NetDocuments: It’s More (and Less) Than You Think

NetDocuments (or “NetDocs”) is a robust cloud-based document management system used by law firms, legal departments, and others for more than 20-years. Today, NetDocs is securely managing more than 10-Billion files for those whose lifeblood is the documents they create.

It’s Not Just for the Big Firms

Among NetDocs’ clients are some of the largest law firms in the world with thousands of users. Now, small and midsized firms are discovering that the many advantages of document management are not just for the big guys. As 35*45 Managing Partner Nancy Griffing puts it, “NetDocuments fits in effectively for any law firm of any size that needs to have document management.” Is there a law firm that doesn’t?

Insights from a NetDocuments User

35*45 Consulting is a NetDocs user themselves. They understand that NetDocuments is more than just the system features, functionalities, and bells and whistles. 35*45 appreciates firsthand the business values, like effectiveness, efficiency (read lower cost), and return-on-investment (ROI) that can be achieved.

Yes, document management platforms like NetDocs are designed to solve for the daily document management and workflow frustrations: difficulty in finding documents; dealing with multiple copies and versions; endless email threads with multiple attachments. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Some of the most powerful benefits NetDocuments brings to the practice, and business, of law may surprise you.

The Top 8 Reasons to Consider NetDocs
  1. Document Management, Organization, and Structure: If you ask Nancy Griffing, she will tell you first and for most, the number one reason to consider NetDocs is document management. No surprise there. It’s what NetDocs is for. But as a Partner on the 35*45 leadership team, with an eye on utilization, revenue, and costs, Nancy thinks in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and ROI.

  2. The ROI of Information Security. Law firms are a principal target of ransomware, phishing, hacking, and email spoofing attacks. Hackers know that law firms cannot afford to maintain the security infrastructure and controls necessary to prevent their attacks. The cost is far too high.

    When you implement NetDocuments you are acquiring the highest level of security: ISO 27001:2013 certification for information security that is audited under SSAE 16 (SOC 1 – Type II) and AT 101 (SOC 2 – Type II) to name a few. Not only does this safeguard against ransomware attacks and other data breaches: It means you can expand your business. Absent these certifications, law firms are precluded from working with the many organizations that require them. Consider the opportunity cost of not implementing NetDocs.

  3. Cost Savings. Yes savings. That’s not a typo. Nancy is keen to point out the spend avoidance on resources for infrastructure including security, server storage, redundancies, disaster recovery, and more.

    Most importantly, Nancy asks her clients to consider the following: How many (non-billable) hours are spent simply searching for documents per day? 30-minutes, an hour? Multiply that by the number of attorneys and paralegals per day. Per month. Per year.

    This is part of the firm’s current cost that should factor into your spend analysis when calculating the ROI of document management.

  4. Knowledge Management. “We did something very similar for ABC Corp. 6-years ago, says a partner, look at that pleading.” The associate can’t find it. The firms’ collective know-how, experience, and wisdom are buried in the computer drives, folders, SharePoint sites, desktop backups of retired partners, and who knows where else. One of the firm’s greatest assets: inaccessible.

Then there are those features that really improve workflow. Perhaps more importantly, they improve employee and client satisfaction.

Some “Life saver” Features
  1. Versioning Control. Partner Elizabeth Nguyen-To really likes NetDocs versioning. She says, “it has been a lifesaver for me not having to scramble and look for what’s the most updated version of the document.”

  2. Collaboration Spaces. A powerful workflow enhancement, that enables sharing of documents with clients using secure links. “This gives you the ability to put in password protection and assign different rights to the documents” notes Elizabeth. No more endless email chains with multiple attachments and versions, dramatically improves workflow and client collaboration.

    Internally, rather than send an email that contains the 20 documents that require review by an attorney, a link is provided, progress is tracked, and as each document is completed, it is automatically removed from the queue.

  3. Mobility. Data Analyst, Sarah Rosas loves the ability to access her documents wherever she is on whatever device she is using (phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop). “Being able to access my documents wherever I am, has been really, really useful. And it is super quick!”

  4. Homepage. One of Elizabeth’s favorites, the homepage is fully customizable and can be set up based on matters or cases. And if there are documents that are currently being worked on they can be set as a “favorites” on the homepage for easy access.

Again, from a feature standpoint this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ultimately, the value of document management is much more than the sum of its parts. It is more than “document management” per se. It can

  • • level the playing field between small and large firms
  • • expand business opportunities
  • • capture the firm’s knowledge
  • • defend against ransomware and data breach
  • • improve client service, and much more

Consider the cost of doing business without it.

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