Technology can be a key differentiator for companies, helping to improve efficiencies and streamline processes. This is particularly true for automation technology which is helping companies to remove repetitive tasks from employees so that they can focus on what they do best.
However, when considering these technologies, certain criteria should be checked before the company implements solutions. Key considerations should centre on compliance and security of the software. While this is true for every organisation, it holds additional weight within a legal environment.
IT consultant and technologist, Tony Trollip, provides a perspective on BrandQuantum’s software solutions: BrandOffice and BrandMail which were reviewed from a legal perspective.
When looking at email signatures across an organisation, there is value in using an email signature strategy that enforces a consistent signature across the organisation by drawing information from a single source.
From a law firm perspective, there is usually a culmination of pedigree details, degrees, accolades and designations that makes up a professional’s profile. This information is held in various systems internally including online professional memberships and corporate web page biographies. This information should be maintained within each system, however, kept consistent across platforms from a central mechanism. However, as various elements can change, such as designations, qualifications, surnames, titles etc., at any time, there is great value in leveraging this methodology which will create a single version of truth allowing the required details to enrich the email signature for example by updating the content at a single point before having this information update across various platforms.
With BrandMail, the email signature, which reflects across PC and mobile platforms, requires an update at a single source and once the user syncs, it automatically updates the business card, email signature and social profiles.
In addition to maintaining electronic persona of an individual, there exists a need whereby assistants such as legal secretaries, send emails on behalf of a professional, the signature needs to reflect this. In some cases, a single assistant could be sending on behalf of more than one professional. Maintaining the email signature centrally that recognises this relationship and amends the email appropriately is something BrandMail uniquely offers, provided the source system is maintained such as Human Resources (HR) records.
What you see is what the recipient gets
Another key benefit of BrandMail is that all branding elements appear on the email at the onset of drafting the content. This includes the banner, email signature and disclaimer. This means that the sender can see the email as the recipient will see it on their end.
Other email branding solutions require the signature and banner be added after the sender has drafted and sent the email. This means the sender is not able to see the final email that was sent due to post sending modification that occurs to insert the signature and banner. This change can have serious legal implications as the email the sender sends is different from that that the recipient receives. In other words, the email has been modified between the sender and the recipient.
With BrandMail the email signatures, disclaimers and banners are all included in the email during the drafting process, removing the need for post sender modification and providing assurance that the sender’s emails and the recipient’s emails are identical.
This has significant benefits from a compliance perspective as the email should look identical in the senders sent items to the version in the recipient’s inbox. If it does not, it raises possible questions about what was modified in transit. As such companies should be cognisant of the threat of possible modification to emails. When emails are sent with no system intervention, it means that the email is sanctified from beginning to end and it maintains its persona and appearance. This provides greater peace of mind for the sender and the company that emails have not been tampered with but are authentic.
Automated branding with an individual touch
While companies strive to instil corporate branding across all documents and collateral, within particular law firms, there is an opportunity for lawyers to work within brand guidelines but incorporate their personality within the framework. In this case, it is valuable to provide templates for the team to work with but that allow for modifications to be made according to each practitioner. The agreed brand would require that stationary maintain brand standards such as logo, font type and colour, but the practitioner has the freedom to craft their documents and contracts as necessary.
This means a central pool of marketing assets which extends to the signature, letterhead and webpage are all aligned in terms of the brand corporate identity, but practitioners are allowed to manipulate the content according to their specific needs. For example, the notes of the consultation would be transcribed into a legal document and as each consultation is unique, content would be unique to the discussion.
As lawyers focus primarily on practising their craft, the technology that they use needs to be intuitive at a macro level to automatically incorporate the branding and create the corporate identity so that they can focus on the task at hand.
BrandOffice and BrandMail provide intuitive technology within a seamless user interface that allows the path of least resistance, creates the perception of choice and delivers consistency across the organisation.
While there is a definitive line between marketing and IT, marketing departments are greatly dependent on IT departments to help address certain challenges and carry out specific functions. For example, securing customer information or delivering brand materials to employees and implementing consistent email signatures are often functions that marketing departments rely on the IT team to deliver. As such marketing challenges are becoming the technology department’s problem to solve.
This adds additional pressure to the IT department and leaves the marketing department dependent on IT to address their needs as and when they can get to them. With BrandQuantum’s solutions, the heavy dependency on IT is somewhat removed as marketing can implement changes and roll them out centrally without relying on the IT department.
As securing customer data is a key concern for companies, the fact that BrandQuantum’s solutions have been independently tested and align to European standards provides peace of mind that customer and employee data is secure.
The solutions have been designed with security upfront, making it easier to lockdown at a later stage. They also have been built with segmentation of risk to safeguard content. This means that content has not associations attached to it as security breach independent silos protect the data. Most systems have not been built in this level of security to protect employee and customer data.
According to Trollip, there are several benefits to BrandQuantum’s software. Within a legal framework, the software meets several compliance requirements, provides a solution that is met with least resistance as it is easy to use within a seamless user interface. The software has also been built to meet European security standards, providing users with peace of mind that customer data cannot fall into the wrong hands.
Overall the solution bridges the gap between marketing departments and technology departments, providing a platform that is easy to use and gives marketing departments more control of the information they need to share with the company.
BrandQuantum develops software solutions to help companies deliver consistent customer experiences in all customer engagements. From beautifully designed, tamperproof email signatures that are sent out with every single email via Microsoft Outlook, through to consistently branded letterheads, documents, presentations and spreadsheets that contain the correct branding all created from within the Microsoft Office suite. For more information about BrandQuantum and our brand consistency software solutions, please visit our website www.brandquantum.com
Insights provided by Tony Trollip, IT Consultant and Technologist