Unifying Scattered Documents

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Josh Baxter
Josh Baxter, CEO

Netdocuments Logo

 

“NetDocuments is the platform where legal professionals and teams do their work: we manage over 11 billion documents and support over 3,400 customers worldwide — and are growing every day.”

Organizations today experience similar problems: their documents are unorganized and spread across various storage locations. This chaotic approach not only causes inefficiencies, but exposes the firm to risk of non-compliance, data breaches, malware, ransomware, and more. One of the critical requirements law firms have been the efficient management of documents and emails. To help them achieve this, NetDocuments provides the market-leading cloud document and email management system, bringing millions of scattered records to one single source of unified insights. They streamline workflows and keep every document safe using the industry’s best protection against virtually any threat – from careless employees to nation-state attacks. Their trust and transparency are unmatched, only achievable through a native cloud, multi-tenant platform.

NetDocuments was founded in 1999 by Alvin Tedjamulia and Ken, and Lee Duncan. These three had a vision of providing legal professionals access to documents “through the browser” – long before words like “cloud”, and “software-as-a-service” were household terms. In the early years, NetDocuments faced hardships as their innovation wasn’t immediately embraced by legal professionals, a typically risk-averse industry. Over time, however, the cloud has become the de facto standard for storing, protecting, and delivering the work product for legal professionals.

NetDocuments gained traction in the legal market and among some of the largest law firms in the world. In 2007, NetDocuments’ customers stored 6 million documents in their cloud platform. Fast forward to today, they now keep 11 billion documents and support over 3,400 law firms worldwide while being viewed as the platform where legal professionals and teams do their work. As the first legal document management system (DMS) to embrace multi-tenant cloud infrastructure, today NetDocuments has more customers and users on a single cloud platform than all other legal DMS vendors combined.

Last year, NetDocuments expanded beyond content management and introduced additional capabilities to help legal professionals be more productive. With five solutions now available – ORGANIZE, PROTECT, PLAN, DELIVER, and LEARN – law firms can more easily manage tasks in a matter, comply with complex security and auditing requirements, work in Microsoft Teams, and use AI-powered insights to work smarter than ever. Bringing all of these technologies together on a single platform has proven to be a winning strategy for both customers and NetDocuments, who have often dropped legacy technologies in favor of NetDocuments offerings.

Meanwhile, NetDocuments’ footprint has expanded to around the world. “As a private cloud offering, we maintain 5 global datacenters co-located in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Australia. This allows us to offer geo-aware public cloud or local private storage with real-time redundancy across the U.S., Europe, and Australia. For customers, regardless of where their offices are located, their team has secure access to their documents,” says Josh Baxter, CEO of NetDocuments, who understands that inspired ideas are not created in a vacuum.

An equally humble and confident leader, Josh knows that to maximize a team’s performance, the workplace must exude transparency and trust – and that is precisely the type of atmosphere he has created. Since joining NetDocuments, Josh has shared his clear vision on the direction and vision of NetDocuments, is focused on hiring diverse talent, and provides direct, open, honest discussions about the challenges customers face and how NetDocuments can help solve for them. Josh has positioned NetDocuments to deliver products that challenge the industry’s status quo and provide tangible benefits to customers through this thoughtfulness. And while NetDocuments’ explosive growth has been a direct result of Josh’s leadership strategy, he is quick to turn the focus back on his team, creating a culture of collaboration and inclusion.

Unique Solutions for Legal Arena

Since its beginning, NetDocuments has been relentlessly focused on delivering products built with the legal professionals’ needs as the top priority. That means offering both reliable cloud service as well as innovative solutions that help them work every day. “It is our commitment to customers to continually deliver innovation they can depend on and help them understand exactly what they are getting when they sign-on with NetDocuments,” says Josh. “Our customers tell us they appreciate that we are transparent and honest with them, and we are dedicated to ensuring the move to NetDocuments will be the final DMS change their company ever needs to make.”

Through a seamless and intuitive experience, NetDocuments customers enjoy working within a single platform using best-in-class software that works seamlessly with their existing technology stack.

Plus, NetDocuments easily integrates with other applications they use. They meet legal professionals where they work to remain efficient, productive, and secure in the cloud.

“We continue to invest in customer research through our User Experience team, who work directly with customers to reimagine how they can accomplish their everyday tasks even more seamlessly and intuitively,” explains Josh. “Our product design philosophy, Attorney-Inspired Innovation or ‘AI2’, revolves around creating intelligent experiences designed around the way that legal professionals work and is part of every single product we design today.” Through a design and feedback team comprised of over 200 legal professionals and support staff who actively engage with the NetDocuments Product team, they can ensure they deliver experiences that align with and anticipate legal professionals’ needs today, tomorrow, and years from now.

