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Matter Management: Best Practices for Your Legal Documents and Data
Please be advised that these free recorded webinar presentations have been edited from the original format (which might include a poll, product demonstration, and question-and-answer session). To set up a live demo, please complete the form to the right.
Spending too much time tracking down contracts or litigation documents? Are you missing key due dates? Looking for security, centralization, and oversight? CSC can help. Join us for a free webinar discussing best practices and demonstrating our CSC Matter Management platform. In this presentation, we’ll cover:
In this presentation, we'll cover:
Matter management and technology options
Contract renewals, searching, and reports
Litigation routing, response dates, and collaboration
Document retention and data capture essentials
The right data security questions to ask of a vendor
Our solution was ranked #1 in matter management by readers of the New York Law Journal for three consecutive years, and helps you streamline your compliance and cut risk through a combination of collaboration, document management, and alerting capabilities.
Annie: Hello everyone and welcome to today's webinar, "Matter Management: Best Practices for Your Legal Documents and Data." My name is Annie Triboletti and I will be your moderator. Joining us today are Ciela McDevitt and David Jefferis.
Ciela is the Corporate Solutions Manager for the Corporate Legal Solutions Division of CSC and has over 14 years of experience. Ciela is responsible for customer satisfaction, technology training, and new services.
David is a Senior Sales Engineer for Compliance and Governance Services at CSC. With CSC for over 11 years, he has significant experience providing training, implementation, and consultative services to clients of CSC Matter Management and CSC Entity Management solutions. And with that let's welcome Ciela and David.
David: Great. Thanks, Annie. We're very excited to be here and looking forward to getting in today's webinar.
Ciela: Yes. Thank you.
David: It's wonderful. So without further ado, we have a lot to get to really, so I think we'll kind of slide into our agenda to cover what's in store for today's webinar. And so with that, the first thing that we really want to talk about is what is matter management is. So we want to make sure that everyone is on the same page when we're using that terminology. We're going to talk a little bit about some of the common challenges that we hear for organizations that don't have a matter solution. We want to talk about for individuals and organizations that might be evaluating a platform maybe, what are some of the top considerations to really think through as you're doing that vetting and doing that evaluation of a vendor platform.
Ciela is going to share some tips for implementation for those that are implementing a system maybe for the first time or transitioning to a new matter platform. And then more towards the tail end of today's presentation we want to get into CSC's matter platform. As we said, we wanted to make sure that we really kind of level set and make sure that everyone is on the same page. So we'll move into our slide content and talk about what is matter management. And I think it's a term that a lot of people are likely familiar with but again we want to make sure that we're all singing from the same songbook when we use that terminology.
And so from our perspective, a matter management platform is really a legal project management tool. At the end of the day, organizations have legal projects whether it's litigation or contracts, deals, claims. An idea here is that you've got data, documents, and needs for collaboration and reporting and transparency and oversight around those legal projects. So it's a little bit different than case management that would more from sort of the law firm side of things. So this really is for the in-house legal counsel in terms of managing those legal projects. And so there are specialized software platforms that really help, really automate and improve the ability to manage those types of legal matters within your organization.
And as we actually get into the demonstration later at the tail end of the demo we'll look to show you how a matter could really be so many different things, again, a contract, a piece of litigation, intellectual property, real estate, a good matter solution will give you that flexibility to manage various types of legal projects. And so really at this point what I'm going to do is turn it over to Ciela to talk about what are some of the common challenges that we hear for organizations that currently do not have an actual vendor platform in place for matter management.
Ciela: Yes, thank you. For those in audience today who joined to have a better understanding of what matter management is, I think it helps to understand why legal and compliance departments decide to use a matter management system. So common challenges include, no central repository. That could be for data, things like contract renewal dates, parties involved, terms, things like that that a legal department wants to track or maybe data associated with litigation and other service or process like garnishments. It may also be document management, so no place where all the documents are essentially stored that people can access them and easily find them.
There may be confusion associated with whose working on what and when and could lead to maybe multiple people working on the same thing which isn't really efficient.
Manual processes, so back to kind of who's working on what, when, just the ability to assign work to different people or have tasks or keep dates.
