NetDocuments Secures $25 Million Investment From Frontier Capital

LEHI, Utah, July 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — NetDocuments, the leader in cloud-based document and email management, announced a strategic partnership with Frontier Capital, securing a $25 million equity investment to accelerate NetDocuments’ increasing growth across the legal market.

“It’s exciting to see the rate of adoption increase in recent years as law firms begin to move from traditional, server-based document management to what most now view as the modern document management platform,” said Ken Duncan, CEO, NetDocuments. “The partnership and investment with Frontier will allow us to not only continue our growth with a high degree of customer service, but also provides us with the resources to capture a considerable portion of the market, as firms increasingly decide to switch to the cloud.”

Frontier, based in Charlotte, N.C., is a growth equity firm focused exclusively on investing in software and technology-enabled business service companies in areas with significant entrepreneurial activity but minimal local capital.

“NetDocuments is exactly the type of company in which we aim to invest – a sturdy technology business growing at a strong rate into an emerging market, with a quality management team we know and trust,” said Michael Ramich, partner, Frontier.  “As our research shows, NetDocuments is the only pure play software-as-a-service provider of document management in the legal industry, which is just beginning to realize the benefits of cloud computing. With our investment, NetDocuments is poised to further capitalize on this new trend within law firms and should grab significant market share in the months and years ahead.”

This investment represents Frontier Capital’s confidence in the market and NetDocuments’ ability to accelerate the growth across the legal industry.  The boost in capital will build on a successful sales and marketing strategy that will continue to penetrate NetDocuments’ core market and exploit the robust features of a true SaaS document management service.  NetDocuments is currently operating in more than 140 countries and is being used in nearly 10 percent of the Am Law 100 law firms.  This investment will ensure that NetDocuments has the resources and talent to keep up with the adoption of its cloud-based technology.

“We’ve seen the document management industry go through dramatic changes over the last decade and a half, and we’ve been fortunate to be at the forefront with technology that is truly challenging the status quo,” noted Alvin Tedjamulia, CTO, NetDocuments. “We’ve built a solid technology delivered as a service, and we’re seeing more and more firms take advantage of the value this SaaS platform has to offer over the traditional model. Frontier’s investment in NetDocuments will better enable us to work with the rapidly increasing number of law firms that are leaving the complexity of traditional document management systems in favor of the agility and simplicity of NetDocuments.”

For more information email: press@netdocuments.com or call 1-866-638-3627

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Mike Green, CIO at Nixon Peabody LLP, talks about the decision to move 16 offices and 1,500 people to the cloud

14.3 Release Webinar – July 18 at 12PM Eastern

As a subscription service, NetDocuments continually improves by releasing new features and functionality. Our third release of 2014 is packed with some exciting new things. Join us on July 18 as part of the ILTA product briefing series to see the 14.3 enhancements in action to prepare for the coming release.

Date: July 18, 2014
Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern

Session Title: What To Expect With Release 14.3
Register

Session Description: NetDocuments 14.3 release is scheduled for July 24, 2014. Join the ND team as we share what is planned for this release. We invite administrators, trainers, help-desk personnel partners, and any end-user interested in this upcoming release. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Don’t have a NetDocuments account? Schedule a live web demo HERE

Step 5 of 5 in our Series on Tips to Successfully Implement Technology

Step 5: The White Glove Treatment

We’ve made it to the last step in our five part series on successfully deploying technology across your firm. If you’ve missed the previous posts, you can find them right here:

Step 1: Plan

Step 2: Communicate

Step 3: Test

Step 4: Resource Availability

Change can be painful. Whether you’re implementing a new technology, or you’re switching to a competitive product or service, there will be some degree of a learning curve. You’ll have people who resist the change, struggle with the new technology, or outright boycott it. To reduce the chances of change management pitfalls, here are some tips to make sure this last and final step goes off well and your people feel like they’re getting the white glove treatment.

End User Training – It’s not only important that the training be professionally done, but great deployments will map out the content and collateral that will supplement the actual training. This is typically in the form of outlines, documentation, eLearning platforms, even recorded sessions or webinars for remote employees. Give them the tangible resources that will help guide them through the initial training and deployment.

Follow Up – Just because the training is done doesn’t mean your people will be good-to-go. Create a follow up checklist and periodically check in regularly to ensure they are getting the most value possible out of the technology.

One-on-one – Not everyone learns well in a classroom or group style training session. You’ll also likely have individuals who missed the sessions, but still need to get up to speed. Make sure you allocate some of your human resource availability to connect with these people in one on one settings to ensure they received all the training collateral and direction they need to get going.

Q&A Sessions – As people begin to interact with the technology change, it’s important to have a forum for individuals to talk through their business processes and address questions and concerns they have. These sessions not only allow for people to talk through their problems, but it also gives you a chance to share tips and tricks – additional things people may not be aware of. It’s also helpful to group people together in terms of either department, practice area, or other logical grouping of individuals who may work in similar ways.