User research is the foundation of their product development, and NetDocuments’ five unique Solutions (ORGANIZE, PROTECT, PLAN, DELIVER, and LEARN) go beyond traditional document management capabilities and transform the way lawyers collaborate, share content, and protect their firm’s information. They work directly with lawyers, legal teams, and staff to understand how lawyers work and deliver technologies that fit seamlessly into their daily workflows. And, because NetDocuments is a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), new capabilities are delivered seamlessly to a firm without messy upgrades or compatibility problems. Through NetDocuments’ dependable innovation, firms can rely on the latest technologies we develop and provide to solve their needs every day.

Helping Firms Work Smarter

It is pertinent to mention, because innovation is core to NetDocuments, customers continue to enjoy fresh and compelling solutions that deliver immediate value. Over the next year, customers will see new products and features that make users more productive, the system more efficient, and ensure that the highest levels of security are maintained both for integrated solutions and core technologies from a digital signature solution to advanced analytics that unlock insights about security threats, key relationships for an organization, work velocity, and much more.

Customers are quick to grasp why NetDocuments is the leading DMS for law firms. For example, Am Law 200-ranked law firm Ice Miller successfully implemented the NetDocuments native cloud platform, replacing its existing, aging, client-server system. With over 340 legal professionals in seven offices advising clients on all aspects of complex legal issues across more than 20 practice areas, having a secure, flexible, and future-proofed document and email management technology was paramount to the firm’s productivity and streamlined legal services delivery.

Ice Miller, which began its search for a new document and email management technology several months prior to the pandemic, was set on replacing an outdated, administratively taxing, and instable, client-server system. “As a firm, we embraced the idea of moving to the cloud. We know that the cloud is more secure, not less secure, than what we can deliver internally, and that a mission critical system like document management belongs in the cloud,” states Steve Johnson, Ice Miller’s Director of IT Applications.

The firm’s document management system (DMS) review and selection process were extensive and included more than 65 people within the firm, ranging from attorneys to support staff and partners. Johnson added: “Document management was truly the software that required more feedback and buy-in from the firm than anything else we were going to do. We understood how vital user buy-in, and technology adoption are, especially with a new DMS.”

Critical factors that Ice Miller valued with NetDocuments as part of the selection included the native cloud architecture, the platform’s ease of use, and how it is built around the attorneys’ and users’ daily routine.

“In terms of selection, NetDocuments has been purposefully built from the ground up as a native cloud application. The fact that NetDocuments has always been in the cloud is a huge differentiator,” adds Johnson.

Once the decision was made to select NetDocuments, IT Director Johnson and his team recognized the importance of choosing the right implementation partner as part of a successful roll-out. “Based on our past experience working with Kraft Kennedy, and their impressive track record helping other law firms roll-out NetDocuments, the decision to partner with them was an easy one.”

The initial platform design sessions kicked-off in February 2020 and were formally put on hold due to the pandemic. When the firm re-engaged with Kraft Kennedy last August, the initial expectations remained the same with timing for the project, and a second round of design meetings with specific practice groups pending. Overall, the transition to remote work, and the implementation of NetDocuments, despite operating within the pandemic-driven restrictions, was seamless and continued full steam ahead. Johnson elucidates, “In retrospect, getting the design sessions done in person pre-pandemic, was extremely beneficial and eased the DMS transition based on familiarity and agreement on scope and strategy.”

Looking Towards the Future

NetDocuments focuses on delivering legal professionals from all firm sizes with a state-of-the-art content management platform that keeps files safe, organized, and secure. Their customers enjoy the benefits of being on a single, multi-tenant cloud, meaning they will always enjoy the latest updates without going through the hassle of ‘upgrading’ their service. They utilize a robust customer feedback program that allows us to perform continual research and develop products that meet and exceed the customers’ needs today, tomorrow, and decades from now.

For the road ahead, NetDocuments is building the next generation of tools focused around specific workflows that enhance the productivity of lawyers in particular practice areas. “Whether you are a litigator, transactional lawyer, or knowledge manager, you will discover new ways of working that reduce wasted effort and unbillable time,” says Josh. “Plus, we are continuing to align closely with Microsoft on integrating their new technologies, such as Microsoft Information Protection for tagging and securing sensitive data. Simply put, NetDocuments is the future-proof platform for legal work. We’re excited about leading the industry in this new era of legal technology.”