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Case study

U.S. Litigation Firm Creates Robust Intranet with HighQ

Creating a dynamic and content-rich intranet with ease

When it comes to knowledge management within law firms today, technology is a vital component for sharing information and insight quickly and easily with the right people. For one specialist litigation and enforcement firm with offices in the U.S. and UK, the benefits of creating a dynamic, content-rich intranet using Thomson Reuters® HighQ — the connected, automated workplace collaboration solution — are becoming clearer day by day.

The firm first started using HighQ in 2014 as the sole platform on which to create all of its client portals. This had previously been done on a piece-by-piece basis using a variety of external vendors and the move to HighQ made the process much more cost effective and manageable.

Users were so impressed with the look, feel, and ease of use of the HighQ extranets that the firm began to consider the merits of using it to create an intranet with the same qualities. It took the plunge in June 2020, after a decision-making process that included legal departments across the firm, as well as IT, marketing, and finance. The intranet site went live in October that same year, and the firm is using every single module available.

Straightforward to deploy

The driving force behind the transition to a HighQ intranet was the firm’s director of knowledge management, who had listened to the positive internal feedback about how much people liked using HighQ extranets and was keen to explore how the solution could be deployed more widely. The firm had tried to set up a workable intranet on one of its existing platforms, but they found it required highly specific technical skills that the firm did not have.

So, when the time came for a much-needed server and system upgrade, it seemed like an opportune moment to make the switch to HighQ — it was just as sophisticated as its existing platform, if not more so, but much simpler to use with no code required. A proof of concept process was undertaken, which confirmed that HighQ met the firm’s requirements for creating a robust intranet.

“We needed something that would save us time and money, require fewer people to build and maintain it, and that didn’t have a steep learning curve,” the firm’s director of knowledge management says. “The solution had to be one that anyone, including non-IT people, could learn to use very quickly — from setup to lawyers who would be creating content for the site.”

At the time of the transition during the Covid-19 pandemic, internal capacity to help with initial setup was extremely limited, so the director of knowledge management took on the lion’s share of the primary task of duplicating content from the previous system. “I did have some help, but I knew that I could easily accomplish phase one of the project on my own if I needed to,” she says. And in the space of less than four months, it was done.

Support from Thomson Reuters was instrumental during the initial implementation and beyond. A dedicated client success consultant was on hand to advise and act as a sounding board for creative ideas around the potential of what the firm could do with HighQ.

Simple and flexible to use

HighQ offers enormous flexibility to integrate information into the intranet pages from different sources — such as active directories or accounting or management systems — easily and cost effectively. This ensures that relevant, up-to-date data can be centralized and presented to the appropriate audiences in one place, so lawyers don’t have to learn several different programs or keep lists of different URLs.

Searching for and accessing the content lawyers need is quick and easy. The firm also uses the intranet to post weekly information updates, to enable client matters to be looked up quickly and easily and to develop a firm directory.

The ability to create a workspace for lawyers to become content creators, where they can draft blogs, build homepages, and get creative with graphics or videoclips — as well as assign rights on who can view content — is a powerful and increasingly well-used feature. Content creators also value the ability to make updates to their pages without needing technical support.

“I sell the Editor feature to people creating blogs by saying that if you can include a picture on an email, then you can do this — it’s that easy,” says the director of knowledge management. “You just need to learn how to use a couple of buttons and in five minutes, you’re up and running.”

Exciting possibilities, major cost savings

The director of knowledge management also has established a number of other fun initiatives that ultimately signpost opportunities for wider adoption throughout the business. For example, the firm developed a hub where staff can share tips, recipes, or ideas for child-friendly lockdown activities during the pandemic. Doing so has helped them stay connected while remotely working and replaced those lost “watercooler” moments.

Other initiatives include running a challenge to encourage staff to stay fit and healthy using the iSheets module to create data visualizations of physical activity. Having seen how this could work in a light-hearted way, it is then easier for the finance team, for instance, to see how they could build their own data visualizations from accounting data.

“I start off with something fun and then say, ‘look how we could use this to leverage the firm’s data,’” explains the director of knowledge management. “When they see it, a light bulb goes off in people’s heads and they’re hooked.”

The firm is also leveraging the power of iSheets with Workflows to create comprehensive checklists and request forms to deliver all the information and documents required for a particular process, such as when someone leaves the firm. The plan is to incorporate HighQ Document Automation powered by Contract Express into the mix, too, creating a pilot project for this software.

All of this functionality has been possible while simultaneously generating significant cost savings for the firm, which has saved around $100,000 compared to using other systems, according to the director of knowledge management. Those savings have enabled the firm to add HighQ Publisher, the advanced content publishing module, to its software suite so it can upgrade the look and feel of both the intranet and the extranets, better customize content and tailor sites to suit specific requirements, and promote even greater user engagement.

Ultimately, the goal is to make HighQ a firm-wide portal for everything and for it to be used as the go-to collaboration tool. For its director of knowledge management, “It’s an evolving success story. All of this has been a huge win for the firm.”

Ultimately, the goal is to make HighQ a firm-wide portal for everything and for it to be used as the go-to collaboration tool. For its director of knowledge management, “It’s an evolving success story. All of this has been a huge win for the firm.”

Business challenges

The firm wanted to create an intranet that would replicate the success of its client portals created in HighQ. It had previously tried to set up an intranet using other software, but this had not proved successful due to the high level of specialist technical skills required internally to do so.

Why HighQ?

The firm’s director of knowledge management had already seen the high-quality look and feel of the HighQ solution in action and also knew from experience that it was the user-friendly option that everyone in the firm would be able to use with no problems. Having conducted a proof of concept process, it was clear that HighQ offered all the sophisticated features and functionality required.

Benefits

  • Easy to use: Its no-code platform means no specialist IT skills are required by users
  • Flexible: Integrates seamlessly with data sources and offers an array of different modules
  • Straightforward to deploy: Easy to implement with proactive expert support from Thomson Reuters
  • Cost effective: It has potential to generate significant cost savings compared to other products

For more information about HighQ, contact your HighQ Client Success Manager or visit HighQ.com.

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