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National Grid’s use of SharePoint and other legal software

After my recent post (See my post of June 1, 2009: SharePoint as an option for legal departments.), Adam Davidson of National Grid, a UK company, wrote me.

“The in-house team I work in has been using SharePoint for document management, time recording and general collaboration for over three years, and it is a very flexible system. True, it’s not as fully featured as some proprietary DM/PM [document management/project management] systems, but it cost less and is much easier for us to administer.”

“We had one of our IT development partners (Wipro) do some customisation for us, principally around matter creation, archiving and email integration. The rest of the solution is out of the box. The solution won us the “In-house Legal Department Initiative of the Year” prize at the Legal Technology Awards 2006. Microsoft did a case study on the solution, which can be found online.”

”We are still running on SharePoint 2003 but are migrating to 2007 in the next month or two, which will provide us with much greater flexibility. In addition, we are looking at a pilot of Office 2007 in the near-term to give us even more integration between Office and SharePoint. We are also about to start deploying (after a successful pilot) the Colligo Outlook Add-in to give us an even better tool to upload emails into SharePoint, as well as allowing lawyers offline access to their matter files within SharePoint.

All this is excellent background material. A few posts on this blog have shared space with SharePoint (See my post of Dec. 26, 2007: blog potential; June 20, 2007: National Grid, SharePoint and WorkShare; Jan. 21, 2009: JDS Uniphase legal department; Feb. 13, 2009: market share in the document management space; and Feb. 22, 2009: appropriateness as a knowledge management system.).

Davidson offered a couple of other points: ”On the other technologies we are working with, we are large users of Workshare Professional and have taken on Business Integrity’s DealBuilder system for document automation, which is an exciting development for us.”