And then collaboration, so often its multiple people working on different things and if it's an Excel and shared drives, there may not be the right levels of security and it may not be as efficient for the teams to just know who's working on what.
So other challenges include lack of auditing. So when you're working again in just Excel, in email, in shared folders, it's hard to know who did what and sometimes that's important and the dates of things, what changes have been made. So if you think of a contract as an example, what version is being worked on, who's working on it, and who made the last set of changes?
Reporting on all of that, so with an example of litigation, it could be difficult to track answer dates or expiration dates if it's a contract. So there's no efficient way to take that analytical view.
And then, of course, security which is another topic that in today's climate is so important with litigation and contracts that something that is confidential even within an organization, so being able to secure that, so the right people who are seeing the right things.
David: Yeah, absolutely, and we're going to certainly talk a little bit more about security during the course of the overview. And really what we want to do now is talk a little bit about some of the considerations for, again, people that might be in the camp of I don't have a system and I'm maybe exploring using a vendor platform to assisting you with managing matters or again, maybe I'm looking to transition to a new solution. And so we've created a little bit of a checklist. So I think it's an even dozen, not a baker's dozen but an even dozen considerations that we've created for people to really kind of think through as they do those evaluations and then we'll kind of touch on these a little bit during the course of the presentation.
So one of the things that we want people to think about is a technology platform that really meets your needs, really today and tomorrow. There are a lot of very sophisticated matter management platforms in the market but one of the things that we actually heard at the conference that Ciela was referencing earlier is people coming to us and saying, "You know, we have the system, we can't even get to do what we needed to do. It's so complicated. It's so cumbersome. It's just way overblown for really what are needs are," so, again, getting a system that really solves the challenge and kind of meets your needs as an organization.
Again, we're going to touch on security. We'll talk about the critical capabilities around document management, reporting integration with other solutions, collaboration scalability. We want to talk about the role of e-billings so it's quite common that when organizations are tracking legal matters in a matter management platform that there's quite often the need to engage outside the council and when that's a part of the equation there's a spend element that you're trying to track and there are e-billing solutions that are often integrated with matter platforms that can automate and improve that entire spend management process which we'll talk to you in some detail.
Certainly, other considerations would include things like cost. Budget is always a concern especially for those that may not have a solution at this point. What sort of training and support and expertise does the vendor bring to the table, and this is always kind of a funny one to think about as you're maybe embarking on a new solution, but what if it doesn't meet our needs? What if we want to change directions and what would it look like maybe to get our information back? Does it belong to the vendor? Does it belong to us? How simple is it to ultimately get our data and documents back should we decide to cancel the service with that particular provider?
So in terms of technology that meets your needs, on the slide that you're seeing here, there are fundamentally two different types of solutions on the market. So we're looking at kind of two camps here, installed software and SaaS or browser-based platform. So installed software is sort of the old way of doing things in terms of how we look at things where you're talking about what some would call an on-premise solution where a vendor is actually installing software on servers that you're maintaining within your network environment.
And so it is often a costly exercise, it is often a very time-consuming exercise. Some of the challenges that you run into would be the ability to actually get to that information. It could be limited to certain computers or a certain number of individuals that have access to that particular piece of software. Enhancements are typically not something that happen in the seamless fashion. Quite often you would find yourself in the situation where if you want to upgrade to a new version of the solution, it's like starting the implementation all over again. So we're back to, you know, weeks or months of sort of trying to do an upgrade to take advantage of current functionality or new functionality.
But we see really organizations adopting en masse these days are, again, I use that term SaaS and that stands for software as a service or cloud-based, browser-based solutions where really it's plug and play. So with a username and a password and, you know, there are some other factors of authentication that can be mixed in as well, you're able to easily connect to the solution in an online fashion, no software to host or maintain, not a complicated installation whatsoever, it's something that the vendor can implement very quickly.
And then, again, integration with upgrades. So as the vendor improves the solution, you're able to typically, normally take advantage of those capabilities, again, in an automated fashion. It's not a complicated install of months or weeks and starting over. It's really just a matter of taking advantage of the features within the solution.
