Dutch law firm Van Doorne uses HighQ Collaborate for its dynamic internal collaboration and communications platform: Van Doorne Forum. Peter Piepers, Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer and Rosalie Tordoir, Senior Communications Advisor at Van Doorne explain how HighQ Collaborate is transforming the way the firm communicates internally and with its clients.
Van Doorne is a top-tier independent Dutch law firm. The firm’s lawyers, tax attorneys and civil-law notaries advise leading Dutch and international companies, financial institutions, semi-public institutions and government agencies. They also act as State Advocate for the Dutch Ministry of Finance.
The challenge: getting people to communicate
Van Doorne previously used a self-built system for their intranet which stored files on local servers and offered no social functions. According to Peter Piepers, Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer, who ran the project to implement HighQ Collaborate, Van Doorne’s legacy intranet was “a series of static sites that stored information.”
Van Doorne wanted to combine file sharing with both internal and external communication, so they sought a dynamic social collaboration platform to replace their legacy intranet.
“We had a real need for a platform that could help our colleagues and clients communicate easily,” Peter explains. “We wanted to find a system that fit with our culture at Van Doorne, one of innovation and communication, transparency and openness.”
The solution: an integrated file sharing and social collaboration platform with on-hand support
Peter was attracted to the transparent internal and external collaboration functionality offered by HighQ Collaborate. Peter explains, “We were looking for a system that was flexible and customisable, and HighQ Collaborate is easy to configure; we’ve branded ours as Van Doorne Forum.”
However, Peter states that reputation and quality of support was most the important factor in Van Doorne selecting HighQ. “We knew that HighQ is used by the top 20 UK law firms so we were sure we could trust them. This, combined with the support HighQ could give us while setting up the system and ongoing help with any problems we might face, pushed us to choose them.”
Peter elaborates, “HighQ has an office in Amsterdam with some really great guys, so we feel comfortable knowing that if we need support we can call them and they will be here right away. With their help, the initial set-up ran smoothly and we’ve had no problems with the platform.”
“We wanted to find a system that fit with our culture at Van Doorne, one of innovation and communication, transparency and openness.”
Peter Piepers, Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer
The result: an enterprise social network that supports innovation
Rosalie Tordoir, Senior Communications Advisor, was involved with implementing the roll-out of the Collaborate across the firm. She reports that user take-up has been positive, helped by a structured roll-out and training plan. “For us, the major goal to improve our internal communication by making it easy and efficient to inform each other and to share knowledge.”
Within three months of implementation, Van Doorne launched the system formally throughout the entire firm, and continue to provide on-going support and training to users. “We launched the system by showing our users an instructional video about the platform to familiarise them with the system. We followed that up with weekly training sessions and tips and tricks for our colleagues.”
“The challenge was getting people to communicate. We knew that we needed to make sure that our users were comfortable with the system and that they were using it correctly.”
Rosalie Tordoir, Senior Communications Advisor
“Most of our users have got the hang of it now, including our colleagues some of whom had never used enterprise social networks before,” Rosalie continues. “Our users have started adding images and videos to their updates and documents, which makes it much more appealing than standard-text based systems we’ve been used to.”
Conclusion: transforming the way the firm communicates
For Van Doorne, implementing a new platform is essential to keeping the firm at the top of its industry. Peter explains, “At Van Doorne we have a policy to adapt the way we work to the system we use, rather than adapt the system to the way we work. This is part of our commitment to innovation and helps ensure we keep evolving and moving forwards as a firm.”
Rosalie explains, “HighQ Collaborate is the primary mode of communication for most of our colleagues now. It works and it’s easy. Users check the activity stream instead of their email and leave feedback in comments and microblog posts. On top of this they can share large files securely, both internally and externally with our clients.”
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.
About Van Doorne
Van Doorne is a people’s firm, with personal attention to you as our client, as well as to each other. Our personal touch guarantees a no-nonsense approach and a down to earth, open way of working. Our more than 140 lawyers, civil law notaries and tax consultants are recognised experts in their fields and the industries in which they operate. For almost 85 years Van Doorne has been one of the Netherlands’ most reputable firms. Our clients are leading players in their respective markets and we take pride in representing most of them for many years.