Development of a SharePoint Records Management System for a US Legal Firm
The Customer is a Californian legal firm with operating offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The Customer deals with legal cases on a daily basis. Each case is coupled with numerous documents that have to be managed thoroughly. The Customer had been already using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system and a dedicated document storage. However, it was impossible to automate the records management process using the existing systems only. That’s why employees had to manage large amounts of documents manually, which affected their productivity. The Customer decided to improve the records management process and turned to ScienceSoft to receive a suitable solution.
Having analyzed the Customer’s records management process, ScienceSoft came up with the concept of a SharePoint-based records management system that would help employees to:
- Manage large amounts of records faster
- Create detailed document profiles
- Keep a better control over important case-related events (e.g., case hearings)
To let the Customer understand the solution’s logic before implementation, ScienceSoft’s business analysts prepared a detailed description and prototypes of the future solution. Once the Customer approved the concept, our SharePoint developers started to design the system.
How does the solution work?
An OCR system scans documents and converts them into PDF files. The OCR system is integrated with SharePoint, so a scanned PDF file comes directly to a SharePoint-based records management system that consists of 3 panes:
- Queue pane where the list of documents available for profiling is located.
- Preview pane where the document can be previewed.
- Profile pane where the document can be profiled.
- Each document is available for calendaring – a dedicated feature enabling users to manage events related to a particular case. This particular piece of functionality is created to manage lawyers’ everyday activities and never miss critical events, such as court hearings.
- The system supports 3 types of users:
- Team member – a user who can preview and profile documents, as well as send them for a supervisor’s review and check calendaring statuses.
- Calendaring team member – a user who can perform all the actions of a team member, as well as add events to the calendar.
- Supervisor – a user who can perform all the actions of standard users. Additionally, a supervisor can review the documents submitted by other users. This is also the only type of user who is able to view logs – actions that other users have taken on a document.
Role-based access to records ensures their immutability: no record can be changed without a supervisor's approval.
Once document profiling and calendaring are finished, the document with a calendaring stamp goes to a dedicated document storage.
At the end of the project, the Customer got a record management system with document profiling and calendaring capabilities. The system enabled lawyers to manage large volumes of documents faster and allowed them to handle daily routines efficiently.
The Customer appreciated the SharePoint capabilities and now is planning to enlarge the SharePoint deployment to cover other business processes and needs.
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