The power of portal-driven content management

Briggs and Morgan, a prominent Midwest law firm serving clients from across the United States, has a long and proud history of representing organisations and individuals in civil law matters. Today the firm has more than 180 attorneys who serve a range of clients including multinational corporations, business start- ups, commercial enterprises, nonprofit educational and charitable institutions, utilities, governmental agencies, public bodies and individuals. The firm has offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Briggs has relied upon Open Text eDOCS DM and its predecessors to manage important content for over two decades. It has become a key part of how the firm minimises risk and meets internal compliance standards.

The challenge: associating related content

As most legal knowledge workers will attest, one of the biggest challenges of information management is the fact that data related to a specific case or matter is generally spread across multiple data sources. Matters can include thousands of documents and information in different formats and applications. Word processing documents, spreadsheets, email, financial data, etc. can all be related, and relevant to a search.

Ms. Mary Houle, software support manager at Briggs, explains the role of legal practice management applications in meeting these challenges. “Practice management applications collate information from multiple systems, based on its relevance to a subject, and provides the end user with a consolidated, portal view. As powerful as eDOCS DM is as a document management system, it is only one component of a portal view. Fortunately, eDOCS DM provides such rich profiling capabilities, the metadata is well-suited to be used by portal applications.” Ms. Houle’s team examined other practice management applications that would connect to eDOCS DM as well as other data sources. Ultimately, these applications did not provide the desired return on investment; the firm wanted to find a way to provide end users with a consolidated view of the rm’s documents and data, but at a reasonable cost.

Providing web-based access to all content related to a matter in an agile, effective user interface was clearly an opportunity to increase efficiency, both now and in the future. Ms. Houle noted that in a recent study, it was projected that over 60% of the work force in the U.S. will be working remotely on a regular basis by 2013. The software team determined that it was a priority to incorporate web-based access to business information. 

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