By Dan Fleming, Vice President and Partner, Wong Fleming PC
We at Wong Fleming have been growing throughout our twenty-plus years of existence, and at times, our IT service providers have had trouble keeping up. When we started out as three attorneys in a single office, meeting our IT needs with a small local provider made sense – it worked just fine.
But as we grew – we’re now a multi-city firm with more than 50 attorneys and 20 offices – our patchwork system of small IT providers servicing different offices at varying levels of effectiveness began to drag on our effectiveness as a firm. We were spending time we could and should have been using to practice law addressing issues our IT teams should’ve taken care of. On top of that, searching for new providers when former providers went out of business, failed to deliver the level of support we needed, or couldn’t keep up with our growth as a firm proved not only difficult but also time-consuming.
That’s where Ricoh comes in. We’d been working with them for years to keep our offices supplied with copiers and printers, and over the course of that partnership, the rep we’d been working with came to notice our IT struggles. So during one of our meetings, he suggested we consider replacing our sundry IT service providers with Ricoh, who could provide a uniform, high level of support across all of our offices and give us a single point of contact to address any issues.
I’d say we couldn’t be happier with Ricoh’s level of service since the switch, but I feel like that would be an understatement. When Hurricane Sandy threatened our Princeton, NJ, headquarters, where our server is located, our Ricoh contact braved flooded roads and downed trees to rescue our server from the Princeton office the morning after Sandy’s landfall during a power outage. He drove the server down to our Philadelphia office, helped us move all of our computers within 24 hours, and got us up and running very quickly.
That’s a level of partnership we never imagined we could have with an IT services provider. Ricoh’s dedication, their expertise, and their incredible infrastructure that lets us know we can rely on them to help us out in any of our offices nationwide, reminds us every day that we made the right choice in going with Ricoh.
To read more about our relationship with Ricoh, please visit: http://www.ricoh-usa.com/about/docs/pdf/NECS/CS/2014/2/CS-188-RIC%20Wong%20Fleming%20PC.pdf.
By Todd Mascena, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing – Legal Vertical
As thousands of attorneys, legal administrators and IT service providers gather in New York City this week for one of the largest and most important legal technology events of the year – LegalTech New York 2015 – many are stopping by the Ricoh booth (#231) to hear more about ways to lower their costs, increase their efficiencies and implement new processes to drive new business. With day one completed, here are a few insights into the types of conversations we’ve had around eDiscovery, information governance, managed services and much more.
The People, Processes and Workflows for Your Business
At the Ricoh booth, discussions of ways to simplify complex searches, maximize efficiencies and improve cost containment were frequent. Many of these pain points can be addressed with the support from eDiscovery and managed services solutions, workflows and consultants. When it comes to litigation, there is rarely, if ever, a “one size fits all” answer to these challenges. Thus, it is important for those exploring new technologies and partners to learn more about what, and who, is out there to help better run their practice or division.
Today, a broad spectrum of technology is at our fingertips. And as such, we expect the information we need, when we need it, to be there as well. As today’s world of work shifts, it’s important for legal professionals to offer indispensable, top notch service. At the Ricoh booth, best-of-breed solutions such as Ricoh’s Legal MFP software, our eDiscovery client portal and our portfolio of flexible hosted review platforms all exemplify the many tools available today to corporations and law firms as they continue to explore options to better manage critical information for anytime, secure availability.
‘Knowledge is power’ is a true statement for corporate counsel and law firms alike. This knowledge must be easily and securely accessible to anyone with authority to gather and review it. As such, a robust Ricoh-developed eDiscovery tool – and its easy to use interface – can be the difference between long nights and weekends in the office and a case settled out of court. Today, attendees had the opportunity to see how the Ricoh Electronic Discovery Insight solution (REDI) can empower them to benefit from that difference.
How Can Technology Help Me Win?
What better way to use these new tools and new information than as a way to increase the efficiency of your organization? While expectations to better capture, manage, and access information faster and at a lower cost continue to rise, it’s imperative for legal professionals to work with experts to help determine which combination of technologies can help them achieve all of these goals.
So what’s in store for the rest of today, you might ask? First up, we’re anticipating more invigorating conversations at our booth and intriguing conference sessions. And after hours, a “must not miss” is the “15 Years of eDiscovery; ‘What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been,” networking and live-entertainment event co-sponsored by Ricoh, Brainspace, Catalyst, DSicoveryand MarkLogic.
Please join Ricoh at booth #231 and at the networking event. We are looking forward to an exciting day two at #LTNY15!
See you there –
I’m currently working with two organizations that have been struggling with recordkeeping processes. Here is the all too familiar scenario: The companies know they are out of compliance, missing files are commonplace, space management is quickly becoming a major issue due to the paper volume on-site and costs are soaring because of the document management inefficiencies.
