REVIEWER: Benita Dansby, IT manager at Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs, LLP.

BACKGROUND: Parker, Hudson Rainer & Dobbs LLP (PHRD) is a multispecialty law firm, with practice areas in commercial lending and bankruptcy, corporate, corporate and regulatory health, litigation, real estate, and tax and employee benefits law.

PLATFORMS: Microsoft Windows operating systems.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Parker, Hudson, Rainer and Dobbs had more than 14,000 boxes of documents in off-site storage and another 500 at its Atlanta office. Because many of the boxes contained files from closings of large transactions, there was a need to retain these documents and provide easy access to them. PHRD was paying thousands of dollars per month in document storage fees, with large incremental costs when a document needed to be located. PHRD needed to convert this paper to digital form that could be easily stored, searched and retrieved. PHRD employed the DocuLex Archive Studio Software Suite of products to capture, index and file these documents electronically, saving thousands of dollars in storage costs, manpower and retrieval expenses.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Easy to use and flexible, the DocuLex Archive Studio package includes a component called Office Capture, allowing quick capture and conversion of documents to fully searchable PDFs. Once a document or set of documents is scanned, the Office Capture software automatically takes the scanned image file, OCRs it, indexes the documents per the user’s specifications and files said documents on a server, based on predetermined file structure customized for the user. After the capture process, PHRD employed another component of the Archive Studio software suite called WebSearch, for easy search and retrieval of the electronic files. Browser-based WebSearch is designed to securely search document-specific descriptions or a combination of keywords, and is permission-based to share across the organization. The search engine employed behind the scenes of WebSearch is supplied by dtSearch Corp., a leading provider of enterprise and developer text retrieval and file conversion software. The dtSearch Engine enables data searching and file format support for use in a variety of Internet, intranet and other commercial applications, and offers powerful and fast sorting in cases involving millions of document metadata tags or database records. WebSearch allows the user to enable security features that set limits on readability of a file and allows the user to set up different levels of security for different departments. WebSearch, with the dtSearch engine working in the background, gives the user many ways to search for a document and is extremely accurate – saving huge expense that could be incurred by trying to locate a lost file.

STRENGTHS: Archive Studio provides an end-to-end document management solution – capture, management, workflow and archival. The product is fast, flexible, easy to use and easy to implement. It is scalable from small to very large organizations.

WEAKNESSES: The product has no UNIX or Solaris version and does not support Lotus Notes.

SELECTION CRITERIA: PHRD needed to find a document management solution that was sophisticated but also user-friendly, with great search functionality and customizable for their specific needs. The selection had to be something that they could convince the 130+ staff and attorneys that more work would not be created through the new system, but that it would in fact maximize productivity while also addressing concerns about misfiling, security and lost files. It had to absolutely work per their specifications.

DELIVERABLES: PHRD is now able to retrieve and manage any and all information related to a certain file or case. The Archive Studio solution, with dtSearch, has opened up physical space in the firm by eliminating paper. Employees are far more effective based on the software’s search and retrieval capabilities, which translates to huge cost savings. Nothing can be misfiled, and all documents can be easily retrieved based on the OCR accuracy and full-text search components of the Archive Studio product. The 14,000 boxes of files have been converted at PHRD using the software, and they are now looking at a distributed capture approach for day-forward capture and management, with a scanner at each user’s desktop versus the current process of using one centralized scanner for capture. There will be no incremental software cost to implement this, because the Archive Studio software already supports it.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Install took less than a half day, and PHRD was able to do employee training on their own once the project manager had been trained. DocuLex promptly addressed any questions and listened and incorporated customer suggestions into the application. Remote support capabilities enabled immediate troubleshooting

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation provided is complete and easy to understand. Users can be trained in a half day or less by the project manager, using product documentation as a support vehicle.

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