Periodic Reviews – A tech change or change management project is something that needs to be revisited from time to time in order to ensure user adoption, satisfaction, and productivity. Individuals also need a platform and method for submitting feedback relating to the technology, especially if the technology has periodic changes like you’d see in a subscription service model.

This wraps up our short series on how to successfully implement technology. If you have things you’ve done at your firm during a technology rollout we’d love to hear them. Send any tips or inquiries to info@netdocuments.com. You can also read a short case study on how Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O. made a successful transition to the cloud. Read it HERE.

 

Step 4 of our 5 Part Series on Successfully Implementing Technology

Step 4: Resource Availability

This is step four in our five part series on how to successfully deploy a firm-wide technology. If you missed the previous posts you can start from the beginning right HERE.

Planning, communication, and testing are all intended to lay the framework for a successful deployment. As the rubber begins to meet the road with the project, it’s critical to get a handle on what are the available resources at your disposal for your “go live” technology date.

Planning – Not to be confused with step one, this planning is laser focused on the planning of resources – both human and otherwise that will assist in the testing and project deployment. It’s important to include how many people are going to be involved in either the power users group, cross functional project teams, or firm-wide deployment if you opt for the non-incremental rollout. Who do you have at your disposal? How much time are they willing to dedicate? What team are they on? What does the communication feedback loop look like? Answers to these questions will give you a better handle on who you have in your corner ready and willing to contribute.

Manning the Front Lines – As the pilot or deployment begin to get underway, be sure to allocate enough time and attention on the Help Desk team. Loosely defined, the Help Desk is a person or group of people that likely participated in the power users group, or who received more training than the average user now using the technology. The goal of the Help Desk is to take the first line of basic support. Having adequate support in this group will allow you and the project team to focus on more critical issues or strategic tasks related to the overall success of the project.

End User Training – Outside of the project team, power users group, and help desk, there are all the other employees that have a job to do in spite of having to learn a new technology. Planning for solid end user training will speak volumes in the long run as to what the level of user adoption is, and generally how happy and how much value people are getting out of the new technology.

Floor Support – Even with perfect execution of all the previous points and steps, there is no substitute for having a knowledgeable resources walking around the office to individual’s desk for the first couple of days the new technology is deployed. Having a person to person interaction when something isn’t working the way the individual is used to working is money well spent. Decide in step one who will be doing the training and if you’ll rely on third party training companies for their expertise – many of whom can create eLearning material and guided tutorials for post-go-live training and ongoing refresher courses.

Physical Facilities – While the technology may or may not be a physical object or device you’re deploying to the firm, the management of the facilities needs to be accounted for through all stages of this process. Whether its conference room schedule, workstations for hands-on training or branded water coolers for specific areas people can go to get help, they need to be accounted for from the beginning. Many of the go-live problems could be avoided with the proper workstation preparation, updating of software and peripheral items that may affect the training or tech landscape where the training is going to take place.

 

Part 3 of Our 5 Keys to Successfully Deploy Technology

Step 3: Test

Continuing in our five part series on how to effectively deploy technology at your firm, we’re on to step 3: Test. If you missed the previous posts, you can start from the beginning right HERE.

As the project team follows, communicates, and executes the plan, it’s critical that ongoing testing takes place to ensure the key components of the overall configuration are interacting as expected. This is especially true with the individual workstation configurations and potential variability across different environments within the firm and applications used outside of the office. The goal of testing is to avoid surprises and preempt sticking points as the project begins to get off the ground.

Configuration Testing – With many large firm technology deployments, some of the configuration decisions and settings will be done or executed by a third party consulting company or possibly with vendor involvement. It’s important that the project team tests the logic and functionality behind every decision to deviate from the standard way the technology is intended to work. You may find that configuration decisions looked good in theory but in actuality don’t align correctly with the business process.

Does it Play Nicely with Others? – Most technology does not live in a silo, which means the team needs to test how the new technology interacts with other applications across the firm, departments and even individuals. As with many mission critical applications, there are pieces of software and integrating components that are vital to the business and critical that they continue working together as expected.

Proof of Concept (POC) – We mentioned in the last post the importance of creating a power users group to aid in the deployment and communication feedback loop. In addition to disseminating information across the firm, the power users group will play a core role of piloting the new technology well before full scale deployment across the firm. The purpose of the POC is quite self-explanatory – prove that the technology works as advertised, especially as it relates to the firm’s overall environment and technology landscape.

The Feedback Loop – Through the testing process, Step 2: Communication, becomes the means to get information back to the project team for potential recalibration, adjustments, and refinements to the project plan. This constant feedback loop should be through structured meetings set specifically to talk about the testing, POC, and other information across the team and power users group. These feedback meetings can be daily or weekly depending on the project plan and technology, but regardless of frequency, don’t let these sessions to share what the team is learning slip through the cracks.

