specializing in developing products that integrate with the applications and systems law firms use every day. Its products integrate with over 40 different case, document and records management systems. In addition, it frequently customizes its software and integration to support specific workflows on request.
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 our SharePoint DMS. 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 pilot within a month and had rolled out to the whole firm in two! DocsCorp really knows its stuff where integration is concerned.”
DocsCorp’s pdfDocs and compareDocs completely integrated with SharePoint DMS and Outlook to streamline workflows and processes. There were also some extra benefits in terms of enhanced functionality...
The Binder feature in pdfDocs 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 personnel to work on other projects.
Staff members were able to add entire matters, maintaining folder and subfolder structure, into a Binder workspace, 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 or burned to DVD 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 DMS within a month—a task that Workshare was unable to achieve even after two years of trying.