When growing law firm, Gilchrist Connell, decided to move document management to the cloud to make it easier to maintain, continuing to use the incumbent solution, iManage, was a no brainer. With support from partner, Morae Global, the team migrated to cloud and upgraded to Work 10, before rolling out iManage Share and iManage Threat Manager to offer greater functionality to users. Today, staff are more efficient than ever, and the firm has achieved higher levels of security and compliance, while freeing the IT team to focus on more valuable activities.
Gilchrist Connell is a leading Australian litigation and disputes firm focusing on the insurance industry. It has branches in every mainland state in Australia and is part of the Harmonie Group, an international network providing insurance law expertise across 31 countries.
The business challenge
Outgrowing on-premises infrastructure
Since its inception in 2008, Gilchrist Connell has been growing rapidly. The leading Australian litigation and disputes firm was also named as one of the top ten fastest growing firms in the country. To keep up with changing demands and ensure the team can deliver high-quality services to clients, the firm needed to accelerate its cloud strategy and simplify access to client documents.
“Our on-premises infrastructure was aging and costly to maintain,” recalled Kirk Rogers, COO at Gilchrist Connell. “We reached a crossroads where I was spending all my time firefighting instead of focusing on more valuable tasks like optimizing the user experience.”
To ensure that colleagues had continuous access to the document management system, Rogers worked around the clock, which was having significant impact on his work-life balance. While the on-premises environment was secure, he was solely responsible for maintaining that level of security, and a potential breach risked sensitive client data being compromised.
“Our biggest roadblock to moving to cloud was a mindset challenge. When you’re used to on-premises, it can be hard to trust that the cloud is secure, but I’m really happy we made the leap,” Rogers added.
Morae Global Corporation is trusted worldwide by leading law firms, legal departments, and compliance executives for the delivery of digital and business transformation solutions. Founded in 2015 by pioneers in the legal operations field, their vision is to execute legal and business strategies, resulting in lasting change, value and protection.
Adelaide, South Australia
iManage Work 10
iManage Threat Manager
- Improved staff productivity
- Freed up resources
- Accelerated cloud strategy
- Enhanced security and compliance
Sometimes the problem is fixed before we even know about it. No one has to work on the weekend anymore, and we are able to provide even better workplace tools for our colleagues.
Kirk Rodgers, Chief Operating Officer, Gilchrist Connell
Fast, secure, and scalable: moving iManage to the cloud
Gilchrist Connell implemented iManage Work 10 in the Cloud as the single source of truth for lawyers, paralegals, partners, finance, admin, and the HR team. Its implementation partner, Morae, supported the migration to ensure a seamless transition.
“We were already using iManage on premises and our users were happy with the level of functionality we had. After completing our due diligence, it was obvious that we should continue with iManage. The product works well, and we knew it would minimize disruption to our users to give them tools they’re familiar with,” explained Rogers.
The team took a phased approach to the migration to help streamline user adoption.As users became more comfortable with the platform, they began exploring the additional functionality of the iManage Work web client, before upgrading to iManage Work 10 on the desktop.
Staff can now enjoy a faster experience and enhanced features such as smarter searching, the work panel in Microsoft Outlook, and the document timeline, which helps with version control and reduces the chances of accidentally deleting or saving over a file.
The platform is also integrated with workplace apps such as Microsoft Office, and the practice management, billing, and finance solutions to create a seamless working experience. The folder structure for the practice management system was recreated in iManage using automated workflows to give staff a familiar-looking interface.
Simplifying collaboration and ensuring compliance
To simplify collaboration, the firm rolled out iManage Share. By moving away from consumer-grade file sharing sites, Gilchrist Connell can also meet crucial regulations such as APRA CPS 234, which requires companies particularly in the banking and insurance sector to secure documents in line with growing risk of cyber attacks.
“The great thing about iManage Share is that it gives us a higher level of security without impacting the user experience. For example, you can still use drag and drop tomove, share, and store content,”Rogers commented.
Another key component of the company’s security posture is iManage Threat Manager, which uses active threat detection to quickly identify anomalous activity and generate an alert. This gives great reassurance to Gilchrist Connell clients, knowing that their information is highly protected against data loss.
Freeing resources to focus on enhancing the user experience
The cloud migration has been transformative for Rogers, who now has a small internal IT team and has shifted his role from focusing on IT to focusing on business operations.
“The fear that something would go wrong with our infrastructure used to keep me up at night, but with iManage in the Cloud I know I can just raise a ticket and the problem will be fixed – in fact, sometimes the problem is fixed before we even know about it,” he added. “No one has to work on the weekend anymore, and we are able to provide even better workplace tools for our colleagues.”
Staff were able to seamlessly pivot to remote working during the pandemic, and iManage has helped them to work faster and more efficiently, which is better for clients and means lawyers can spend more time on billable work and less time on admin.
iManage in the Cloud also offers greater scalability as the firm grows, which has proven to be timely as the company is generating far more digital media. “When we have a new case, clients might share three years of emails with us. Now, we can drag and drop those into iManage to review them in just a few clicks, and we don’t have to rely on third-party solutions or emails to send and receive those files,” Rogers explained.
Being able to demonstrate high levels of security and an effective document management strategy is also a competitive advantage. When Gilchrist Connell is pitching to new clients, it can assure them it has a robust data management strategy in place, can comply with compliance regulations, and its staff have all the tools at their fingertips to focus on their clients.
Supporting the move to "Zero Trust"
Gilchrist Connell’s journey to cloud is not over yet. With the IT team freed up from managing an aging on-premises infrastructure, they can focus on rolling out new products to help staff be more productive. They are implementing iManage Security Policy Manager, to further enhance document security through user access controls across matters and clients. Previously, this would have been a time-consuming task and require additional headcount to manually control access for every matter, but with iManage workflows, partners will be able to approve access in minutes. This is crucial as the firm shifts to a Zero Trust environment.
The team is also exploring use cases for iManage Knowledge Unlocked (now iManage Insight+) in the future and how artificial intelligence can help to automate more processes, which will enable the legal team to focus on deep review.
Making Knowledge Work
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