Converting From WorkSite to Worldox: Choosing Worldox Is Choosing Cost-Effective Compatibility and Control
The law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced plaintiff’s personal injury firms in Virginia and the United States with approximately 125 employees including 23 attorneys. I am the IT manager for the firm and recently participated in the firm’s collaborative decision to migrate its documents to Worldox from its previous Document Management System (DMS), Autonomy’s WorkSite.
Prior to implementing Worldox, our firm had been using Autonomy’s iManage (formerly Interwoven) DMS for more than 10 years. However, early in 2010, our team embarked on a search for an improved DMS. This decision was in direct response to rising hardware costs associated with iManage, significant upgrade costs to run the current version of WorkSite, and an overall desire to improve the day-to-day management of our documents and email integration in a cost-effective manner.
To begin with, Autonomy’s iManage did not have any email integration with the DeskSite client, and the expense to move to FileSite was cost-prohibitive. Additionally, we were using SQL Server 2000, which had reached the end of its life regarding support, and the cost to buy the new SQL server licensing was high. With Autonomy, we were more than likely facing a purchase of three new physical servers to maintain our iManage infrastructure. Because our firm’s document growth is not very high, we thought there must be a more cost-effective solution with fewer hardware requirements. We therefore started our search by looking at solutions that did not have ever-increasing hardware requirements for document management.
Additionally, configuration was becoming troublesome with the DeskSite client; specifically, keeping track of the different registry keys to customize DeskSite was becoming unnecessarily time-consuming. We really wanted a product that could be more centrally controlled. This, in conjunction with an overall desire to improve our day-to-day document management, email, and software integration, inspired our search for a new DMS.
We considered other competing products on the market, such as NetDocuments and Xerox WorkCentre, as we had working relationships with companies that had recommended them. However, neither one integrated with our case management software, Client Profiles. Client Profiles is the main software our firm uses every day to keep track of cases and clients, so our DMS had to integrate with it.
Worldox from World Software Corporation was capable of delivering those results and everything we needed at a lower cost, from acquisition and deployment through administration and potential future upgrades. The interface was also straightforward and intuitive. Most importantly for us, the system requirements were less from a hardware/server perspective, as Worldox did not require a SQL server. Additionally, Worldox had far superior integration with our other applications and file types, especially with Client Profiles.
To facilitate a successful implementation project, we worked with Laurie Odgers of Philadelphia-based O2 Consulting, a Worldox systems integrator. O2 Consulting excels in DMS implementations and conversions and has specialized in the technology needs of law firms.
The conversion was no simple task and involved migrating more than 600,000 documents from iManage to Worldox. With the exception of the conversion PC, the environment was virtual, and the firm runs in a Citrix/Terminal Server environment. At the time of conversion, the firm was on VMWare VSphere 4.0 servers and mostly using standalone Citrix XenApp 4.5 servers for application access. We also went live with Office 2003 when Worldox was installed, and then within three weeks of going live with Worldox, we upgraded to Office 2007.
O2 Consulting helped us to save time and money, and minimized the interruption caused by migrating content, process, and workflow to a new DMS. To this end, in conjunction with Odgers and O2 Consulting, Allen & Allen scheduled a staggered initial conversion/training/final conversion from iManage to Worldox through the first week and a half of October 2010.
The first weekend of October, we migrated the firm’s inactive users, successfully converting these 260,000 documents seamlessly. Immediately following the weekend of the October 2, we held training sessions for the firm’s employees from October 5–7 so that they would be prepared when Worldox would be up-and-running on the system. The final conversion was completed the weekend of October 9. In a mere 40 hours over that weekend, we finished the final conversion. No documents were lost in the entire migration of more than a half million documents, and the firm’s employees were ready to go with the new software with little to no interruption to our workflow.
After a successful migration, Worldox integrates with Client Profiles beautifully. Now when an employee is viewing a case, the integration piece brings up a prepopulated search of any files associated with the case being viewed, which is a tremendous time-saver. Also, we are truly pleased with its compatibility within our Citrix/Terminal Server environment. Worldox is fully customizable without requiring us to push out registry keys, has far superior integration with our other applications and file types, and does not require a SQL server. In our environment, the lower system requirements from a hardware/server perspective were a huge plus and helped keep the migration extremely cost effective.
We set the bar high and Worldox delivered. Worldox is stronger for email management, document security, and ease of use for employees, and it needed less software and hardware than iManage had required. With Worldox, our administration is simplified, our long-term costs lower, and our application integration more seamless.
Since the Worldox installation and document migration, everyone at our firm is extremely comfortable with our new DMS. Document collaboration is much more fluid, and information is more easily shared, while essentials like document security and version control continue without compromise. Worldox has proven to be an ideal fit for Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.
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Tommy Coe is the IT manager for Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.