National Grid deploys Office 365-based matter management

The legal matter management solution from Eversheds Sutherland & Repstor harnesses existing MS platforms to improve productivity, efficiency & flexibility.

Repstor, the ECM adoption company that helps businesses exploit their SharePoint and Office 365 investments, has named National Grid plc as the latest happy customer of ES/Unity™. The consultancy-led, Office 365-based proposition, developed by Repstor in partnership with international law firm Eversheds Sutherland, is already recording very high user acceptance scores thanks to the way it harnesses National Grid’s existing Microsoft software platforms.

The British multinational electricity and gas utility company has a large UK legal department whose six teams provide legal services to more than 17 business entities and 24 business areas. A reorganisation of the business and a drive to provide more with less prompted the legal function to bring improved consistency and coordination to the way it managed legal matters.

“We wanted to move to a standardised approach - to improve productivity, simplicity and efficiency,” explains Mo Ajaz, National Grid’s Group Head of Legal Operational Excellence, whose role is to ensure that any IT investments within the legal department achieve results. Rather than invest in a dedicated legal document management system, National Grid wanted to make fuller use of standard software that users had already – across and beyond the legal department.

It chose ES/Unity, Powered by Repstor™ because it brings consistency to the way people store and access matter-related documents and emails, without users having to change the way they do things. They simply work on matters using a familiar Outlook user experience for email filing, document management and collaboration, and managing the matter lifecycle. 

Importantly, ES/Unity was developed with direct input from Eversheds Sutherland’s own legal teams. Eversheds Sutherland provides the associated implementation consultancy too, supported by Repstor, ensuring a smooth transition and high user adoption.

Evidence of this is abundant: in a follow-up user survey, 87 per cent of National Grid’s legal team said their experience of ES/Unity and the new way of working was ‘excellent’; the remaining 13 per cent were very positive too. “Everyone is very happy,” Mo says. “Collaboration is very good, there’s improved visibility of where things are and what is happening, and people are working well and retrieving matter-related content easily.”

Word of the project’s early success has already spread to other functions at National Grid. Risk and Head of Investigations have now also rolled out ES/Unity, and the Company Secretary’s office, Property and other departments are interested too. “Having seen how easy ES/Unity has been to adopt, enthusiasm has spread across the business,” Mo says.

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