Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ( una empresa de abogados con 2.800 abogados repartidos en 28 oficinas, entre ellas en Madrid y Barcelona, puso en marcha en 2003 un completo portal interno con Interwoven. Ahora la compañía ha resuelto el siguiente problema que tenía pendiente en materia de gestión documental: la gestión de cientos de millones de emails de todos sus empleados. Y también ha utilizado para ello software de Interwoven.

Todos los abogados, que reciben una buena media de mails al día, gestionaban con Outlook sus emails, teniendo a éste, de hecho, como su verdadero gestor documental (cosa que debe pasar, por cierto, en el 80% de las empresas españolas, por no decir más). Con diferentes paquetes de Interwoven han unificado la gestión documental, integrando la de Interwoven con Outlook de tal forma que ahora pueden buscar «todos» los documentos relacionados con un caso o un cliente, y no sólo los emails del outlook.


PHOENIX, LawNet 2004, Interwoven Booth #505, Aug. 23 — Interwoven, Inc., the world’s next-generation enterprise content management (ECM) company, today announced that leading international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is expanding its Interwoven WorkSite initiative to enable its attorneys to manage their e-mails alongside documents in a single, unified, firm-wide repository. The initiative is part of a Portal Development Project, currently powered by Interwoven WorkSite technology, for matter-centric collaboration throughout the firm’s practice areas and offices worldwide.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer first went live with Interwoven WorkSite Server software in 2003, when it implemented a comprehensive document management and collaboration solution now being used by thousands of knowledge workers worldwide. At the time, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer sought to create a single view of its global organization, improve efficiency within the firm through knowledge sharing, and enhance client satisfaction. With this critical first step completed, the firm is now undertaking the second component of its Portal Development Project — e-mail management.

Taming the E-mail Monster

E-mail management has become a pressing issue for law firms and professional services organizations, which rely on e-mail for an increasingly large volume of business communications. Because these e-mails are typically stored independently of any document management system, the matter and client content they contain cannot be found in one repository nor reliably searched, accessed, or shared by attorneys in other locations. The challenge has been to ensure that all e-mails are captured and managed in the context of related matter content, creating a virtual matter folder that provides a single view into the full scope of matter or client content and lays the foundation for better knowledge management. This is also an essential step toward the adoption of matter-centric collaboration, which provides an integrated, historical view of documents, events, tasks and contacts for any given matter, and gives global teams seamless access to client-matter and collaborative projects from any location at any time.

Said David Hamilton, IT director, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, «E-mail management is going to be a ‘must-have’ going forward-but this is not a system you want to rush. Given the massive volume of e-mail we work with and the amount of essential matter information it contains, we had to consider scalability, archiving, searchability and other factors in order to make the best use of that information. With Interwoven, we have found the complete solution which enables us to create a true electronic file of client matters.»

Like most of their peers in the legal profession, attorneys at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer spend hours each day in Microsoft Outlook. Managing these e-mails was the largest problem they faced, and the strategies they used varied widely. Some stored messages by client matter number; others simply dragged them into subject folders; while others used Outlook as their document management repository. Firm wide, more than three million e-mails were scattered across personal folders, public folders and e-mail archives — all of which are inaccessible, unsearchable, and largely useless for ongoing work. In fact, many Outlook folders contained 25,000 e-mails or more, and could no longer even be opened. These folders have grown to an aggregate total of over 500 gigabytes.

The Interwoven E-mail Management Solution will enable Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to bring its e-mail overload problem under control with comprehensive, scalable e-mail management fully integrated with the Interwoven enterprise content management platform. The solution consists of two parts: the WorkSite Communication Server, which makes it simple for users to capture e-mail correspondence in context by subject, such as the client matter or deal to which it pertains, and merge it with other relevant documents and content in a collaborative content management system; and MailSite, Interwoven’s market leading e-mail client, which integrates the Interwoven repository with Microsoft Outlook. By bringing e-mail into the same virtual matter folder as other forms of content, the solution gives users a single way to file and search both e-mail and other related content, and lays the foundation for matter-centric collaboration.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is currently working with Interwoven to address its specific e-mail management requirements, which include the ability to handle three million e-mails and documents per year in 35 libraries firm-wide, the development of an effective archiving policy, and enhancements to make the system as easy as possible to use within its existing environment.

«Clearly, e-mail management is an essential requirement for any law firm, but for an organization the size of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, it’s especially important to make the best possible choice — the consequences of adopting the wrong strategy or solution could be devastating down the road,» said Dan Carmel, vice president and general manager of Legal, Professional Services, and Enterprise Compliance Solutions for Interwoven. «We’re working closely with the firm to help them realize as much success rolling out an e-mail management system as they did with their initial WorkSite implementation — a system with the scalability and reliability to meet their needs and lay a stable foundation for matter-centric collaboration moving forward.»

About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is a leading international law firm. With more than 2,500 lawyers in 28 offices around the world, it provides a comprehensive worldwide service to national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments. For many years the firm has been at the forefront of developments in the legal profession. As the twenty-first century begins, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is growing and evolving faster than ever to satisfy the needs of its clients for top quality advice in an era of globalization and rapid financial and technological change.

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