Norton Rose Australia
DocAuto WorkSpace Manager Implementation
Norton Rose Australia (previously Deacons Australia) is a leading international legal practice with 1,800 lawyers in 29 offices. With over 1,000 seats in Australia, the firm must effectively manage an extraordinary volume of content, using Autonomy iManage WorkSite. The firm’s IT professionals realised the critical need to combine databases from its multiple locations into a single, centralized system. After a considerable period of trial-and-error, Norton Rose selected the WorkSpace Manager (WSM) product from DocAuto to achieve the desired result.
At first, centralization seemed overwhelming. The firm sought a comprehensive tool to replace a manually run and error-prone migration process. What was needed: a move to become matter-centric – involving a replacement for the existing multiple State-based databases, while preserving features for cross-office collaboration, an overall classification structure, with consistent standards and effective security.
Attempts toward a Solution
The firm worked with multiple outside resources to achieve a solution. Elaborate scripting tools were developed, but ultimately with less than acceptable results. In short, the significant benefits of WorkSite – an already industry-leading system – were yet to be fully realised.
Norton Rose had already developed a sophisticated e-mail management system in-house, effectively capturing and filing millions of messages per month when sent. But this further increased the need to have a robust process for centralisation.
A Norton Rose system administrator who was intimately involved with this addition of WorkSpace Manager would later say the following about DocAuto:
“Other consultants seem to approach this work at a purely technical level. DocAuto proved to be a company we could truly trust. They look at the real business needs of their customer, trying always to make the customer’s system work more effectively toward those business needs’’.
Norton Rose then turned to DocAuto and its Australia partner, Office Information Australia (OIA). OIA is the regional distributor for Autonomy iManage, as well as for DocAuto. OIA is also an Authorized Training Center for WorkSpace Manager.
DocAuto analyzed the firm’s current situation and proposed improvements that would be achieved by applying Workspace Manager “out-of-the-box” to meet specific needs. WorkSpace Manager was used to create temporary “holding” WorkSpaces, which could be used to drive the centralization process in a controlled and phased approach. This was necessary due to Norton Rose’s huge volume of content.
DocAuto applied the concept of “differential aging” with the temporary WorkSpaces, to achieve bulk copying of content at the desired pace. Thus, content could be moved as modified, over time, to the new databases. This approach presented a controlled, safe and gradual way to migrate from a distributed environment to a centralized single database.
Norton Rose became able to identify and prioritize source, content, and data; migrate it to the centralized destination; and manipulate the metadata on the way. Within two weeks, the firm realized better results than they had achieved with the previous five months’ effort.
The firm reported saving months of time while WorkSpace Manager took only overnight; and also claimed the saving of $50,000 in consulting fees.
According to Philip Scorgie, IT Director, Norton Rose Australia, “We used Workspace Manager to perform our data migration into the new matter-centric system. This saved weeks of work if we had needed to develop custom migration scripts. We now have full control over our WorkSite system.”
When asked whether he felt the new DocAuto theme “Functionality is a function of you” seemed descriptive of his firm’s experience, Scorgie made this observation: “With others, we would present the need for customization and receive the response, ‘We’ll talk to the technical guys and get back to you.’ At DocAuto the response was immediate and at several points that meant working through the night due to the time difference with Australia. They made the needed adjustments quickly, in the middle of our migration.”
Andrew Pritchett, who served as Infrastructure Manager at the firm during the Workspace Manager installation, said of DocAuto, “They are short, sweet, and to the point. They answer the questions without putting you on hold. They are very flexible, and that meant everything to us. In short, DocAuto does everything the right way.”