Summary

The bank’s Head of Knowledge Management (KM) explains why the company chose HighQ Collaborate and how the system enables his department to revolutionise internal collaboration and strengthen relationships with its legal panel firms. The client is the legal department of a multinational bank and financial services firm that provides support and legislative oversight to the company’s banking and retail departments.

The challenge: Connecting thousands of lawyers across jurisdictions

With more than 1,000 people in the in-house legal team, HighQ’s client is a massive organisation with lawyers across many jurisdictions. The client’s Head of KM explains how the organisation struggled with information silos: “In our legacy intranet we had separate domains for different teams, which meant that knowledge was siloed across the business. Certain teams couldn’t access other teams’ intranet sites, and even our central database wasn’t accessible to all users globally.”

The company sought a solution that could be a central point of access for every person within the organisation. “HighQ Collaborate appealed to me because it is globally accessible,” the Head of KM explains. “Unlike our existing on premise solutions like Sharepoint, HighQ Collaborate is cloud-based so the same information can be accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world. This was really important to us as we are a global organisation working with teams across a universal bank and external law firms in multiple jurisdictions.”

The solution: A hybrid intranet/knowledge sharing solution

HighQ offered a complete solution that would allow the bank’s legal department to keep the large number of teams within the organisation connected. “For us, HighQ Collaborate is a sort of hybrid between an intranet and a knowledge base,” the Head of KM says. “It’s where we store all our data, documents and information, such as training handbooks, but also where our teams can share knowledge and contribute to each other’s projects. Our knowledge base site forms part of our initiative to bring teams together in one place and provide them with information that everyone can access.”

The legal department have found their own unique way of using the platform which works for them, as the Head of KM describes: “Instead of setting up separate sites for each team, we can keep everyone in one big site and assign each team a section of the wiki. We have broken the wiki module down into team hubs, so each team gets a top level page and sub-pages where they can link to documents, provide background information, and access training materials specific to that team.”

“We use Collaborate’s advanced permissioning controls to ensure that only authorised users have access to information in particular hubs of the wiki,” explains the Head of KM. “It’s easier to do it this way than setting up separate sites because it’s less challenging to administer. Using system-level groups, we can simply set permissions on what access is given to each group of users, and this can be easily altered to give more or less access if necessary on a wiki-by-wiki basis.”

Separate sites are reserved for individual projects, and these are used more deeply than the knowledge base, as the Head of KM explains: “When it comes to specific regulatory projects, project teams set up sites where they have discussions using the social tools, store documents in the Files modules and create project trackers using iSheets. The project trackers are particularly useful as they get filled in as people reach different stages in the project, and each separate project tracker feeds into one main tracking iSheet for all of the legal projects going on within our team.”

The result: Connected teams, both internally and externally

The Head of KM describes the benefit for the organisation now that users have begun working in one unified platform: “Collaborate enables teams to share knowledge across jurisdictions and offices and actually know where the information is going. It’s not just flying off into the ether, or being forgotten in untouched folders on a dusty hard drive. It’s going to specific people but is also constantly accessible by anyone else who need it.”

As well as aiding internal communication, HighQ Collaborate is used as a knowledge sharing platform enabling the client to share knowledge with external parties too. “We work with a large network of external vendors and panel law firms,” explains the Head of KM. “They can add information directly into Collaborate, which means they can feed in specific useful information to appropriate discussions or projects as they happen, instead of sending or receiving deluges of information in one go via email. Our extranet users can engage with us just as easily as our internal users, which really breaks down the barriers of communication and helps us work as a joined-up team.”

When it came to getting people to start using the system, the Head of KM admits it wasn’t as easy at first. “Usage of Collaborate built very slowly at first, but it’s reaching critical mass now. The biggest barrier initially was having the login page, but since we made the switch to single sign on we’ve seen a marked increase in people using the platform. We’re working hard to find new ways to get people engaged; we’ve listened to specific problems users are having and helping them to solve them and we’re periodically speaking to teams and offering training.”

The Head of KM explains that although the platform is user-friendly by nature, there are a few tweaks they have made to help make the platform more familiar to their users. “We heavily branded the site with our branding, renamed some of the modules (wikis are called Pages or Team Hubs and blogs are called Updates) and we have structured each wiki page with breadcrumb trails so that it’s really easy for users to navigate the content. We’ve got plans for how we want to develop the wikis further to make them an even more useful resource.”

In conclusion: Revolutionising relationship with legal panel firms

The Head of KM believes that HighQ Collaborate has already changed the way the company’s teams access information and share knowledge with one another, but says that it has real potential to revolutionise the organisation’s relationships with legal panel firms: “For us, Collaborate really is the swiss army knife of tools. It is so flexible, we can use it for almost everything when it comes to collaborating internally and externally. It has enabled us to create an interconnected relationship with our panel firms which has helped them become more deeply embedded within our legal teams where they work closely together.

“For us, Collaborate really is the swiss army knife of tools. It is so flexible, we can use it for almost everything when it comes to collaborating internally and externally.”

Head of Knowledge Management

About HighQ

HighQ is a leading provider of secure document exchange and team collaboration software. We provide innovative collaboration and publishing products to some of the world’s leading law firms, investment banks and corporations. We uniquely combine secure, enterprise-grade document management with the best corporate social tools. Now you can securely exchange critical business information and collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners in one unified space.