I think the most important point to make about Interwoven is that it is a world-class solution that has the depth and breadth of functionality to transform your entire practice to a truly digital model. The decision you will need to make is whether or not your firm’s strategy is aligned with this objective. Interwoven is one of the few vendors that offers a complete ECM (Enterprise Content Management) solution.
The company acquired WorkSite through the merger with iManage in 2003. This system is implemented in firms from as small as two people up to 100,000 users. Interwoven identifies firms of 25+ as the “sweet spot” for the number of staff in terms of leveraging the investment in the system.
The product line consists of WorkSite (DMS, e-mail management, collaborative web portal, mobile working), Universal Search (searches across multiple internal and external content sources) and Records Manager (manages retention policies for electronic, paper and e-mail records together in context following DOD 5015.2 guidelines).
Usability -- 5 Stars
If you like the interface of MS Outlook, then you will be right at home working with the Worksite DMS. The primary interface to the DMS is through a virtual Outlook “Inbox.” Not only does this shorten the learning curve for Outlook users, it also emphasizes the expanded focus on the role of e-mail in the DMS solution. The “My Client Files” folder allows individual users to subscribe to specific clients, which will pull in and organize any documents or files that are stored in the DMS related to the client. This allows you to monitor all documents coming into the client’s file.
The search functionality is extensive, and you can search by document and client-file metadata, dates, e-mail properties, and text within documents, all of which can be customized. The document hit list display is very well designed and provides quick access to a great deal of information. A “Profile” tab lists the classification parameters (i.e., native application, author, client, description, engagement, partner, year, etc.). The “QuickView” tab displays a preview of the document file. The “Documents Version” tab maintains a history log of all versions of the file that have been created over time. You control how long prior versions are maintained, and tools can be integrated to let you compare two versions to identify differences. The “History” tab maintains a log of all activity related to the document. The “Related Documents” tab allows you to establish a set of related documents and files that will be accessible from the document view tab. This allows you to create a virtual binder.
Scanning -- N/A
Interwoven has established a strategy of integrating third-party scanning software vendors to provide a “best of breed” approach to leverage the breadth of functionality already available. Documents can be scanned directly into WorkSite or into a folder for automated importing.
Integration -- 4 Stars
The strongest aspect of WorkSite’s integration is with MS Office and Adobe Acrobat. Essentially, WorkSite takes over as the default file open and file save functionality in these applications so that you are working directly with the DMS database using a format similar to Windows Explorer. The E-Mail Management module provides advanced integration with MS Outlook and Lotus Notes, including the ability to automatically file successive messages from an original thread as they come in. In its simplest form, you simply drag and drop e-mail messages from your Inbox to the WorkSite folder in Outlook.
In regards to accounting and tax applications, WorkSite provides direct integration to CaseWare Working Papers. You can archive a complete binder of workpapers to WorkSite, and it will create a folder structure that corresponds with the binder structure. Integration with other applications is also provided using PDF.
Workflow Tools -- 5 Stars
WorkSite includes workflow functionality as a core component of the applications, such as capturing and storing all content related to a particular project or engagement and storing it in a central repository for quick access. You can create custom workflows for each of your business processes by establishing a unique set of steps through which an engagement type will flow, and tracking the status throughout. For more advanced workflow capability, integration with third-party solutions, such as Metastorm, is provided.
Client Portal -- 5 Stars
WorkSite includes a comprehensive portal solution that allows you to directly access content from both WorkSite and other applications. It can be configured as an interactive employee and client portal with published documents, client file uploads, and real-time information from practice management, CRM, and other sources such as news feeds. A particularly innovative feature is the engagement management tab that gives clients an optional view to the status of the workflow, as well as the ability to view their billing information and AR status. Access level can be controlled at the individual user level. Optionally, you can interface with SharePoint for portal services.
Technology -- 5 Stars
The WorkSite architecture is based on a SQL server platform with a backend server (WorkSite Server) that manages file traffic. The content is stored on a file server for scalability, and the metadata is managed in a SQL server. For small firms, these functions can be managed on a single physical server, but dedicated machines are recommended for larger firms. The software is developed in a mixed environment with COM, .NET, and Web Services. You can access the system through a traditional desktop interface, untethered from a laptop, as well as through a browser or mobile device.
Pricing/Overall Value -- 5 Stars
Interwoven uses an a la carte approach to pricing that includes a base server cost plus per-user licensing. Pricing starts at $4,000 per server, plus $299 per user for the base system. The vendor recommends you procure installation and configuration services either directly from Interwoven or through one of its many partners that specialize in the accounting market to help ensure success. The typical cost of these fees is estimated at 50 percent to 100 percent of the software cost depending on a firm’s requirements. Interwoven also extends special configurations and pricing options for firms with 100 or fewer staff. The annual software maintenance fee is 18 percent annually and covers all upgrades and technical support. Interwoven’s WorkSite is a comprehensive solution and is best suited for organizations that want to approach DMS as an enterprise-wide initiative.
2008 Overall Rating 5