When you think “document assembly” for law firms, who do you think of? For many years, there has been a single answer, HotDocs. This is not because of any great marketing effort by LexisNexis (the former owners of HotDocs). Rather, it was a combination of “automated forms” delivered by LexisNexis and a grass-roots movement of lawyers and consultants building systems from the ground up with a “cheap” software tool. It was word of mouth that caused the spread of HotDocs, one license at a time. Now that HotDocs is “established”, who are the contenders. I was given the following list of contenders: ActiveDocs, Business Integrity/Dealbuilder, Epoq/Rapidocs, Exari, Korbitec/GhostFill, Napersoft, Pathagoras, SoftPowerHouse/PowerReuse, Thunderhead, and Zumesoft. It is interesting that despite my 15 years in the business, this list failed to include some interesting contenders, but also included some contenders I had never heard of. So, who are these contenders?
The text below is drawn directly from the website of these vendors.
ActiveDocs Opus facilitates the simple and effective creation of your essential business documents and the automation of a wide range of mission critical communications. A scalable, affordable, high-performance document production solution, ActiveDocs Opus enables you to quickly create accurate, professional documents that meet a variety of business needs.
Business Integrity / Dealbuilder
Business Integrity launches ContractExpress.com, the world’s first premium document assembly product to be delivered exclusively as “software as a service,” requiring no set-up costs or infrastructure. ContractExpress.com builds on Business Integrity’s trusted DealBuilder technology, which is used by many of the world’s leading law firms and corporate legal departments.
– Rapidly automates legal and business documents
– Creates dynamic and interactive interviews
– Delivers to end-users instantly in the browser
– Displays real time document changes live to the user
– Supports all popular web browsers
– Handles both text and PDF forms
– Offers ‘try before you buy’ technology for your customers
Exari accelerates your contracts, reduces costs and risks, and streamlines authoring complex documents. …. With Exari, business people create their own legally pre-approved documents and agreements by completing a web-browser interview. It eliminates the need to wait for the legal department while still providing legal compliance and contract visibility. Exari saves time, lowers costs, improves document quality and minimizes risk. Exari contract creation and contract management solutions are used by leading companies to automate various document types including those used in sales, insurance, and banking.
GhostFill is no longer offered directly for sale. However, GhostFill is embedded in several applications, including AIA Forms, DWTA, and Nebraska Probate System V.
GhostFill is one of Korbitec’s flagship document assembly software engines, and has over the last decade been utilized in thousands of document-centric software solutions at law firms, banks, publishers and other institutions, world-wide.
Napersoft CCM (Customer Communication Management) solutions streamline business processes for document creation, personalization, publishing, distribution and archiving. Quickly & easily create complex real-time customer documents, including correspondence, letters, emails, notices, alerts and confirmations and distribute them via print, email or the Web.
Pathagoras™ is a multi-faceted document authoring tool. First and foremost, Pathagoras is a ‘Plain-text based’ document automation system. In just two clicks, using your current collection of documents, Pathagoras can present a list of forms or clauses on a designated topic. From that list, you would select an appropriate form, group of forms, or a subset of clauses to be assembled One more click presents your selections, fully assembled, onto the editing screen for final processing. No complex or time consuming setups are required. You can create automated documents within 5 minutes of installation. You will begin cutting document produc-tion time immediately.
PowerReuse is a document assembly software designed for boosting productivity for professionals (lawyers, insurance agents, real estate agents, project managers, sales, marketers and consultants) in small and medium-sized companies. Taking advantage of its patent pending technology, it organizes related Word, Excel and PowerPoint files into projects for better accessibility, updates many documents at a time and pastes pieces of text from the created library by simple drag & drop. The functions ensure accuracy and consistency of all your documents.
[With the CorrespondNOW module] customer communications are as personal as they get with this module, which allows you to create individual ‘ad hoc’ communications quickly and simply. Streamline correspondence creation, allowing your customer service teams to respond more quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries while bringing new levels of control to the desktop.
WordFusion is an advanced web-based Document Assembly Platform. In very simple terms, WordFusion allows you to automate document templates, and then distribute them within your organisation or across the internet. WordFusion also provides work-flow management for the preparation, review, payment and finalisation of documents. This enables professionals from a number of disciplines to effectively collaborate on the production of a document. In essence, WordFusion is a project management tool, to connect you with your clients and other professional partners, to efficiently collaborate on the production of sophisticated and high-value documents.
There were a few MORE that should rightly have been on the list.
XpressDox Docussembly™ saves you time, saves you money. XpressDox Docussembly™ is a document assembly system that will help you become more productive when creating repetitive documents. Using XpressDox, you can easily create a template that asks you for only the information which changes. This improves your efficiency and effectiveness, and ensures that all documents you create conform to your organization’s standards. The result is faster, more accurate documents, which saves you time. And saving you time means saving you money, too.
ActiveWords relates words and actions, giving you instant access, making you more productive, and improving the quality of your work.
The Memba Contract Management Platform is constituted of three main components which work integrated or independently. Memba Genesis Editor is the editor of contractual documents and templates. Memba Genesis Formation Server supports contract drafting and negotiation. Memba Genesis Execution Server supports portfolio and diary management.
Intelledox Enterprise is the fully featured Intelledox document creation software solution. Built on Microsoft technology, Intelledox Enterprise is a user-friendly, document creation solution that enables the fast, accurate and compliant production of documents; tailored to individual business requirements and delivery methods.
Drawloop is a complete document automation service. We help businesses, organizations and individuals close more deals, increase revenue and improve productivity through automating document creation. In minutes, you can web-enable the same Microsoft Office files your business has been using for years. There is no hardware or software to buy, install or maintain. All you need is your documents and a web browser!
Ultimus automates and simplifies key business processes so you can dedicate more time to your business and customers. Ultimus’ Business Process Improvement Suite reduces the potential for human error, eliminates waste, and decreases the amount of paperwork companies use on a daily basis. Moving far beyond standard workflow automation, Ultimus (Business Process Management) BPM Software provides a flexible solution that connects technology systems to enable data sharing and enhanced visibility throughout your entire organization
Ultimus has automated more business processes than any other BPM software provider worldwide and has over 15 years experience helping organizations across many different industries implement business process optimization. We have more than 1,900 customers and thousands of process templates to enhance every division of your company.
*This list is by no means an endorsement of any or all of these products. As independent document assembly specialists since 1996, we have worked with a number of these products. Our entrepreneurial clients have generally favored HotDocs as the best dollar value, given its historical pricing. However, over the years we have partnered with GhostFill, DealBuilder, and Exari on projects, and we have carefully evaluated a number of other products. Any decision on a document assembly platform should at least consider these contenders.