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As I’ve discussed in the past, online collaboration platforms generally allow for far more secure communication than email and offer attorneys a secure online location for collaboration.
But what types of specific transactions can be handled in online collaboration platforms such as virtual data rooms? Well, the answer depends on the type of law that you practice.
If you’re a corporate attorney, you can use a virtual data room for mergers and acquisitions transactions, ranging from due diligence with a single buyer to a staged sell side auction.
Likewise, online document repositories can be very useful for real estate matters, allowing lawyers to more easily manage sales and leases, in addition to restructuring asset backed loans & mortgages.
Restructuring and Insolvency transactions are also well suited for virtual deal rooms. Lawyers can use virtual data rooms to organize files in multiple structures within the same project to control access to files and functionality and create additional deal rooms to buy and sell assets, close financings, or raise additional capital.
On March 18, Firmex participated in the ALM’s Virtual LegalTech for the first time. In honour of the inaugural venture, our team held an iPad giveaway contest.
Touting itself as the next generation of law conferences, Virtual LegalTech offers legal professionals innovative and economical ways to learn about the latest legal technologies while networking with colleagues.
To add to the spread of modernity at the conference, the Firmex team decided to give away the groundbreaking iPad (which had yet to be released) to one of the many visitors that came to our booth and dropped their business cards.
At Firmex, we provide virtual data room solutions to lawyers who seek to enhance and streamline their document exchange processes. Saving time for our clients is essential to Firmex and as such, the iPad, with its intelligent efficiencies, is appropriately aligned with our conviction.
Congratulations to our winner from Peterson & Purvis LLP for picking up the iPad – a handy tool for attorneys and, let’s face it, just all around fun!
In late 2008 we at Firmex were discussing strategy around enhancing our data room service for client satisfaction and planning for the future. We identified the need for a benchmark to measure our success in delivering our service to our clients. We also needed a better understanding of how clients feel about what we deliver and what they need in the future to enhance their experience.
In my time at GE, we used the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It proved to be a valuable tool for measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, while obtaining valuable feedback direct from clients. It seemed like a logical choice for what we needed to accomplish.
NPS is a simple but effective measure of customer loyalty used by many leading companies including Apple, GE, IBM, American Express – this list goes on. The NPS approach is to ask your customers two simple questions:
Are you willing to recommend us to a colleague, client, or business partner and
Please tell us why.
I was in the client-server business from 1993-2005 and since 2005 I have been in the SaaS business. I am awestruck with the economic impact SaaS has had on the software industry in the last half decade and, I suspect, it will grow to be of similar magnitude to the Internet’s effect on newspapers, music and publishing. I have no doubt that the efficiencies SaaS drives will completely disrupt the software business and here are the reasons:
Less Expensive: To Make, Distribute and Own
To develop and maintain software on a single version in a controlled production environment is cost efficient. In other words, the internet, or “cloud,” eliminates the expense of travelling sales people, consultants and VARs distribution. Without on-site servers, labor and maintenance costs are cut and there is no matrix of software versions to upgrade. Without a matrix of versions, the “best of breed” application easily integrates with other products, cutting out costly software customization and the need for retrofitting custom code on upgrades. Furthermore “Perfect Fit” best of breed applications can be more easily distributed over a broad geographical area via SaaS.
Ad agencies and design firms, as creative shops, have always used the design of their spaces to inspire their employees to creative heights. But, really, it’s in every business owner’s interest, no matter what industry, to build an employee environment that invites creativity and productivity.
Firmex’s software engineers, busily developing hyper-secure code that drives millions of mission-critical documents that are accessed by 10,000s of users every month, should be treated to a space that is as dynamic as their work in the SaaS industry. Also, a large portion of our business as a data room provider is devoted to making our clients happy, with an in-house client services staff working 24/7 to help people with transactions valued in the billions of dollars every month. Happy employees mean happy customers, and a happy employee begins with a great work environment - that’s why I decided to design a new office that was both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
Although I had a brief two months to complete the project with my designer, I knew what I wanted: a simple space, full of natural light, that wouldn’t be overdesigned to the point of distraction. I wanted the new space to act as a simple canvas for expression. The space itself was inspiring – great views, high ceilings and columns that reminded me of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed SC Johnson building.
Because data room performance is important to our clients, we recently released the first wave of our new software architecture to address the growing demands of our customers.
