Norton Rose LLP is an international legal practice with a network of offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Withmore than 200 partners, 800 lawyers and 1,800 staff worldwide, the practice delivers a wealth of experience in strategic practice areas such as corporate finance, banking, insurance, energy and infrastructure, medical services, transport and technology.
Like most legal practices, Norton Rose LLP is inundated with thousands of paper documents through the course of their work. A variety of files, contracts, and correspondence must be efficiently filed and stored, easily searchable for future reference. The files can range from a single page fax to a legal contract consisting of several hundred pages. Previous efforts for digitizing this data proved to be extremely time consuming. When Norton Rose LLP lawyers, research, and administrative staff must spend many hours looking for key information, it affects productivity and profitability – for both Norton Rose LLP and their clients.
With a strong commitment to digitization, Norton Rose LLP devised a system through which individual employees use multifunction scanning devices (MFD) located near their desks to scan/copy and then send documents for conversion into digital file formats. The objective is for all incoming documents to be input into their document management system, Interwoven Worksite.
The challenge for the Norton Rose LLP IT team was to find an OCR solution for this system which met all of their requirements. First, the system should facilitate quick processing of large amounts of documents so the technology should be efficient. Additionally, the documents should be reproduced with extremely high accuracy so that the digital documents can be stored in a format matching the original as closely as possible. In the legal field, the quality of documentation is crucial. The documents files must also be easily locatable using a keyword search. Next, the system should be easy-to-use, reliable, requiring minimal staff training and time spent processing documents. Finally, each process of scanning and sending documents should be linked to a specific client code, with the client billing information recorded for use by the accounting department.
The information technology and systems integration team from Norton Rose LLP evaluated a variety of systems based on key criteria including: accuracy of document recognition, stability, speed and efficiency, ability to support processing of large amounts of documents, and flexibility of integration.
The team selected ABBYY Recognition Server, a server-based solution for document recognition and conversion of PDF files to digital file formats. Based on ABBYY’s award-winning technology platform, Recognition Server offers high accuracy in recognition of scanned documents, image files, and PDF files reproducing not only words, but formatting of documents just like the original.
ABBYY Recognition Server centralizes processing of documents, moving all processing away from client work stations. Using Recognition Server, all employees are able to scan documents using the multifunction copy devices whenever it is needed throughout the work day. Documents can vary in size and format, ranging from printed Word documents to excel sheets, letters and faxes. Once input using the MFP, the document is routed directly to Recognition Server which converts it into text searchable PDFs. These files are then passed to the document repository for long-term storage. The department and client account gets billed based on a code that is typed in during scanning.
Depending on the size of the original document, this process is finished within seconds. All employees have access to their document management system and since all documents are processed by ABBYY Recognition Server in advance, they are guaranteed that they have a database with searchable documents. With this, an entirely new dimension of data is now available for Norton Rose LLP employees with a single search command. ABBYY Recognition Server is a robust server-based solution for automating the recognition. All OCR processing takes place in the background on the server, so the document/PDF conversion process is invisible to all users. The Norton Rose LLP IT team can easily monitor job progress or check for system problems using an Administration Console. Scalability of the system is simple, just add additional CPUs and the capacity and processing speed can be increased.
Having all pertinent information quickly and easily accessible improves operational performance with the aim of increasing profitability while continuing to deliver outstanding customer service gives Norton Rose LLP the edge to serve their clients better, faster and more efficiently.
It took the Norton Rose LLP IT team a few days to integrate Recognition Server with their system, which included integrating the Recognition Server workflow with their MFPs and document management system. Norton Rose LLP also created a customized Web view of the scanning queues so that their first line support teams can check for build-ups in the workflow.
ABBYY Recognition Server is now helping Norton Rose LLP become more productive by processing several hundred documents on a any given day of the week. Norton Rose LLP is currently adding ABBYY Recognition Server to their central document processing unit so that the firm can not only process new documents, but also the 12 million already existing in their database.