Passionate about adopting innovative technologies that really helps its business, Ploum, the Netherlands law firm with a difference, shares its NetDocuments journey to the cloud.
The dynamic firm started its search for a document management system way back in 2014. Today everybody at Ploum uses NetDocuments whether a fee earner or a finance, marketing or HR professional.
Challenge: The Need for Change
Ploum wanted to make its document management more efficient, easier and flexible, recognising the importance of finding a technology that would adapt to the evolving workstyles of the associates and partners in the firm.
“The world and work is ever changing. I’m always looking for new technologies and tools that can help us deliver excellent service to our clients,” explained IT Manager Ewa Krysmann, who has been with Ploum for 17 years.
Over that time Krysmann has seen and driven lots of change and has a successful track record for implementing technological innovations to drive positive business outcomes.
From the outset, a cloud based solution was a must.
“Cloud and software as a service just makes sense to me. I don’t worry about server administration, maintenance and energy consumption. The capital investment is nominal but we can scale as business need dictates,” Krysmann explained.
Solution: A Platform and Partner with a Vision for the Future
From the first demo, NetDocuments resonated with even the most experienced lawyers at Ploum because of its usability and obvious benefits. NetDocuments was chosen as a proven, true, single instance cloud platform with a robust security posture, compelling usability and an ongoing product development vision.
“NetDocuments promised they would continue innovating and improving their products. This is indeed the case and that’s what we want in a technology partner,” said Krysmann.
The roll-out at Ploum was done in two phases. First was a small distinct group – the notaries – a team of 20 people. Second phase was firm-wide to legal and functional teams, amounting to 135 employees.
“This approach worked well for us because we have to keep notary work totally separate from our lawyers, so they formed a natural, manageable starting point. It also meant we then had an informal group of NetDocuments helpers in place for the much larger roll-out,” Krysmann explained.
Results: What does Success look like?
Krysmann’s team used a combination of classic training and floor walking to ensure everyone was comfortable using the new tools. Even lawyers that may not usually look forward to change have seen the benefits. Ploum wanted to help those who weren’t as tech saavy quickly experience the advantages of the technology.
“Our senior team understands that the next generation of lawyers is the future of the firm and since go-live they’ve experienced the benefits of working with NetDocuments for themselves,” said Krysmann.
The value in NetDocuments was proven very soon after implementation, during a significant and high profile bankruptcy matter where Ploum needed to work alongside several other firms.
“There was a tidal wave of data to store, manage and share between people inside and outside the firm. We had NetDocuments and it gave us clear advantage over the other law firms involved,” said Krysmann.
NetDocuments quickly became the proof of concept for the firm’s cloud strategy. The company has now moved to a cloud-based PMS, Microsoft Office 365 and also uses Microsoft Surface tablets.
“Our people really can work everywhere, doing everything in the cloud. Several of our partners travel the world for their work and consider themselves successful digital nomads now. They agree NetDocuments delivers obvious and credible business benefits at reasonable cost,” said Krysmann.
The Future: Implementing Tools for Improved Collaboration
Ploum are planning to use ndMail™ and ndThread™ in 2019. Krysmann is confident that the collaboration and communication at the heart of these tools will be a hit at the firm.
“The collaboration and communication at the heart of ndThread will improve and organise conversational style e-communications. We’ll also be able to comment and collaborate directly within a document even when working in location disparate teams. Plus, filing emails will be even easier with ndMail,” said Krysmann.
The partners are on board as well, “So we have the ideal – senior lawyer champions that help with change. Starting to talk about something new – it creates a buzz and a demand. By the time the innovation lands, everyone wants it,” Krysmann concluded.