For the past few years, our customers have primarily used our data rooms for M&A deals which are usually made up of around 300 folders containing 5000 documents. However, as our clients are adopting electronic deal rooms for other uses, such as litigation and clinical studies, we decided to adapt to these new requirements. Some of these virtual data rooms might have over 80,000 folders containing more than 100,000 documents.
We’re excited to roll out our new architecture that supports sub second data retrieval, even on these large scale deals. These improvements represent considerable time and money savings for our clients working with multiple small to large transactions. The litigation and life sciences verticals will greatly benefit from these data room improvements.
Welcome to the new and improved Firmex Blog, an online space to discuss about secure document exchange and collaboration, virtual data room technology and its applications, M&A trends and news, secure extranets, and many other related topics.Aside from the new look, new content and features, there are some specific goals we would like to achieve with this blog.
As one of the leaders in our industry, we want to contribute to the ongoing conversation on topics related to secure document collaboration and virtual data room environments.
Deliver value added content, articles, news and case studies to corporations, investment banks, law firms and any organization looking to securely organize and exchange confidential documents online.
To answer your questions and concerns on secure online information exchange and collaboration. If you are conducting a due diligence process, reviewing transaction drafts, closing deals, running audits., providing document libraries for clients or across organizations as part of a corporate initiative, we want to hear from you.
We survey 1000s of users every year. We are interested in hearing your comments, questions, inquiries and product ideas as we continuously expand the uses and functions of our technology.
However, above all, we want to listen to you, our reader. Come and help us shape the industry and deliver even better value to organizations around the world.
Once again, welcome and thanks for dropping by!
At Firmex we are proud to announce significant enhancements on our virtual data room technology platform. The following is an extract of the press release made public today:
Firmex has released a new architecture that exponentially increases the speed in which users can review large volumes of documents. “Since we do not charge for data or documents stored, our clients have increasingly been using Firmex for very large transactions. These transactions can run 10,000 to 100,000 document folders, each containing sets of documents”.
While this is not common on your average M&A transaction, if you’re restructuring asset-backed loan portfolios, running a multi-billion deal, sharing clinical study findings, or reviewing litigation documents, sharing large volumes of documents is not uncommon” says Randy Rosenberg, Firmex CTO. With this highly efficient technology, Firmex can accommodate our increasing roster of large projects. “Our policy of unlimited use and cost certainty for our clients forces us to develop high-speed and efficient technology. The combination of drag & drop functionality and the ability to move thousands of documents rapidly to and from the data room and the speed enhancements for large transactions saves our clients considerable time and money when managing transactions. They are all aligned with our focus on speed and ease-of-use as key development objectives” says Rosenberg.
You can go here to see the full press release.
Firmex is pleased to announce new enhanced functions that allow executed documents to be published directly from the deal room to external media in seconds. “After closing a deal, parties, often exhausted, tend to move on to other deals. Thus leaving the responsible party scrambling to pick up loose ends and create the closing binders” says Chris Gaffney, Director Client Services at Firmex. Our clients' version and post executed documents online to a shared closing agenda. The closing set is already organized when the final documents are signed. With a click of a button, hundreds of indexed final forms are neatly published for offline or online distribution.
Moreover, copies of the deal can be located online. Our clients can authorize Firmex to provide a complimentary secure online library of documents for 3rd parties, who can publish indexed deal documentation to DVD as needed.
This level of organization and efficiency is more cost effective and helps turn around work faster.. “In this economic environment, both law firms and corporate clients appreciate this type of efficient deal infrastructure” says Joel Lessem, Firmex CEO.
About Firmex: Firmex™ Develops a secure, collaborative, and branded online environment for conducting due diligence, reviewing transaction drafts and closing deals. Firmex licenses its virtual data room technology to organizations that seek to enhance and streamline their transactional processes.
There has been much talk about the "boom and bust" of client extranets and deal rooms. In the late 1990s leading firms such as Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance invested millions building their own deal rooms. Neil Cameron, legal consultant, quoted in LegalIT article : Five Year Review Back To the Future (October 2005) , says that clients are not interested in using their law firm deal rooms.
That in the future law firms will use their clients deal rooms. On this note I spoke to Gillian Stacey at Davies Ward who have been running numerous deals on "their" deal room for clients. I asked her if clients have been giving any push back on using the Davies deal room? The answer was an emphatic "no"! She says that clients are not in the business of running deals. Many simply do not have the deal frequency or inclination to invest in the technology.