Since 1934, Colombian-based law firm Brigard & Urrutia has been providing expert legal advice and assistance in the areas of business law and intellectual property for individuals and corporations. The company’s 130 lawyers represent their clients before the Columbian governments and courts, and national and international arbitration panels.
As the largest law firm in Columbia, Brigard & Urrutia manages thousands of emails and legal documents. As such, finding innovative and intuitive ways to improve organization, streamline processes, and work together more efficiently is an ongoing challenge.
Microsoft® Office 2010 provided Brigard and Urrutia with new ways for its employees to streamline every tasks and work together more effectively, resulting in improved client relationships.Situation
Brigard and Urrutia’s employees receive thousands of emails annually, and found that sorting, organizing and quickly responding to client correspondence was inefficient. To locate critical information, employees had to manually filter through thousands of files or folders, and simply printing or formatting documents required the tedious process of clicking through menu options and printing test runs to ensure proper layouts.
Because employees lacked a way to work together on files, they had to wait for each staff member to incorporate information and email revisions back and forth before being able to complete documents. Sharing these files with clients often required uploading a document to a third-party ftp site, creating a user account, and sending this information to clients before they could access them.
It became clear to Brigard and Urrutia that it needed to find more efficient, effective ways for its employees to communicate with clients, work together on documents, and print and share large files. Solution
With Office 2010, the firm found the solution it had been seeking. This new suite of tools enables users to improve email organization, collaborate on projects, and complete and share large files in less time.
Advanced email tools have helped Brigard & Urrutia’s employees to communicate more effectively, and an enhanced Navigation Pane enables users to locate important information quickly and easily in documents. With co-authoring tools, users can work together on a document at the same time for faster project completion.
In addition, an improved user interface reduces formatting and printing steps down to a few clicks. Office 2010 also gives users the ability to share large documents on line, eliminating the need for a third-party ftp site.Benefits
Improving Organization, Saving Time
Thanks to the advanced email options available in Microsoft Outlook® 2010, Brigard & Urrutia's staff found that managing and organizing emails was easier than ever before. With Conversation View in Outlook, multiple emails in a conversation thread are condensed into single line item—even if some messages in the conversation are located in other folders—enabling users to locate and retrieve related correspondence, and respond to client requests sooner.
The new capabilities of Outlook 2010 has allowed the firm to save time and energy, as Nicholas Gonzales, IT director of Brigard & Urrutia points out: “Outlook is the lifeblood of any legal services organization. And Outlook 2010 is the most user-friendly email software ever released—it’s saving us 35 hours per day across the firm.”
Working Better Together
The improved Navigation Pane in Microsoft Word 2010 enables users to access a holistic view of document information, allowing them to quickly find what they’re looking for rather than rifling through thousands of files and documents.
“Microsoft Word is the cornerstone of our business,” Gonzales says. “With thousands of files, it was challenging to quickly locate what we needed. The Navigation Pane allows us to find what we need in any Word file in seconds.”
Brigard & Urrutia’s employees are also saving time with co-authoring* tools available in Word, which enables users to work simultaneously on documents and complete them faster than ever.
“Before Office 2010, each user would have to wait for another employee to integrate important information into a file,” Gonzales says. “Co-authoring has eliminated that need—and cut document completion times in half.”
Completing and Sharing Documents Faster
The firm worked with multiple network printers, each of which had unique default settings. To ensure proper document layouts, employees would click through several menus and sub-options to adjust settings, and would then print and waste hundreds of pages a day just to ensure that pages printed correctly—a frustrating and tedious process for all employees.
The new Backstage menu in Office 2010 replaces the traditional file menu to gives users a unified view of document tools and print previews. “Backstage saves us clicks and paper,” says Gonzales. “In fact, it’s saving us from having to print an extra 100 pages per day.”
By integrating with Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2010, the new Broadcast Slide Show feature available in Office 2010 allows users to instantly—and securely—share large presentations in near real-time. “We used to upload bi-weekly reports to an ftp server and send a username and password to each client for access,” Gonzales points out. “With Broadcast, we cans share files almost instantly—we no longer need an ftp client.”
Providing Better Solutions and Services
Gonzales is impressed by the new features available in Office 2010 and points out that productivity and efficiency gained by using this software has allowed Brigard & Urrutia to deliver better solutions to its clients in less time.
“We adhere to the highest standards in everything we do. Office 2010 aligns perfectly with that guiding principle. We’re more efficient and effective, so we can continually improve our services.”
* Co-authoring capabilities require either Microsoft® SharePoint® Foundation Services or a free Windows Live account.© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, [list other trademarks referenced] are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.