Law firm Simpson Grierson has developed an extranet service that allows clients to access information pertinent to their own business with the firm.
The browser-based service includes the status of various matters involving the client and current project reports, as well more general information such as standard contracts and profiles of Simpson Grierson team members.
The service was set up with the help of systems integrator gen-i, and is initially being trialled with three large clients that Simpson Grierson declines to name. The extranet project began in August says information services manager Valerie Fogg, and has been running for about three weeks.
The extranet extracts the requested document directly from the firm’s Filenet document management system. It went in smoothly, says gen-i technical consultant Lim Leong, with “only the usual software bugs” during implementation.
The toughest task in putting the system in was getting from the clients a specification of their information needs and “presenting [the information] in a way that is logical for them.” Each client, current and future, prefers to work in a different way, so this will continue to be a significant factor in each implementation, she says.
The network has 128-bit SSL security, as well as authentication by sign-on and, naturally, a firewall. This is intended to prevent any client’s information becoming visible to another client, and to keep the firm’s private information away from anyone logging into the extranet.