Choosing the Best DMS for Your Firm

NetDocuments vs. iManage. It's the everlasting debate you'll find across the legal community with camps on both teams. The reality is that both solutions are pretty great. That information may be shocking to hear from a premier/award-winning NetDocuments partner (Affinity consultants are also extremely experienced with iManage in the large firm/strategic space), but it's true. They both offer incredible features and functionality that no doubt has improved the way millions of users interact with documents. The main question really shouldn't be about whether NetDocuments or iManage is the best solution for your firm but rather, what role should technology play in our business and how do we marry that with our people, our processes, and our culture?

The success of Document Management implementations isn't reliant solely on the technology being installed but rather on the:

  • comprehensive understanding of the business
  • the challenges that a firm uniquely faces
  • the firm's own functional requirements
  • their goals/aspirations for long-term growth
  • the ability to embrace tough conversations with transparency and clear communication
  • the development of a strategic plan to execute the change methodically firmwide

These are just a few of the key Document Management solution (DMS) success factors we've learned as consultants and DMS implementation partners in the legal market over the past 25 years. Your firm will not be primed to do its best work if data resides in silos or if end-users are duplicating efforts wasting time and resources. Taking a holistic approach to DMS deployments is what set firms up for success and that requires a deep bench of knowledge in process improvement, workflow optimization, and the ability to build integrations that let users get work done with the greatest of ease. It's also important that throughout the process, team members are empowered and shown that they are valued by the firm by simply making sure individuals feel seen and heard.  A firm's toughest naysayer can often become the champion of the chosen solution when they are included in the process of solving the firm's document management challenges together.

Without diminishing the importance of having a powerful ally, trusted advisor, and a strategic partner as your implementation specialist, start your DMS evaluation by simply weighing the importance of features critical to your firm. For instance, is it important to have a records management solution baked into the platform or do you prefer a "best of breed" solution? How important is it to have cloud-native architecture vs. a platform that adopted the cloud?

Bottom line - embrace the fact that change can (and will likely) be hard. But there are no shortcuts to success. Transformative change takes innovation, grit, and a steadfast belief in the processes you and your implementation team will build to achieve long-term adoption, increased profitability, and improved productivity. 

If you're interested in learning more about software selection or implementation services, reach out to Affinity here or by calling 877-676-5492.

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Aparna Tutak

Written by Aparna Tutak

Aparna is a company growth and revenue generator. She provides sales assistance to legal teams in need of document management and process improvement services. She also facilitates business and software sales implementation negotiations for corporate legal departments and large law firms. After graduating with a BA degree from the University of Florida, Aparna spent 15 years working exclusively in leadership, marketing, and sales roles for technology and software companies in Florida and the Washington, DC metro area. She has owned a boutique marketing consulting agency, which primarily served the legal and medical industries. Once settled in Atlanta, she was sought after to rejoin the Affinity team as a senior account executive, dedicated to document management sales initiatives.

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