In summary, when the firm decides to move forward with a new technology, the decision making processes may be completed, but the feasibility testing is just getting started. Testing the third party integrations and unique workstation configurations, launching a POC, as well as putting a feedback loop in place is all part of the testing portion to avoid surprises and road blocks when the rubber really meets the road with firm-wide deployment.

The next post in this series will be Step 4: Deployment Approach and Resource Availability

 

Continued… Winning the Battle Before it Begins: 5 keys to a successful technology rollout

Step 2: Communication

This is part two of our five part series on how to successfully implement technology at your firm. See the post below for Step 1: Planning.

Now that your planning is complete, the scope and ramifications are understood, the team is assembled, and there are clear milestones and reporting directives, it’s time to let the rest of the firm know. The firm-wide messaging and medium will set the attitude towards the change as well as the cadence and breadth of user adoption.

Top Down Buy-in – While many tech decisions may start in IT or a technology committee, it’s vital to have buy-in across the C-level executives. Having an initiative championed by the firm leaders will ensure traction and the knowledge that the firm is committed to the change and it’s a priority to move the company in the right direction.

Avoid the Grapevine – The worst case scenario is if individuals across the firm find out about the tech change through a water cooler rumor. This means initial communication efforts should begin the moment the decision is made and the planning begins.

Internal Marketing – In the same way a firm positions and markets their brand and service to prospective clients, the technology change should be branded and marketed internally with the goal of selling the change across departments and offices. Some firms even opt to hire marketing agencies to launch a full-blown campaign, complete with a strategy, a plan, messaging, and content both physical and digital to educate and promote the transition.

There is no Such Thing as TMI – When shifting technology and altering the way people work on a daily basis, there is no such thing as too much information. The level of surprise, shock, and discomfort when implementing technology is a direct function of how much information is disseminated across the firm early in the process. Information and education on how people’s daily work will be altered for the better should be at the core of the messaging.

Create a Power User Group – With larger organizations, it may be important to form a power users group that works very closely with the project team and consists of individuals pulled from across departments or functional areas. These power users will help facilitate the spread of information and answer questions across the firm and outside of the core project team.

In summary, the benefits and changes coming from the technology change needs to be communicated clearly and early in the process to every single individual in the firm. Generate a feeling of excitement and anticipation by focusing on the positive changes, and do this through internal marketing initiatives and with the help of a special task force of power users who have a deeper level of training and understanding. This creates an environment where people across the firm have multiple places and people to go to for answers.

Take a look at this short write-up of how Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O successfully moved their document management to the cloud, and why it was a success. Read it HERE

If you missed Step 1: Planning, you can catch up HERE. The next post in this series will be on Step 3: Test

 

Winning the Battle Before it Begins: 5 keys to a successful technology rollout

Technology is part of your overall business strategy, or at least it should be. It’s especially important in business decisions when a potential tech change is happening with a mission-critical application like a CRM system or document management platform. Successfully swapping out a technology that is vital to your day to day business requires a detailed plan of action because the execution of implementing a technology will determine the level of user adoption, productivity, how much value you get out of the tech, and how fast you realize that value.

As a software service vendor, we’ve learned a few things in our 15 years of delivering a cloud based document management service. We’ve seen some fantastic deployments, and some not-so-great transitions. We’ve boiled down some key points, and over the next five blog posts we’ll share what we’ve learned.

We also have some great examples of firms who’ve done it well and shared their story. Take a look at this short write-up of how Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O successfully moved their document management to the cloud, and why it was a success. Read it HERE

Step 1: Planning

While painfully obvious, it’s important to point out the type and depth of planning needed to replace a core system, and especially if you’re changing the platform or delivery model (e.g. moving from server-based software to a cloud platform).

Configuration Discussion – Regardless of the technology you’re implementing, it’s highly probably that there are numerous configuration options depending on your business, practice area, size of company, and complexity of the firm’s overall technology landscape. It’s absolutely vital that the discussion about how the technology will be configured takes place with all the major stakeholders. You certainly don’t want someone making configuration decisions who won’t actually use the technology on a daily basis.

Individual Variability and Workstation Configuration – Once there is a consensus for how the technology will be configured, there needs to be planning around the variables across individuals, departments and roles. Are workstations configured exactly the same across the firm? What third party software do people use? Are they all on the same operating system? Do they work remotely? What mobile devices do they use? These are all critical planning questions when assessing individual’s first experience with the new technology.