So, again, those are the two major types of platforms. Again, browser-based is simply where we see things going in the market and I think that's been the case for quite some time now. So I mentioned that we talk about security and I think Ciela is going to do that right now.
Ciela: Thank you. So in sticking with considerations for evaluating a solution, the first was a technology that meets your needs. When you find that you definitely want to ask about security. So we've included some questions to ask. Where is the data stored? Who has access to the data? Can users that have access to the system have defined roles or role-based permission sets? For example, there may be someone who can view documents but not change them or a super user who can see everything. So asking about that and your needs in making sure that it matters.
David: So with that, we want to talk a little bit more, and I think Ciela you're going to continue to talk a little bit more about document management and some of the essentials and how critical document management is to a compelling matter management solution.
Ciela: Yes. So a third of the audience says that it was important to them to be or maybe that they're spending too much time looking for documents, and that's definitely something I hear in speaking with our customers that are starting to think about the matter management system. You definitely want to think about it'd be easy not only to put documents into the system but also to find them and get them out. So maybe being able to email documents out of the system or maybe even having an email integration where if you get an email with the document, you could click a button and that would upload the document into the matter management technology.
So it being easy both ways and it providing a central repository so that individuals with the right permission set know where they can go to find documents and there are lots of different ways to search. A question to ask is how long does the storage last? If we upload a document, is it perpetually stored or is there a date limit like six months to a year or things like that? Documents associated in index to relevant legal matters or a project, so for those on the phone today who are managing litigation, there may be documents that come overtime so, you know, subsequent pleadings and things like that that you want to be able to associate. So if that's the case, if you're looking into a solution, will it be able to do that for you? And will the system support all the needed document types including your specific needs?
With document searching you don't want to settle, especially if that's one of the challenges, is finding the right documents. So I would ask in reviewing different options, how will I be able to search for documents in my repository? And a good answer would be various different ways because you never know what's going to pop up and how you're going to need to find something. So examples would be, can I search by document title, by a keyword, or phrase? Maybe even something, a word within the document, a company or individual name, a date range, by the user who uploaded it, or any of the data fields that are being tracked.
David: Absolutely. We can make sure that when we segue later on to a presentation of our solution that we can cover some of those abilities to search for, you know, date and documents in various ways within CSC Matter Management.
Another critical consideration and I think we saw this borne out of the poll results would be reporting. People talked about reporting and oversight being a challenge. And so when you're evaluating a matter management solution, one of the things that we think you should really consider is the ease of reporting. I think I might have alluded to this in my earlier comments where we've heard some folks come to us and say that it's very challenging to use the current systems. And the common refrain that we hear is that reporting can be one of the most challenging aspects of a sophisticated matter platform where we get the data in but then when we're trying to get it out in some meaningful way and in some analytical way, it becomes daunting to really do that.
And so really when we talk about ease of reporting you would want a solution that allows you to dynamically build new reports on the fly, give sort of admins or super users the ability to modify those existing reports and then really control how has access to that information. So we talked about reports being permission-based making sure that if there's a user that only sees the subset of your legal matters that when they run the report by virtue of that security setting, they only have access to that same information via the reporting module.
You would want to make sure that all data in the solution is reportable, so if I'm looking to report on legal spend, if I'm using an e-billing component, if I want to get a sense for the volume of garnishments that we've received in the last quarter for example that there are not any limitations really with your ability to query the database and get information out in a meaningful way.
Public versus private, again, controlling ultimately who has access to the reports that you're designing within the solution, the ability to save templates, and also schedule reports. And so one of the really popular, not to segue too much into the CSC side of things, but one of the really popular aspects of our matter platform is the ability to actually not only design reports but to schedule them to be delivered in an automated fashion.
So on an ongoing basis our solution can notify you of SOP documents that are sitting unacknowledged or contracts that are facing expiration or just ongoing insight into your legal spend versus a budget, for example. Our solution allows for organizations to build reports but then also the system dynamically email them on a routine basis in a secured fashion so that really that scheduling capability turns reporting into alerting which is another way of having, again, that transparency, that oversight over your legal management, again, of your projects and your legal matters.