Did you know that ARMA International’s IGP Governance Board offers a certification program for Information Governance Professionals? The mission of the IGP Certification Program is to provide an information governance credential within an ethical and professional framework to support individuals that deliver organizational value and reduce risk through document management. The program also recognizes individuals who have demonstrated that they know the ins and outs of their organization and its expectations. That includes knowing when to drive out excess cost, mitigate risk according to tolerance levels and when to actively use information for its business value.
The role of the information governance professional is strategic in nature, ensuring that opportunities to leverage information can be capitalized on, while preventing or mitigating risks posed by record keeping practices. The IGP credential defines the competencies needed for implementing effective information governance practices; including accountability, transparency, integrity, protection, compliance, availability, retention, and disposition.
There has been a lot of discussion about “Big Data” recently and its potential to unlock powerful insights about everything from customer behavior to business processes. It is true that the massive amounts of data that organizations can (and are) now collecting has immense potential to be mined for valuable information—from transactional structured data to myriad unstructured sources including social media, mobile and customer service data. It is also now becoming clear that it is equally imperative for organizations to develop policies for managing this data.
Information Governance (IG) has emerged as an important topic of discussion for organizations large and small. At this year’s Legal Tech New York, The Honorable Andrew J. Peck discussed the growing need for defensible disposal of data with no business value. In Judge Peck’s words: “Part of the reason eDiscovery is so expensive is because companies have so much data that serves no business need. . . . Companies are going to realize that it’s important to get their information governance under control to get rid of the data that has no business need . . . in ways that will improve the company’s bottom line.”
By David Winkler, Director Vertical Industry Marketing, Ricoh Americas Corporation
One major topic for law firms and corporations today is the ever-increasing importance of electronically stored information, commonly called ESI. With challenges like outdated technologies, chain of custody risks, budget restrictions and threat of court imposed sanctions due to compromised or untimely evidence; it can be hard to manage all of the risks that come with ESI.
This is why it may be a viable option for organizations to seek out a data forensics professional. These experts provide cost-effective, efficient and comprehensive services for a variety of civil and criminal disputes, as well as corporate/employee investigations. They specialize in offering valuable consultation and services to attorneys concerning eDiscovery, litigation support and expert witness testimony.
There has been tremendous growth within the Records Management industry in recent years, as organizations are forced to retain large volumes of data to meet business objectives as well as regulatory and legal requirements. Research and Markets estimates that nearly half of Global 2000 companies currently have enterprise-wide records management solutions in place. And according to 2012 research from IBISWorld, over the next five years to 2017, the Records Management industry is expected to continue to experience steady growth.
Law firms are no exception to this trend. Documents are a core asset of every law firm, and ensuring that firms have sound strategies and policies in place for the storage, retrieval and retention of records is vital to success. Law firms also have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients to maintain, preserve, and protect client records using best records management practices.
By Regina Chepalis, National Director, eDiscovery Technology
As every attorney knows, litigation matters often involve some unexpected and demanding challenges. The rapidly evolving issue of eDiscovery is certainly no exception.
In our experience, no two eDiscovery challenges are the same, which is why it is important to ensure that your law firm has robust and scalable eDiscovery capabilities at the ready should the need arise. Developing those capabilities in-house is one option, but not always the most cost-effective and efficient approach. That’s why working with an experienced outsource partner makes a lot of sense for many firms.
When an organization sets out on a large project, such as rolling out a new document management system, the main focus is naturally on the strategic benefits it hopes to achieve. But in my many years working on such projects, I’ve found that there are often other, very unexpected benefits that arise in the course of the engagement that were never part of the original plan. I like to call these surprise benefits “Quick Wins.”
Quick Wins can take a variety of forms, but essentially they are simple improvements to workflow or practices that are inexpensive, have a positive impact on the business, easy to implement and not hard to “undo” if for some reason they don’t work out. While not within the scope of the larger engagement, quick wins are great ways to build momentum and buy-in for the strategic project by quickly demonstrating success and the value of having experience and knowledge gained from working with many different organizations over the years.
How efficient are we? That’s a question being asked in nearly every law firm today. With the effects of the changing economic climate from 2008 still present today, heightened price competition and clients looking to receive more for less, forward-thinking firms are seeking out every way possible to drive efficiencies that will result in improved profitability. A recent Altman Weil survey of managing partners and chairs of over 200 U.S. law firms confirms this reality, finding that 96 percent of respondents said a greater focus on improved practice efficiency will be a permanent trend.
In light of this, firms are taking a close look at all aspects of their practice and workflows to identify where cost and process efficiencies can be mined and critical questions are being asked. Are cases staffed appropriately? Is the firm leveraging existing technology? Is office space optimized?