And the first legal IT win of 2015 goes to HighQ in at Steptoe & Johnson

US 500+ attorney law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP has chosen HighQ Collaborate as their internal collaboration, client extranet and file sharing platform. Steptoe sought an out-of-the-box platform to replace their legacy system which had been developed in-house. Donald O Sternfeld, Chief Information Officer at the firm, explains: “Our previous system was a heavy burden on the IT department. It required regular maintenance and IT had to be responsible for administering the system firm-wide.”
Steptoe looked towards a software-as-a-service solution instead. “We wanted to get out of the business of doing in-house development altogether, to free up our technical resources for other things that require in-house expertise,” explains Sternfeld. “I had used HighQ Collaborate in my previous jobs at other firms,” he says. “I had experienced first-hand the benefits of using the platform, so I was certain that it would be a great fit for Steptoe.”
Importantly for Sternfeld, the platform would free up his team by enabling users to administer the platform themselves. “Collaborate is easy to use and straightforward to administer. Users can set up sites, upload and download content, and set permissions: all things that previously required input from IT.” Steptoe began by using HighQ Collaborate as a direct replacement for its legacy platform, using it as a file sharing solution. “We can rest assured that highly confidential documents reserved for partner distribution remain secure when we share them via Collaborate,” explains Sternfeld.
Steptoe is also using Collaborate as its client extranet platform. “Using Collaborate for our extranet means that our clients are able to access information more easily in a more user-friendly environment, and the flexibility afforded to users within the firm means that they can keep documents up to date within the extranet so clients are always getting access to the most relevant information.”
Overall, Sternfeld says, Collaborate has made a huge difference to the productivity of the firm. “The system frees up technical resources to work on more advanced, bespoke solutions that require in-house expertise,” he says. “Anything you can do to remove barriers to client service and make lawyers more productive is a good thing, and Collaborate has helped us with both of these things.”
Michael Worth, VP of North America at HighQ, added: “We’re delighted to see the impact Collaborate has already had on productivity and client service at Steptoe. We’re looking forward to seeing where the firm takes the platform next, and are looking forward to continuing to support the firm in the future.”