Last week I had a webex with Paul O’Connor from GrantSelect, Paul’s an ex Autonomy iManage employee and was demoing a new product GrantSelect have developed for WorkSite.
There are three main areas to the product:
Sending WorkSite Documents/Links
This I think is the neatest area and is a very simple (from a user perspective, not for one minute suggesting technically it’s simple!) solution to a classic WorkSite problem.
For those that use WorkSite, do you default your “Attach worksite document” as an NRL link or as a Copy of the document? If it’s set to the former you risk sending your clients useless NRLs, but if the later you could clog up your inboxes internally with large attachments (and lose all your version control as people use the copy in the Inbox rather than the latest copy in the document management system).
The GrantSelect solution is a service that sorts this out. You can set WorkSite to always send an NRL link, if it’s internal then great! People get the small link and all the version control, security etc WorkSite brings. If it’s external then the GrantSelect product swaps out the link for an actual copy! Thus your client gets a useful document.
It’s a simple yet effective solution to a simple but annoying problem. My only question is will it be cheap enough? It’s one of those problems that probably can’t justify a high priced solution.
Receiving documents in emails as attachments
Next part of the product is for incoming emails, specifically those with attachments. The email is processed before the inbox and the documents are replaced with NRL links, the documents are then filed in a secure workspace (I think Paul said they are secured to the email recipients, but can’t be 100%).
If you subsequently file the email from your inbox into WorkSite, the documents are also refiled to the same workspace (for example, alongside the email in the client matter workspace).
This one I wasn’t too sure about and after a few chats I got similar feedback. Which is although the storage saving and single version controlled instance of the attachment is very nice, you’re ultimately messing with the email. We couldn’t help thinking that fee earners won’t appreciate their email not being as it was sent from the client.
I would love to hear other people’s comments on this one:
What do you think about the whole "email as a record" question?
Do you think people in general will get it?
Working remotely (without WorkSite for BlackBerry!)
This one’s another nice simple idea, especially for those Blackberry or Outlook Web Access (OWA) users without access to the document management system.
Basically it allows you send an email to a "Doc Request" email address, be it either an NRL or just a document number. The product will then email you back a copy of the document for you to access either through your BlackBerry or OWA.
Again like “Sending WorkSite Documents/Links” it’s a simple solution to a common problem (especially if you started defaulting all your internal links as NRLs!).
Paul also mentioned that they were considering this for InterAction, so you could email in a contact and receive details of that contact in return.
Overall I think these are very nice simple solutions to common problems (they’re not major WorkSite issues, but niggles that crop up time and time again). The key to these products will be cost and scalability. I can’t see people wanting to spend huge amounts on these problems (especially at the moment), but at a reasonable cost they could form part of a usability and email management solution. The scalability due to the volumes of emails medium/large law firms will receive.
There is also the benefit of reduced storage space (which for email could be considered a major issue due to the exponential growth of the stuff!) and keeping the multiple copies of emails with links to single instances of the documents will facilitate this, but as I’ve mentioned I’m not sure about the ramifications of this email “alteration”? Also this area will need some hard case study evidence as to the cost benefit.
The full name of the product is GS Link Warden for Worksite and there’s more information over on the Grant Select website (http://www.grantselect.co.uk/products/products.htm)
One final thing that I thought was in relation to my recent posts on email management. That is with WorkSite 8.5 on the horizon, Zantaz EAS (or other email archiving) and Exchange already in use, it’s a lot to think about tying all these technologies together into something that in the end makes file management (especially of emails) easier for the fee earner. I mean the fee earner doesn’t care about IT storage issues, they want their electronic file to be as easy to browse, read and manipulate as the paper one was/is!