Another really critical consideration that you'll see here is integration. And this is really one of my favorite ones to really talk about in terms of thinking through the fact that you would not want your matter management platform to be sort of an island onto itself. You would want to make sure that it has the ability to speak with other solutions. So critically, how would information get into our matter management platform? Is that something that we have to do in a completely manual fashion or is there a way to maybe automate and import information? How does information perhaps flow into other solutions?
And so for me I think the way to kind of bring this into focus for our audience is, again, to talk a little bit about some of the examples of integration that our platform can provide and I think there are three or four that immediately come to top of mind when I think about integration and our capabilities. One, is email integration, which is something that Ciela alluded to earlier, the ability while you're working in a program like Outlook for example, to really click upon and save an email and it's attachments into a matter management solution without having to go through a number of manual steps to import that email and its attachments into a platform. So really one click, again integration from Outlook into a matter solution would be one example.
Another example which is sort of unique to a provider like CSC is the integration of service of process documents into your matter management platform. And so in our role as registered agents, we're really kind of on the frontline receiving those SOP documents whether it's a subpoena, a garnishment, personal injury, and again, taking that document and making it available electronically within our solution or something that we do really in an automated fashion. So we build matters for SOP documents and then if there are documents that come through that relate to an existing matter, we consider that a subsequent pleading and tie that to an existing matter within the platform.
So really there's an example here of an automation of what we do as an agent with the matter solution that we're able to provide. We can integrate our SOP documents into other downstream matter and enterprise legal management systems. So if you do want to feed garnishments or subpoenas into another platform or really any legal document, that's something that our system can facilitate.
And then as we talk a little bit about e-billing which I think we'll do later on in the deck that is really a classic example of where our platform should give you the ability to not only receive legal invoices but once you have approved invoices, feed them electronically to your accounts payable system and then once you have an actual paid invoice, you would likely look for the ability to feed that paid invoice data back into your matter management legal spend platform so that from a reporting standpoint not only do you have oversight into your approved invoices but also the actual spend. And you can do reporting and analytics around that information as well.
So integration, again, to be quite simple is all about the ability to seamlessly get data in documents into the platform but also make sure that the platform is capable of having "conversations" with other solutions and being able to share information with other platforms which is something that really any good matter platform should have a strong foundation to be able to do. So with that, let's talk a little bit more about collaboration.
Ciela: Thank you, David. Collaboration may reference the system itself and allowing users to work together on a contract or litigation. But it also could be part of the buying process in picking a matter management solution. And what I've seen that's been helpful with organizations who are looking for a solution is when they take a step back and think about what other departments or what other individuals at their company may benefit by having access to the system or using the system because the more people that are using it and want that buy-in, usually the easier it is to get that budget approval.
So thinking about who could use the system but then also when picking a system, does it meet your collaboration needs? So can we give unlimited users access or is there a fee for every user? We'll talk about that a little bit more in the cost consideration. How does the system facilitate collaboration? Is there a way to set up tasks for people and mark things as done so that we can see what's being completed and who completed it? Can users easily see who made changes to things? And does the system allow users to set up tasks or reminders for others, which I did mention.
Along those line . . . sorry, David.
David: No, I was actually did not mean to interrupt your train of thought, but there was a question that actually came in and I just noticed it in the Q&A going back to something that I talked about very quickly earlier in the presentation, I used the term SaaS, software as a service. Someone was asking for either kind of repeat the definition of that term. And so really SaaS is an acronym that people use to refer to what others might call a cloud-based or a web-based or a browser-based solution. So, again, it's not software that you have to install on a server and maintain and host. You are using, again, a browser to connect to that solution in an online sort of cloud-based fashion which is the most prevalent way that providers are offering these types of technologies today, so SaaS, again, software as a service.
Sorry, Ciela, I just wanted to throw that out there.
Ciela: It's actually a perfect segue in the scalability because your browser-based solutions are usually highly customizable. So as the needs of your organizations change, it can be easier to change the system to meet what you want to track with your data and your documents and what you want to be able to report on. So something to consider with the software that's installed on your servers, that maybe built and customized perfectly to meet your needs today but what happens in a few years where there's a shift in what your legal department is doing and there may be a different way that you want to track things?
