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Top challenges customers face when adopting a new document management system

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When Innisfree M&A found out their previous document management platform would be discontinued thanks to a corporate merger, the New York-based stakes shareholder engagement firm knew they needed to act quickly and deliberately to ensure a smooth migration of their valuable data.

The lesson Innisfree learned in the process? Leveraging the power of metadata, combined with a smooth onboarding process and an easy-to-use interface is a "must-have" experience for any company seeking to fuel a more powerful document management system and maintain a competitive edge.


The Innisfree story

Founded in 1997, Innisfree M&A Incorporated, along with its wholly owned London-based subsidiary Lake Isle M&A Incorporated, is a high-stakes shareholder engagement firm delivering shareholder intelligence, strategic advice, and proxy solicitation services to the world’s leading corporations and investors. Innisfree provides expert advice on shareholder activism, executive compensation proposals, corporate governance issues, investor relations, and more.

Last year, Innisfree's document management system vendor Worldox was acquired by NetDocuments. Having used the document management system for five years, Innisfree Senior Data Strategist Cody Pannella said the firm had already considered migrating to a new system. That plan catapulted to Cody's priority punch list last year when NetDocuments announced they'd be sunsetting Worldox.

"So now that went from a possibility to a requirement that sort of set things in gear for us to really start looking for a new document management system," Cody said

A metadata approach

With staff in New York, London, Pittsburgh and Richmond, VA, Innisfree represents hundreds of clients in more than 20 countries. So, Cody and his team knew they needed to ensure a seamless migration and continue to use a metadata-driven document management system.
"We wanted to make sure that the new product was very metadata focused and it took advantage of the way we were saving files," he said.
Starting with 10 companies, Innisfree eventually chose M-Files as its new metadata-driven document management platforms. Having considered the challenges an IT team will face when adopting a new system, Cody says the M-Files approach addressed each one -- from timing to ease-of-use to seamless adoption.

Ease of use

With M-Files, Cody and team were able to onboard a system that felt similar to the former interface but boosted functionality. "[M-Files offered] me more functionality, more options in the metadata I'm using so that I can not only replicate the old system that I have, but I can take it a step further to tweak issues that I've had with the old structure and replace that with new metadata functionality that M-Files offers," Cody said.

It's all about timing

While Cody leads a team of five professionals, each member had to take time to not only continue their full-time tasks, but also work through testing and proof of concept for the new document management system. Timing was everything.

"We wanted to make sure we were prioritizing the, the major pieces: Being able to prioritize and testing—what are our biggest concerns, what are our biggest issues, what are our biggest features that we'd like to maintain—and going through and finding exactly what fits best," Cody said.

"M-Files made it a point to help with that challenge," he added. "There wasn't really too much time-wasting—it was easier for M-Files to really showcase what made sense for us. And then we didn't even need to cover some of the smaller stuff because the bigger stuff was taken care of right off the bat."

Looking to the future, Innisfree hopes to take their information management game to the next level. Cody adds: "Workflow automation is a big portion that we're looking into now to be able to automate and sometimes streamline some of the activities and some of the processes that we have internally."

To view the full video customer story with Innisfree, click here.

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