Simpson Grierson replaces Filenet with Interwoven

Document management investment delivers email management and integration with peripherals

Legal firm Simpson Grierson has undertaken its biggest IT project of the past 10 years in introducing Interwoven as its enterprise content management system.

Information services director Valerie Fogg says Interwoven was chosen to replace Filenet, which in various iterations had been in use at Simpson Grierson since 1993. The reason for replacing Filenet was partly because it had been installed by many legal firms globally and its interface was built for lawyers.

“Filenet was very generic,” she says. “You had to go through three screens to close the document, so we had to develop our own front end.

“That was one of the main drivers for chosing Interwoven.”

She says every team in the firm was consulted before implementation. “It was explained what would happen, so we had very good buy-in — rather than just having to train — when it came to implementation.”

One of the results was that getting the 400 users to store their emails became easy. That had previously been a challenge.

“They’re now storing 15,000 emails a week,” Fogg says.

“Our lawyers can now find and share information quickly, they can see it in context, and it is all stored in a central repository which is secure and robust.”

Axon was awarded the Interwoven contract by Simpson Grierson. “We hadn’t dealt with them before but they had good experience with other firms locally,” Fogg says.

As part of the project, Axon is integrating the firm’s multi-function copiers with Interwoven, which will give the company the ability to scan and file directly into the content management system.

Axon’s acquisition earlier this year of enterprise content management specialist Office Automation Software laid the foundations for a new ECM business unit within Axon.

ECM manager Grant Sewell says an emerging trend for Axon is for customers to deploy a combination of Interwoven and Microsoft SharePoint.

“Government departments and SOEs are being driven by the compliance obligations of the Public Records Act 2005, which has effectively imposed a 2010 deadline to meet defined standards for good record keeping in government,” he says.

Fogg says that Simpson Grierson, though not subject to the act, is keeping an eye on it for any specific client requirements.

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