So some things to think about are, will you be able to update the fields that you want to track and the data points or is that something that the software provider would have to change for you, because that can be pricy. So the ability to change what data fields you're tracking and be able to customize that to meet your needs. What's the document retention like? How many documents can be stored? Can I make it so the right parties can see it, and if that changes, can I make the changes on who can see what, or is that something that I have to go back to the vendor to do for me?
With document searching, will I be able to search multiple different ways? With collaboration, how easy is it to permission in other people and other departments? Is the reporting fast and flexible or is it going to take me half an hour to build a report? I want it to take five minutes. And then is e-billing an option with the matter management solution? As David mentioned it often go hand and hand especially when you're working with outside counsel. So maybe if you don't need it today but you think you may need it in the future, that's something to ask the matter management provider if that's an option going forward.
David: So now that were going to talk about cost later on as a consideration, but I think there's actually kind of a connection here between scalability and cost. And so I've heard this from some of the organizations that I've had the pleasure speaking with as they kind of evaluate our technology. In some cases you need to think about if we were to grow, if we start managing more matters, if we start uploading more documents, if our legal spend grows, for example, with the outside counsel, what does that do to the cost that were paying the vendor?
And I don't want to steal Ciela's thunder when she talks about cost a little bit later on, but I can really think of a conversation that I had a few months ago with an organization that was using a third-party vendor for e-billing in spend management and they said point-blank that they can no longer afford it because the pricing model of the vendor was that they took out what seemed to be a minor percentage of the legal spend they were managing as a fee to access their e-billing platform but as their spend grew and grew and grew that nominal percentage exponentially was causing the cost of the application to go up and up and up and they really couldn't afford it. It was really no longer in their budget.
So, again, I think there's actually a corollary between scalability and cost which we'll talk a little bit more about in just a few moments. But I want to kind of come back to something that Ciela was talking about and we've got a slide just to kind of reinforce this. And it's really the concept of configuration versus customization and I will be very honest, for the longest time I didn't think there was a difference or know there was kind of a difference between those two terms but actually there is.
And so configurability refers to the opportunity of a client who's using a software application to make changes themselves on the fly, adding new field, adding new templates which is a concept that we'll explore in our demonstration. Modifying folder structures, again, being able to, it's kind of a DIY, right, do it yourself, I can on the fly do these things and really configure the application as needed.
Customization technically refers to the need of the software vendor to actually do coding and perform a function of updating or modifying the software for you. And so fundamentally, even though I just almost mixed those two terms up together again, these are really different things.
So when we're talking about a system that's configurable, the power is in your hands as an end-user to configure the solution as you need to, customization is going to be expensive. It's going to be timely. The vendor is going to likely charge you for the coding and the work that they're doing. It's likely something that will take weeks or months for them to effectively implement for your organization. So, again, it's a good question, it's a good consideration. How much can we do ourselves? How much are we relying on the vendor to make changes to the platform as, again, we're trying to uniquely apply this application to the needs of our organization?
So kind of a fundamental distinction there between configurability, again, empowering your hands versus customization where you're relying on the vendor to make those types of modifications for you.
So we've definitely hit on spend management and e-billing a couple of times during the course of our remarks and I do want to talk about spend management in a little bit more detail. It's sort of depicted here on the slide. Again, a matter management solution is often versatile where the matter could be so many different things. It could be a contract, a deal, intellectual property, a piece of real estate, but I think by far the most common type of matter would be a legal matter. And again, it's but common to have the need to engage outside counsel and collaborate on those legal matters and then as soon as we got that counsel involved there's a spend component involved as well.
And so e-billing is really the opportunity to do a number of things. First and foremost, it's an opportunity to get out of the paper process or simply maybe you're receiving invoices via email. One of the great advantages of the e-billing is a capability that a lot of people would refer to as billing guidelines. The ability to establish a set of rules that the invoices are applied against, so for example, you could establish that with a particular vendor you have a negotiated hourly rate for the services that they provide. There may be some certain things that you don't pay for.
For example, we don't pay for photocopies. We don't pay for travel and expense. And if an invoice were to come through instead of a human having to read through it and maybe catch something like that, a discrepancy of being over charged or being charged for something that, again, you should have been charged for in the first place. The application itself, the billing guidelines can actually catch that discrepancy and then really provide a number of options to you. It could be an outright rejection of the invoice based on the violation or it can simply be brought to your attention so that you can correct it as needed.
