Workshare Provides Server-based Metadata Removal for Leading Canadian Law Firm McMillan

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Workshare Protect Server automatically scrubs all files leaving the firm, including those sent via webmail accounts and mobile devices.

As a law firm, document security is of upmost importance to us

Workshare, a leading provider of document collaboration software, announced today that Workshare Protect Server, the company’s new server-based metadata removal solution, has been successfully deployed throughout McMillan, one of Canada’s top business law firms.

“As a law firm, document security is of upmost importance to us,” said McMillan IT director Chris Duncan. “Metadata removal is also a growing concern among our clients, and we wanted to address that concern proactively.”

Because McMillan firm members don’t consistently scrub their files before sending them out, Duncan began searching for a server-based metadata removal solution that would (1) operate in the background, (2) scrub all documents sent outside the firm by any means, including mobile devices and webmail, and (3) not rely on intervention from the firm’s 500+ users.

In November 2008, McMillan implemented a try-and-buy version of the only known server-based product available at the time. The solution was supposed to integrate with the firm’s webmail server and spam filter, but technical problems arose immediately because the product used its own SMTP server, based on its own standards instead of Internet standards. “The product didn’t even work with our Exchange server,” recalled Duncan.

In February 2010 McMillan’s Workshare account team contacted Duncan about Workshare Protect Server, a newly available server-based metadata removal product. Because McMillan has been a Workshare customer since 2002 and the two companies have a strong relationship, Duncan agreed to trial the new solution.

Workshare Protect Server is a mail gateway that removes metadata from Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as PDF documents. Because it supports Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino, it provides server-based metadata cleaning for attachments sent from SMTP email servers, as well as from mobile devices such as laptops and BlackBerry phones. All mail is routed through the main Exchange/Domino server for which Workshare Protect Server acts a relay/final delivery server. In addition, Workshare Protect Server provides a web-based console that enables administrators to configure which metadata elements to remove and view a history of what metadata was previously removed.

The ability to select which metadata to scrub from documents was a key feature for McMillan. Because the firm’s clients use the Track Changes tool in Word, Duncan wanted to preserve that metadata. The firm also needed to retain some other custom properties, such as the identification numbers used to file documents in the firm’s database.

“Workshare enabled us to configure the filter ourselves, so we could choose which metadata to clean,” said Duncan. “Previously we had to wait hours for our vendor’s tech support team to do it on their time.”

“The Workshare team actually listened to us and was very receptive to our ideas about how to make the product work for us,” said Ryan Shaw, technical support analyst at McMillan. ”Before they even delivered our trial version, they had already incorporated a number of our recommended changes. It was obvious they had put a lot of R&D time into the product to ensure it met our needs.”

As a result of Workshare’s careful listening and additional R&D efforts, McMillan’s new Workshare Protect Server solution worked right out of the box. By June 2010 Duncan’s team was so confident in their new server-based metadata removal solution, they decided to roll it out firm-wide.

“Implementing Workshare Protect Server was one of the easiest IT projects I’ve had to install,” said Shaw. ”Workshare even sent an installation specialist out to here to help us. She spent two days on site, and the deployment went off without a hitch.”

Workshare Protect Server now automatically cleans all files sent outside of the firm, including files sent from firm members’ webmail accounts and mobile devices such as laptops and Blackberries. Firm members don’t even realize the application is running in the background, and McMillan’s IT staff spends almost no time supporting it.

“In my experience, it’s rare to find a product that works so well and meets the specific needs of our firm,” said Duncan “In terms of product quality and responsiveness, Workshare is one of the top vendors I’ve dealt with.”

“Workshare is committed to delivering dynamic solutions that can be adapted to real-world workflows,” said Dan Filby, Senior Vice President, Americas & APAC and Global Customer Care at Workshare. “Workshare Protect Server integrates into the customer environment so seamlessly that users aren’t even aware they are being protected. It’s the first server-based metadata removal solution that provides comprehensive security while removing the burden of scrubbing files from users and IT administrators.”

About Workshare
Workshare provides document collaboration software to enable business professionals to accurately create, collaborate and control high-value content more efficiently. More than one million professionals rely on Workshare solutions to increase productivity and safeguard their confidential information, ultimately securing their intellectual property, customer relationships and the organization's reputation. Workshare's comparison and collaboration solutions provide risk management and security to over 14,000 organizations worldwide and easily integrate with line-of-business applications.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.


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