As one of oldest law firms in the state of Indiana, May Oberfell and Lorber is no stranger to change. Founded in 1856, the mid-size law firm’s longevity is a testament to its ability to adopt to the evolution of the law.
But when it comes to technology, May Oberfell and Lorber faces many of the same challenges other law firms face. “Law Firms have traditionally been a little slow to embrace newer forms of technology,” admitted Jerry Kleber, Chief Operating Officer at May Oberfell and Lorber. “They’re typically not early adopters.”
However, through due diligence, vision and industry knowledge, Kleber launched May Oberfell and Lorber into the cloud computing era. He implemented a process utilizing a simple scanning solution and modern content management cloud platform, ScanSnap Cloud and Box, to digitize critical documents with ScanSnap and send them automatically to Box for editing, collaboration, sharing and storage.
The economic benefits of new technologies, particularly in the rapidly evolving document management space, are difficult to overlook. May Oberfell and Lorber’s entrée into a paperless environment began last year when Kleber looked at small desktop scanners to consolidate storage of accounts payable (AP) documents. “I had recently cleaned out a large storage room full of boxes and boxes of documents and it seemed there had to be a better way,” he recalled.
AP offered an ideal starting point for digitizing documents for a number of reasons, most importantly because the firm wouldn’t run up against the privacy requirements of case documents. “It was simple, and I had full control over it, so I could be the beta tester and see how the system works and what kind of issues we might face,” he explained.
So, late in 2015, Kleber decided to purchase Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 scanners. Designed to reduce paper clutter, the desktop unit features an advanced paper feeding system and a fast 25 ppm color scanning speed. Particularly attractive to Kleber was the ScanSnap iX500’s search capability with optical character recognition (OCR). ScanSnap’s OCR feature allows the user to create searchable PDFs or convert a document to Microsoft Word, Excel or Power Point files. Typically, users employ OCR to search for specific words within a scanned document. They can choose to use OCR on an entire document or just a specified page within the document. “I did a little research and the search capability was just phenomenal,” Kleber said. “I realized it would be so much faster, compared to going to a file cabinet and pulling a paper invoice.”
The AP department’s upgrade to a Box enterprise cloud solution eliminated the costs associated with buying and maintaining additional hardware storage, and enabled the department to securely share, manage and collaborate on critical content. Founded in 2005 and based in Redwood City, California, Box is a rapidly growing service company that counts over 60,000 businesses worldwide as customers.
While the initial configuration with the ScanSnap iX500 scanner worked well, it required the law firm to scan documents to a PC before sending it to storage in the Box account. “We were basically taking up disk space when we wanted to store the documents in the Cloud to save disk space,” explained Kleber.
Kleber then learned of a new ScanSnap feature that would allow him to scan his documents and receipts directly to his favorite cloud service, even without the need for a computer or mobile device.
Scan Directly to Cloud
In June 2016, Kleber became one of the first users to deploy ScanSnap Cloud, a new function that allows users to deliver scanned data directly to their favorite cloud services. ScanSnap Cloud improves efficiency and reduces costs by eliminating the need for a PC or mobile device to send the scanned data. At the push of the blue Scan button, ScanSnap iX500s and iX100s send data directly to popular Cloud-based services such as Box. The new tool can automatically classify scanned data into four categories: documents, receipts, business cards and photos, and send them to the desired service or file based on the type. ScanSnap Cloud features automatic optimization of scanned images, automatic naming of files, and robust security using Microsoft’s Azure platform.
Utilizing the new ScanSnap Cloud capability featured on the ScanSnap iX scanners, May Oberfell and Lorber was able to take advantage of the direct link to Box. With a simple app download, Kleber set up “Box” as the document destination, and now his ScanSnap iX500 scanners automatically send digitized documents and receipts to May Oberfell and Lorber’s account on the secure Box content management platform.
He is thrilled with the performance of the scanner and the software. “It’s very peppy,” he said. “I can tell you the process is definitely quicker because I don’t have to drag and drop anything.”
Kleber is looking at an annual scanning project for closed file documents which his firm stores in dozens of boxes in off-site storage. The first challenge is budgeting funds for additional equipment. “I don’t know how soon we’ll go to storing everything in the Cloud,” summed up Kleber. “But looking forward, our technology committee, of which I’m a member, believes we can take bite-sized pieces out of this operational problem by scanning directly to Box.”
Customer: May Oberfell Lorber
Country: U.S., Mishawaka, IN
Industry: Legal services