Am Law top 50 law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati has swapped out its iManage document management system for NetDocuments, led by chief information officer Michael Lucas, who led the same move while at Akin Gump.

The NetDocuments selection is said to be a key step in Wilson Sonsini’s ongoing strategy to move its entire technology stack to a cloud-based model.

The Palo Alto-headquartered firm, which has rolled out* cloud ERP Workday, conducted a review of both NetDocuments and iManage Cloud led by Lucas and his team. Lucas told Legal IT Insider: “I’ve worked at Hogan Lovells, which is moving to NetDocuments, and at Akin Gump, where I signed the deal with NetDocuments. I had a lot of familiarity with both products and a lot of respect for both management teams but where we landed was that we thought the SaaS platform of NetDocuments was very strong and they’ve been doing it for a long time. It was a platform play and a cloud play and at Wilson we continue to implement cloud solutions. We’re doing Office 365 now and my goal is to be pretty much pure cloud by 2020.”

iManage has been developing its cloud platform since its exit from HP in 2015 and Clifford Chance in March selected iManage 10 as its global document, email management and collaboration platform after an extensive side-by-side comparison with NetDocuments. However, Lucas says: “Both product offerings were very strong, but I leaned towards a pure SaaS cloud product that was more mature and had more history.”

He added: “It was an IT decision – a team of us looked at both products. My leadership team met with iManage and NetDocuments and looked at their roadmaps and went to their conferences and worked out what was stronger.”

One of the key things that swung the dial to NetDocuments was its client file management solution. Lucas said: “Like most firms we have a data sprawl and files in different places. We wanted to have a system that can govern files wherever they are and synchronise with products like Box or corporate Dropbox.

While iManage has a security offering with Security Policy Manager and Threat Manager, Lucas said: “If you are looking at compliance and risk, iManage have a number of products but we just felt like we could address some of those areas with other products and we have a strong security team.”

Lucas and the team was generally attracted by NetDocuments’ platform play and he added: “There will be a lot of partners who will join the NetDocuments platform – people once worried how their systems were going to integrate with the document management system but they will all end up there in the cloud.”

He added: “This was a tough call. I had already had a pretty close look at this while at Akin Gump and I did think that the iManage cloud had come a long way.”

Wilson is on iManage Work 9 but will migrate to 10 before shifting to NetDocuments next Spring.

“We are honored to welcome WSGR to the NetDocuments platform as they have been advising the world’s most innovative and progressive technology corporations for more than half a century,” said Alvin Tedjamulia (pictured), CTO, NetDocuments in a statement out today (7 May).

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*Corrected at 17.00 GMT on 8 May – we originally said that Wilson Sonsini was in the process of rolling out Workday.