A powerful e-billing platform would also give you the ability to go through what is often described as an appeals process. So if there is what you would see as a billing discrepancy, which again potentially your billing guidelines caught for you in an automated fashion, how do we work that out with the vendor? So can there be kind of this back and forth communication to the platform to ultimately come to a consensus on what we should be paying for a particular service that was provided by the law firm.
Another really powerful capability of e-billing is the opportunity to really automate the approval process of the invoice itself. In the very simple example if an invoice were to come through, if it were to perhaps exceed a certain dollar amount for example, perhaps instead of one individual having the authority to approve that invoice, perhaps it takes two or three or four or more individuals to provide their approval. So, again, a good e-billing system will provide really an automation of that workflow notifying the first individual once they provide their approval, should they do so, automatically notifying the second individual in that approval chain that it is there turn to review and approve an invoice, and really automating that approval.
And then we talked about potentially even feeding that approved invoice to an accounts payable system for payment and then automating the return, so to speak, of the paid invoice data back to the e-billing platform so that from the reporting standpoint, again, you've got reporting and oversight over that spend, comparing that spend versus budgets that you can establish within the platform and so really having, again, oversight traceability over your legal spend management is what a good e-billing platform should provide.
And so I kind of hopefully didn't take too much of the wind out of your sails, Ciela, but I think we're going to talk a little bit about cost as another consideration for evaluating a solution.
Ciela: Thank you. And, no, I'm happy to have you help me with this one. So with business, it often comes down to the bottom line. Cost considerations, it's not something you were going to forget to ask but what we try to provide here are some helpful questions to make sure you really uncover the whole picture. So what is the fee structure? Is it based on number of users? Is it based on how many documents are stored? Is it based on how many matters? To give you an example, CSC Matter Management is priced in tiers based on the number of matters? It includes unlimited users, unlimited training, unlimited support, and we just based it on the matters. But every organization that provides matter management that I've encountered is completely different on that. So it's a really good thing to get to the bottom of.
Are all the features included? Are upgrades included? Will upgrades roll out to us? Is there a fee for that? Is it something that has to be installed? What's my IT involvement going to be, and what's the cost is going to be?
David: Another consideration even though we didn't have it here under the cost would be through just the implementation, right? What kind of training and support are provided and that is often where things can kind of astronomically expand in terms of what we thought our spend might be on the solution. So how training is provided if any? What is the implementation cost? What does that do to the overall spend for the matter solution?
Ciela: That's a good one. We should definitely add that.
David: I think it actually kind of segues maybe into kind of the next slide here. So I'll defer to you, Ciela, to kind of talk more about that.
Ciela: Thank you. Perfect. So expertise and support, what type of training is provided and is there a cost for the training? Is it ongoing or do we just get trained included with the installation, and then future support there's a cost for. That is something we have seen, so definitely a question that you want to ask and what's the experience of your support team? Maybe just understanding how long the vendor has been in business. With technology companies, we see them get acquired all the time and then the level of support changes. They're just knowing the stability of that company and what kind of support you can expect long term.
David: And then this was sort of the one I mentioned when we're going to the dozen considerations, it's sort of a funny one to think about but really the right time to ask before you engage is, what happens if this doesn't work out?
Ciela: Yes, because it's an investment not only in the cost but the time involved with putting the documents into the system and the data and then maybe something changes. Are those data and documents yours to take with you and if they are, how do you get them out? We have encountered some providers where we were working with a client to move them from one system to our system and they faced a lot of challenges in getting support in extracting their data and documents.
So I think setting that standard upfront before purchasing a system, you know, are the data and documents ours? Is there a contract or set term required to use this system? Will our users be able to easily get it out? So can we just run a report and pull it out in Excel to get all of our data? Can we just pull all the documents out in batches or that's something that the vendor is going to have to do for us and there's going to be a cost for it?
David: So actually before we talk about CSC Matter Management, I got so excited, I forgot that Ciela was going to share a little bit more with us in terms of tips for implementation. And so this is some best practices, kind of some lessons learned that we're bringing to the table from organizations that have implemented our platform in the past.