Business Process Changes – Smart businesses leverage their technology in order to get more work done, improve the client experience, save money, or a number of other drivers. Regardless of the core motivation for implementing or replacing a technology, it’s safe to assume that your business process is tied directly to the technology backbone of the firm. A business process change assessment becomes an integral part of the planning stage, as stakeholders from every area of the company need to assess the potential impact the technology will have in the day to day, monthly, quarterly, and annual processes required to run the business. This portion of the planning stage may also be an opportune time to refine or revisit current business processes and evaluate if there is a better way to work.

Implementation Logistics – Planning the implementation requires a realistic inventory of resources available for the project, including: people, time, budget, constraints, potential roadblocks, as well as outside resources or third party involvement. Available resources will help the project team set realistic milestones, benchmarks, and an estimated time frame for project completion.

Project Reporting and Accountability – The management and ongoing measurement is vital to the project’s overall health. As part of the planning stage, it’s important to put in place explicit rules for reporting, clearly defined areas of responsibility, and regular status meetings for progress and impediment reporting.

In summary, step one of implementing technology starts with planning, which is the framework and roadmap for a successful technology deployment. The next post will be on Step 2: Communication

 


London Law Expo 2014 – Europe’s Largest Law Expo

NetDocuments is proud to announce we will be exhibiting at the ‘London Law Expo 2014’ at the Old Billingsgate, London on Tuesday, 14th October 2014.

As Europe’s largest law event, the ‘London Law Expo 2014’ will deliver a wide array of keynote presentations, panel discussions, knowledge sessions, live debates, exhibitions and interactive demonstrations to assist law firms and legal businesses increase their performance and profitability.

With Dragons Den investor James Caan confirmed as keynote speaker and over 3,000 visitors expected to attend the event, the ‘London Law Expo 2014’ is set to deliver presentations by over 50 of the most respected names within the legal and commercial worlds.

Produced by Netlaw Media, the ‘London Law Expo 2014’ is FREE to attend and will offer up to 6.5 hours FREE CPD for attendees.

 

Event Details

Event:               The London Law Expo 2014

Date:                14th October 2014

Time:                8:30am – 17:00

Venue:              Old Billingsgate, London

Address:           16 Lower Thames St, London, EC3R 6DX

Nearest Tube:    Monument / London Bridge / Tower Hill

Cost:                Free

To register your FREE pass to attend the London Law Expo 2014, visit www.londonlawexpo.com

 

NetDocuments’ Response to the Internet Explorer Security News

This post is describing the recent IE issues.  Even though it is not specific to NetDocuments, we have had a number of customers ask us about this, so we are providing this information as a resource.

An Internet Explorer exploit was discovered last weekend and Microsoft provided a patch yesterday to resolve the issue with IE versions 10 and 11.

NetDocuments provides support for several browsers, one of which is Internet Explorer.  Because of the issue, users who cannot update to the newer browsers where a patch has been made available by Microsoft, there are some other suggestions that Microsoft has provided as workarounds which are listed below.  Of course using another supported browser is also an option for users.

The easiest solution to avoid the issue is to disable Internet Explorer’s Flash plug-in.

According to Microsoft, the only way that an attacker could exploit this would be to “host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to view the attacker-controlled content. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to take action, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s website, or by opening an attachment sent through email.”

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/2963983

The best defense would be to make sure your users are not clicking on any unusual links or attachments and that they are not visiting any questionable websites. Using NetDocuments will not increase the risk of being affected by this issue.

Microsoft has created a fix for the issue described here:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/2755801.aspx

Here are some tips for using ND in non-IE browsers:

http://help.netdocuments.com/netdocuments-browsers/

 

4 Tips to a Healthier Technology Footprint

Staying healthy requires conscious effort, a plan, consistency, and every now and again, a re-evaluation may be needed to be sure you’re recalibrating where necessary. Go easy on yourself, nutrition and fitness perfection isn’t possible, but progress is. The basic principles for health and wellness can be applied to many areas of life and business. How about the technology health at your firm? Here are a few tips to get back on track and redefine your regimen.

Make a fearless inventory of what technology you consume on a daily basis: As a business professional, your goal is to increase efficiency, service your clients, and create value. It’s possible that you may not have the best tools out there to do that. Or maybe you have too many tools – you’ll never know until you take a look at what you and everyone else at the firm is using to get their job done.

Beware of the fad: Just as in new diets or wellness programs, new technology needs to be evaluated before the investment of time and resources. There is a fine line between early adoption of a breakthrough technology, and simply exhausting efforts setting something up and learning how to use it, only to find the value isn’t delivered.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should: Too many times we see a technology appetite that attempts to leverage and use every single aspect of the tech. This techno-bloat will bog down your practice, overcomplicating the work process and the quality of your client interactions.

Power in simplicity: Often the most powerful solutions are the simplest. Don’t be mistaken, a simple and powerful technology is much harder to achieve than packing every feature, knob, and widget into something. This applies to your technology fitness plan – it should have thought and strategy behind it, but be concise. Resist the urge to overcomplicate.