The New Zealand Law Society Accellion Secure Mobile File Sharing

Legal regulator goes mobile, relying on Accellion to securely deliver documents to iPads and laptops, making board meetings and committee planning a whole new experience.

 

BACKGROUND

Established in 1869, The New Zealand Law Society is the regulatory authority for lawyers in New Zealand. The Society regulates all lawyers practicing in the country, and while membership is voluntary, any person wishing to practise law in New Zealand must obtain a practicing certificate from the Society.

 

CHALLENGES

The Law Society's activities tend to be document-intensive with many committees and working groups having to consider a range of issues from proposed legislation to complaints against lawyers. Printing and distribution costs of documents are considerable but the aim of reducing the amount of paper used in meetings created some real hurdles. Firstly there was the issue of security, then there was the problem that some end users of documents face limitations on the size of documents that their email systems will deliver. Even secure document destruction can be a challenge for someone in a small organisation.

 

"We sent information in hard copy as we really had no other alternative," said Malcolm Gunn, IT Manager with The New Zealand Law Society. "But moving data around in aeroplanes and trucks isn't really where the future lies, and there is good money to be saved sending files electronically, quite apart from the environmental benefits."

The Society's wide range of committee members, the vast majority of whom are volunteers, have a wide-range of devices - desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones and a wide-range of operating systems. The Society originally evaluated consumer-driven solutions, such as Dropbox, but wanted tighter, enterprise-class security, support for any file size, and the ability for members to easily upload, access, and review documents from any type of mobile device. Those requirements led the Society to Accellion.

 

The Society also has research libraries that provide document delivery and legal research services to lawyers. Large PDF documents sometimes had to be split into several smaller ones to ensure trouble-free delivery by email.

 

SOLUTION

Working with Accellion's partner, MPA New Zealand Ltd., the Society deployed Accellion Secure Mobile File Sharing, providing secure access to business-related documents from anywhere. After some initial testing with a committee, the decision was made to equip board members with iPads and go totally electronic for board meetings. With Accellion, board members can now receive and view the latest meeting agendas, background materials, and other documents on their iPads.

 

Other committees have also been using Accellion. There have been instances with some committees having meeting papers exceeding 2000 pages. At 10c per page for copying exclusive of paper costs, and not including courier costs and the collation time, the savings are considerable.

"Now, information sharing is so simple, with large files sent as secure links and easily viewed by members as needed," said Gunn. "Accellion's easy-to-use interface provides the consumer friendly experience we wanted, but with the security and control to properly protect confidential data."

 

The Society takes advantage of Accellion's file tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing administrators to easily monitor which individuals have received which documents. "Our board meetings have taken on a whole new level of efficiency," said Gunn. "We upload documents to Accellion and board members download the files on their iPads using the Accellion mobile app. They annotate the PDFs prior to meeting, and then access their annotated papers at the meeting. Last minute papers can also be distributed easily."

 

Thanks to Accellion, the Society has a seamless and secure way to publish information to users' mobile devices, boosting productivity among committee members and lowering distribution costs in the process.

 

The success of deploying Accellion for board meetings has paved the way for other committees to use Accellion. With more tablets being used by people generally, the appetite for electronic documents has never been greater, and there are plans to make all committee documents available electronically.

 

Accellion has also streamlined the distribution of legal research documents compiled by librarians at the Law Society libraries. Importantly, recipients do not need to be licensed Accellion users to download files from the server.

 

BENEFITS

· Fast rollout of enterprise-class file sharing solution that allows board members to securely share confidential legal documents

· Allows secure delivery of large documents created by research librarians to lawyers

· Reduces manually produced paper documents and associated production expenses

· Provides board members with immediate access to documents via iPads and other mobile devices.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Customer Since 2011

Deployment Private Cloud

Custom Web Interface Yes

Email Integration Yes