Bourland, Wall & Wenzel
The IT team at Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, based in Fort Worth, are focused on improving and stabilizing the systems and processes the firm’s staff use each day, without disrupting existing workflows and structures.
They had tried various tools to control changes in documents and remove metadata on files leaving the office. And, the firm came to Workshare for their end solution, because of its accuracy and strong integration with other programs.
In early 2016, IT Director, Alex Zielinski, was going through a standard systems review and evaluating the number of licenses and applications the firm had. To reduce costs; administrative overheads; and standardize and stabilize the desktop, the decision was made to replace a previous metadata removal system with the superior file and metadata security features of Workshare 9.
The firm’s decision to replace this key security feature unlocked the twin benefits of protecting their clients’ documents by removing any sensitive metadata, while at the same time enabling other teams in the firm to have the world’s best document comparison tool at their fingertips.
At the end of their roll out of Workshare 9, one of the firm’s associate attorneys began to investigate its additional capabilities and soon started to share and collaborate on files with other lawyers using the sharing features.
“When we rolled out and upgraded Workshare we weren’t looking at file sharing as a requirement. We were more concerned with increasing our security and providing comparison functionality. We already have an established process with our existing DMS around how our work product documents are managed, but when we discovered the extremely useful collaboration feature of Workshare, productivity really increased.” Said Alex.
“It allowed attorneys and staff to assemble the research and related documents in one place and share not just the content of those documents, but also include comments. The extra background materials that have historically not been saved to the DMS, were now easily accessible to everyone, instead of living as paper copies in the often moving client file.”
By using the sharing features of Workshare 9, lawyers have been enabled to review and comment on supporting material and work on it without having to carry around massive folders of Wills or Trust documents. This, in turn, has helped teams progress cases faster.
The positive uptake of file sharing through Workshare 9 surprised Alex, he added, “While there were some initial concerns from lawyers on the protection and storage of their files, the move to using a cloud-based system has been a big leap forward for a group of people who are pretty traditional. It’s great to see our lawyers adopting this technology so naturally.”
At present Workshare 9 is being used for internal collaboration on research documents and other case related material, but following a security review and the creation of a formal process around the system, there are plans to introduce it to client spaces next.