A Law Firm and its SharePoint Email Management Solution

Thursday, August 25, 2011
posted by alice

The article “Case Study:  SharePoint as an Email Management Solution” tells the story of the law firm Miller Johnson developing a SharePoint email management solution in partnership with Handshake Software.

Law firms have different information needs from most businesses.  Email is a primary communication method and case materials are often produced on dozens of databases and possibly hundreds of different data and risk management applications.  Firms use unique client numbers and matter numbers, which can quadruple the amount of content on inventory if it is extended to email.

“Our solution would require a user-friendly method and UI to store email content in the context of the client and retrieve that content and related data to the matter being processed. There were not any “off the shelf” solutions that would meet our needs. We had to create a solution that allows the firm to manage email like any other enterprise content item, because email is just that: A content item, a piece of the larger content puzzle our lawyers use every day to support clients.”

Most law firms look to lesser expensive storage to archive email while leaving a stub in Outlook.  Miller Johnson could have done this, but it would have not solved the issues with retention, retrieval, and content sharing.  The document management system they were using was also not popular with their attorneys.

To deal with both of these issues, they developed a SharePoint and Handshake ECM framework that allowed the firm to exchange and enrich previously isolated metadata elements from Line of Business systems into a robust metadata catalogue that is shared across the enterprise.  For more details about their solution, see the follow-up article:  “Case Study:  How Miller Johnson Implemented SharePoint-Based Email Content Management.”

Smartlogic provides organizations with large volumes of unstructured data, such as email, with improved information retrieval, so that they may access and use essential content.

Ken Toth

August 25, 2011

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