Daley Mohan Groble (DMG) needed a solution that could manage the large number of documents their staff works with on a daily basis and allow its attorneys and paralegal staff to quickly locate critical documents. Not only were they concerned with making newly created documents easier to find, but they also needed a faster way to find documents that already existed on their network drive for past and in-progress matters. The solution centered on the migration of files to SharePoint, integration of KnowledgeLake Connect with SharePoint, and implementing Enterprise Search.
DMC created a custom .NET application to migrate over 600,000 files from the DMG network share to SharePoint. These documents had been stored on the network using a nested folder structure that was organized by client and corresponding matters. Because only limited metadata is available on a network share (e.g. title, author, create date, update date) and full-text indexing was not available, many layers of subfolders were often used and documents had to be named with very lengthy/descriptive titles to aid with determining what information was contained within each file. Going forward, the use of content types and metadata (e.g. client name, matter name, subject, etc.) would alleviate the burdens of nested folders and long file names.
The SharePoint solution called for a site to be created for each matter or case. Within each of these sites, a document library would store all relevant documents. In order to simplify creation of a new site, reusable templates were created. By creating a matter site template already containing a document library and other matter-specific content, a new matter site can be automatically created with all the necessary features by simply typing in a title. DMG will also benefit in the future through the use of matter-specific calendars, matter details, and contacts located within each matter site.
A 3rd party tool, KnowledgeLake Connect, was selected to make it easy for users to tag new files with metadata and send them to SharePoint. Connect includes an Outlook component that simplifies the process of uploading emails and email attachments to SharePoint. This process had to be easy in order to enable the culture of the organization to change and adopt SharePoint as the central document repository for the firm. Once uploaded to SharePoint, DMC implemented a custom application to automatically read the metadata associated with each file and route it to the appropriate location within SharePoint. This end-to-end process has been easy and effective, as evidenced by DMG’s successful transition to SharePoint as its Enterprise Content Management System.
SharePoint Enterprise Search was also enabled, allowing for the indexing of all the words inside the 600,000 documents that had been migrated to SharePoint. A simple keyword search now instantly retrieves a list of all files containing the specified keyword(s) so users can quickly locate the files they need instead of relying on a time-consuming process of navigating through the old nested folder structure and hunting for a verbose document title.
Since completing the SharePoint migration project, SharePoint has become an integral part of every employee’s daily work routine. At Daley Mohan Groble, the ability to find documents quickly saves DMG’s staff a significant amount of time every day. A project to use Optical Character Recognition technology to convert image-only PDF files into indexible PDF files is currently under development, and future phases are planned to automate the initiation of new matters and perform conflict checks through the use of SharePoint’s workflow and search features.
Learn more about DMC's document management services.