Q&A With An Expert On Why Going Paperless Is No Longer An Option
We bided our time, persevered and rode the wave of the paperless office that was unappealing for many law firms; all while gaining those needed muscles that would need to be at the ready to weather the recent pandemic storm. Law firms didn’t have to look far for valued partners who already designed automated workflow solutions capable of pure magic, it seemed. But, there were many law firms who knew that legal scanning tools were the way forward to increase productivity and eliminate many manual processes, all while reducing costs. Suffice to say, going paperless was no longer an option, instead, it’s a reality that is here to stay. We confess that we are happy to not be on the back-burner or at the end of the long list of “nice to haves” or “we still have time.”
Today, I am excited to share a Q&A I had recently with Catherine Brill, Product Manager at our Solutions Engineering Center, about this topic and how Konica Minolta has been at the forefront of providing legal scanning solutions to the legal industry.
Zina: The term paperless/paper-lite has been floating around for decades. Why do you feel this is now the #1 priority for many industries, especially law firms?
Catherine: This is a great question! You’re right…the term “paperless” or “paper lite” has been around for a while, especially in the legal industry. As one of the most document-intensive industries, law firms of all sizes—solo firms, regional associations, or larger legal organizations—have realized that the best way to optimize their productivity is to adopt a digital, automated document workflow. With paperless retainers, e-filing and exchanging drafts of pleadings and court orders via email, there’s no reason for law firms to be dependent on paper documents and manual document handling. Since the success of law firms depends on how efficiently they operate, this kind of automation is key to success.
After all, by reducing paper, law firms can significantly lower their costs of doing business. No more investments in external physical storage space are required. The need to hire temporary employees or use in-house staff to process, file and retrieve legal documents is eliminated. And, there will be new opportunities to create more revenue. With a digital workflow, legal admins will be able to find information instantly, with just a few mouse clicks. Documents can be instantly shared for collaboration. Clients will be better represented in court and attorneys will be able to better serve their clients.
All of this was amplified with the onset of the global pandemic in which working from home became mandatory and access to paper records and client documents stored at the office was dramatically reduced. During COVID-19, the practice of law had to be overhauled and innovative technology has become paramount for business continuity.
Zina: Konica Minolta was already ahead of the curve with their proprietary software Dispatcher Phoenix. Why has this been a game-changer for our legal customers?
Catherine: Dispatcher Phoenix, Konica Minolta’s award-winning process automation solution, has been instrumental in assisting our legal customers with their digital transformation journey. With the power of Dispatcher Phoenix’s intelligent workflows, important legal documents such as case files, transcripts, and affidavits can be automatically converted, split, redacted, Bates stamped and identified before being sent to document management systems, litigation-support systems, cloud storage applications and other output destinations. Essential to the discovery process, Dispatcher Phoenix makes OCR conversion quick and simple as scanned documents can be automatically converted to a variety of PDF formats, including Searchable PDF and PDF/A for archiving. Case files and other legal documents can be sent directly to popular legal document management systems and collaboration spaces, such as Worldox DMS, Litera, OnBase and SharePoint. And, with Dispatcher Phoenix’s MFP integration, legal admins and attorneys can access their workflows directly from the multifunction printer (MFP) panel, allowing them to easily choose their scan destination folder, modify Bates Stamps or redaction search terms, enter index information and more.
Dispatcher Phoenix leverages Konica Minolta MFPs to provide an automated solution that streamlines manual document processes. With Dispatcher Phoenix, our legal customers have been able to optimize their productivity and improve employee morale as admins and legal staff are now able to concentrate on higher-value tasks.
Zina: Recently, for our Digital Transformation Roadmap for Legal we introduced Legal Solutions Bundles tailored for law firms that include legal scanning tools? What role will Dispatcher Phoenix play?
Catherine: These unique packages offer bundles of solutions and services that support common business challenges within the legal industry. To help law firms with their security, document access, disaster recovery and version control challenges, we are offering the Overcoming Document Management Challenge bundle and the Workplace Hub Legal- The Future of Work bundle which includes Dispatcher Phoenix, Worldox DMS and a comprehensive Application-as-a-Service platform including enterprise-class server hardware, operating systems and hypervisor-running solutions in document and print management, network faxing and legal-specific offerings to co-exist with your current network infrastructure. With these advanced workflow / DMS packages, firms will be able to easily route documents directly from their MFP control panel into the Worldox DMS with just a few taps!
Zina: How are automated solutions, like Dispatcher Phoenix, critical in addressing document security challenges?
Catherine: In the legal professions, safeguarding paperwork is essential since legal documents may contain private information, such as protected health information, or privileged case information. Typically, law firms or companies would employ an attorney to review each document slated for potential disclosure and manually redact any sensitive information—a time-consuming, error-prone and expensive process. With Dispatcher Phoenix, this laborious process can be immediately streamlined, saving law firms money and time. Dispatcher Phoenix’s intelligent redaction technology detects and permanently removes confidential information from documents—all automatically.
Zina: How can Dispatcher Phoenix help law firms in this current environment?
Catherine: Right now, the focus is on how to operate in our “new normal” work-from-home / hybrid work environment. In addition, there continues to be an increased focus on cost optimization. It’s clear now that those law firms that are leveraging technology are better poised for success in 2021. Using Dispatcher Phoenix, manual document processing tasks can be easily automated, making legal documents easier to access, search for and secure. With the acceleration of technology adoption, our legal customers will be able to optimize their productivity while also reducing costs.
In another Konica Minolta Legal blog, “Agility and the Legal Industry – Innovation Reigns” it was stated, “It’s exciting to witness the new innovations that are occurring once again in the legal industry. Change is indeed the only constant in life and Konica Minolta is ready to help embrace the law firm of the future and stay agile.”
Konica Minolta continues to stay at the forefront of innovation, embodies a heritage and culture of constant growth and always places customer need as a primary driver. If you are interested in learning more about ways in which our services and solutions can help your business thrive, contact us today. You can also visit our website for more information.