Ciela: That's it, exactly. I actually interviewed our matter management team that on board's new customers and talk to them about what's been the smoothest transitions for people that definitely helps with user adoption as well because if it's easy right from the beginning and goes smoothly, I think there's a much better chance with that. So this is what I found out in talking to the team, number one, assign a lead person that's a main point of contact. It doesn't mean there's not going to be multiple people within your organization involved in an implementation but make someone a point person.
And once you decide on a point person you want to debrief. So have a quick meeting where that project lead talks to the end-users and you decide internally what are your goals, what are your best practices. An example of our best practice maybe we want to track this field, that piece of information, let's say contract expiration date. So do we want to make that a required field so that we're always going to be able to report on it.
Set an intention, so I'll kind of explain how this goes wrong to help make sense of it. So what our matter management team was sometimes seeing is that the VPs and the decision makers, they purchased the solution but then didn't necessarily communicate how they wanted it used to the actual day-to-day users. So there was kind of a lack in communication.
So maybe making that part of the day briefing session where your VPs decided on purchasing the system, communicate to everyone who's going to be using it on how they want to see it used. That way the users can look like a rock star.
And then start organizing your data, Excel spreadsheets, I'm a spreadsheet kind of girl, I love to use spreadsheets, so when the team said this was a great way to do it, it made perfect sense to me. So you may already have it but if not, start putting together names of contracts, contract expiration dates, parties involved, on a spreadsheet, most vendors are going to be able to import that data for you.
And then also discussing what data points that you want tracked, which I mentioned before in that example of what do you want tracked but then also maybe is it a required field or is it not a required field, maybe just extra information that could make sense with that particular matter but maybe not. And then another thing to think about is how do we want that data field configured? So is it going to be an open text field? Is it going to be a radio button? Is it going to be a dropdown? And kind of how you want to do it and what makes sense for that particular piece of information.
David: Wonderful. And sometimes people think about, you know, the first thing is getting the data in and then reporting is sort of like the last thing to think about, "How do I get the data out?" But really what our team would do a great job of on the implementation is talking about what other reporting requirements kind of upfront because that can sometimes influence how you actually enter the data, how you kind of, like Ciela talked about different types of fields, the way you kind of structure and organize the data, so kind of thinking through that holistically is a great thing to do so that, again, you're entering the data in such a way that it's going to set you up for success when it comes the time to run reports and extract information from the solution.
So this is where we're going to talk a little bit more in detail about CSC Matter Management and as I mentioned, we want to make sure that we have some time for Q&A at the end. We're going to do kind of a brief little mini demonstration to kind of whet your appetite. Certainly, if you're interested to learn more about our capabilities, we'll have the ability with the I think a final poll question to let us know that you would love to be contacted to learn a little bit more.
So two quick slides on what is CSC Matter Management, and it's really so many of the things that we've been talking about during the course of today's webinar. It is a project management tool for legal matters, managing data, documents, the ability to collaborate, the ability to report, have transparency and oversight. If I had to sum up the strength of our platform in one word, I would say that its versatility. And to me that just drives . . . it's sort of at the core of this platform. And so when I say that it's because a matter could be so many different things. It could be a legal matter, a garnishment, it could be a contract, a piece of real estate. And when we do the mini demo I'll try to do my best in the limited time that I have to kind of show that flexibility in the platform. It's sort of core to the solution.
When we talk a little bit more about matter management in detail, what are some of the core capabilities? Well, we do have the e-billing capability that we've talked about that spend management piece. We do have the ability to integrate email with the solution. We talked about that one-click ability to save an email directly into the matter platform. We have that direct integration with what we do as a registered agent with service of process creating matters, tying subsequent pleadings to completing to existing matters.
There is an incredibly robust document management component to this solution. Our clients can actually upload an unlimited number of electronic documents into our platform. It doesn't alter the annual subscription piece that they're paying for access to the solution.
There are collaborative abilities around creating tasks. Reporting is a powerhouse within our platform and every data element is reportable. And so there's nothing that gets sort of trapped or lost within the solution.