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Making the Case for ECM in Legal Departments

In my role at M-Files, I help organizations understand how an enterprise content management (ECM) solution can solve many of their business problems at the enterprise level. In particular I’ve noticed that the legal department’s requirements have become more of a priority for procurement.

This makes a lot of sense.

For many legal departments workloads are increasing, litagation and regulation is growing, offices are globalized, and corporations are consolidating, merging and making acquisitions. Simultaneously legal is under pressure to govern and secure information, to comply with organizational mandates and enhance internal service delivery.  Oh—and they also need to cut operating costs too. Easy, right? Wrong.

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Review, Redline, Rinse, Repeat

The quantity of case related documents, emails, contracts and other files legal departments must manage is increasing at fast pace—making it difficult for staff to stay organized and manage workload. In addition attorneys must perform the manual processes associated with sharing, processing and storing information resulting in slower workflows and lost time for the business.

These pressures are driving corporate legal departments to leverage technology to manage their workload, increase efficiencies and reduce outside legal spend. The good news is that M-Files helps alleviate many of these challenges:

• Collaborate simply and efficiently– Corporate legal departments often need to consult with external counsel (who always seem to be golfing…) and this gets very expensive, time consuming and inefficient. Moreover as more corporations compete on a global level, their legal departments need to be ready to respond no matter where their attorneys reside. This collaboration often involves accessing and sharing large files. M-Files addresses this in several ways. Legal departments can share case files via public links and staff and co-counsel can access information using any Windows browser or native mobile apps. We know that everyone has a different device and M-Files works with them all. So there’s no reason why co-counsel can’t view and comment while waiting for the tee.
• Manage contract iterationsContracts are the core of the legal profession and efficiently managing the iterative process can be difficult.  Revisions can be endless and it’s tough to know exactly which version is correct. M-Files gives staff the ability to create dynamic contract templates and provides comprehensive workflow to streamline all of those reviews and approvals. Insofar as versions, you can easily roll back and compare current contract iterations with past versions with M-Files.
• Risk mitigation and compliance– While some companies have separate compliance divisions, many legal departments manage the compliance function directly. Their role necessitates ensuring that compliance programs remain in lock-step with current regulations. Additionally, many legal departments are enhancing risk assessment efforts and reeling from the growing scope of discovery requests. With M-Files you can collect, organize and manage evidence for discovery or an audit. We help organizations automate and standardize existing compliance measures, and in doing so, your department can prove it has implemented accountability measures.

It’s especially critical for legal departments to work with ECM vendors with a good deal of expertise in the legal field — and we do! If you are interested in learning more check out this webinar on contract management or this video about ECM for legal practices.