Peer to Peer Magazine

March 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 98 of 103

lessons learned A Genesis Story: Proposal Generator by Umair Ahmed, Sunny Bane and Philip DeMario of DLA Piper Developing a Global-Friendly Following the 2005 merger of three regional firms to form the global firm DLA Piper, we've remained focused on combining our systems and cultures. During this process, a challenge for the marketing department presented itself: How to provide access to thousands of pieces of collateral from offices all over the world, and make it easy to put those together into proposal documents that conform to style and branding guidelines, follow regional legal requirements, and utilize only the most current, accurate information. Could we develop a system that allowed marketing staff in California to put together a pitch for a company with operations in China without having to wait for responses from personnel in Shanghai? How could we be sure that an energy-focused proposal sent out from Houston conveyed the same information, look and feel as one from Dubai? An initial attempt to use off-the-shelf proposal generation software was unsuccessful for several reasons, including difficulty in managing such a large inventory of documents, challenges with training users across different skill levels and cultures, and issues with slow performance. In our rush to adopt a solution to "stop the bleeding," we had failed to do our homework before making a purchase, and the result was a system that didn't adequately meet our needs and which few people used. Rogue users abounded! 100 Peer to Peer

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