This year’s HighQ Forum, London was the best yet, with 93 guests registered to attend from 53 firms. The venue was bigger than ever, we heard from awesome speakers, got some fantastic questions from the audience, and have received excellent feedback from those who attended.
I gave a talk providing a HighQ update on the company’s progress over the last year and spoke about the forthcoming releases of HighQ Collaborate. This blog post provides a summary of what I spoke about if you were unable to attend the event, and a reminder for those who did.
Review of the last year (and a bit)
Since the 2013 London Forum HighQ has continued its global expansion and growth at a high pace. We have increased our staff by 30%, opened new offices in Frankfurt and San Francisco, and have data centres set to open in Dubai, Australia and Canada. Our client base has grown considerably too, and as a result 98% of the FTSE 100 now use HighQ through our clients.
We launched a new website which has been populated with a lot of useful information and resources for existing clients on our resources page such as case studies, videos and webinars. We also released several new product versions, including our largest release: Collaborate 3, and a brand new product HighQ Diligence.
HighQ Diligence launched back in September 2013. It was built in response to client demand and was designed in consultation with law firms to hone in on the due diligence process. It solves common pain points associated with the due diligence process, significantly reducing write offs (by up to 70%). The platform is designed for consistent data capture and formatting and finalising diligence reports at the end of the process.
Our virtual data room platform HighQ Dataroom is going from strength to strength. Since last year’s forum, revenues and clients have more than doubled for Dataroom, gaining clients including leading FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies. For existing Collaborate clients, Dataroom is worth considering for large deals or transactions. It helps to control short-term data spikes from heavy use of Collaborate, which could significantly increase the cost of a Collaborate instance, and provides an easy way for in-house administrators to offload the project management and administration of a complex data room to HighQ.
Our digital publishing and content marketing platform, HighQ Publisher, continued to develop steadily over the last year. In the background, our Publisher team have been working flat out on a complete redesign of the platform from the ground-up. Publisher’s Product Director Ben Wightwick gave a presentation about the future of the product. A summary of Ben’s talk about Publisher 4 will be published on the HighQ blog soon.
We released HighQ Collaborate 3.0 back in September 2013. It was our most exciting release to date, offering a brand new responsive design, meaning it was optimised for smartphones and tablets, with a stunning consumer-grade user experience. New features such as social tools and improved secure file sharing meant that Collaborate 3 truly was the perfect blend of secure file sharing and social collaboration, and blurs the lines between intranets and extranets. Collaborate 3 opened up the possibility of new use cases including matter collaboration, project management, practice group knowledge sharing, enterprise social networks, social intranets and internal team collaboration.
The current version of HighQ Collaborate is 3.2, which was released to clients in March of this year. Collaborate 3.2 builds on 3.0, with additions predominantly designed to aid system and site administrators. This includes the addition of site templates, which allows for the quick set-up of sites from pre-defined templates; system level groups, which allows administrators to manage users at system level; iSheets enhancements including advanced lookups; localisation improvements; and we started building out our API, beginning with Active Directory/LDAP integration.
The updates to our integrations now enable users to connect their instances of Collaborate with many internal systems as well as Active Directory, including SharePoint, CMIS servers, SQL databases, and document management systems such as Autonomy WorkSite. More integrations will become available as we roll out the next few point releases.
With the new enhancements, iSheets are better than ever and can really be leveraged to optimise business processes. iSheets reduce the complexity of working on multiple versions of spreadsheets and are a far more powerful tool for data management and manipulation. It is possible to create mini-applications from iSheets, which can be used for things such as compliance and risk management, real estate portfolio management, matter financial reporting, contract management, insurance claims management, or cross border transaction management. HighQ offers consultancy services to create bespoke iSheets solutions such as these, and you can find out more about them by watching a recording of our iSheets Solutions Spotlight webinar.
We’re working hard to get the next point release of Collaborate ready for launch in August. Collaborate 3.3 will be loaded with new features, including two-factor authentication to provide additional security for very sensitive sites; iSheets date-based alerts, which will be helpful for maintaining time-sensitive data; the ability to copy files from site to site; the ability to import Excel folder structures; the option to add images in comments and many other smaller improvements.
The big news about Collaborate 3.3 will be the public availability of our new REST API for the first time. Our clients and integration partners will be able to leverage the API to integrate Collaborate with other systems, and will allow for the creation of new connectors for bespoke integrations.
We’ll also be offering two new premium features with the launch of 3.3: large file transfers and document automation. These can be purchased separately as add-ons to an existing Collaborate 3.3 instance. Our new large file transfer capability is useful for ad-hoc secure file transfer without the need to create a team site in a way that is quick, easy and secure. Users will simply be able to upload a file to their personal ‘My files’ area and share a link to download or view that file with anyone. For security, it is possible to apply file DRM and expiry to each link.
Document automation is a solution that is integrated with iSheets, whereby contracts can be auto-filled and exported as Word documents based on iSheet data. HighQ clients will be able to create new templates in-house and offer contract automation to their own clients, with no external development required. The solution is simple to implement and intuitive to use, and new templates can be set up in days. For a demonstration of the new document automation feature, sign up for our Document Automation Solutions Spotlight webinar to be held on 15 July.
The final iteration of the 3 series of Collaborate will be 3.4, due to be released early next year. Updates in Collaborate 3.4 will focus on security and productivity, with the introduction of hybrid storage; client encryption key management; the ability to open and edit files in Microsoft office; updates to the iSheets currency and number formats; and an overhaul of the Events module.
Looking further ahead
As we continue the development of our platforms, we’ll look to add more enhancements as requested by our clients, which will change and evolve over time. Things that we are set to include in Collaborate 4 and beyond (starting in 2015) will include personal file synchronisation (otherwise known as ‘corporate Dropbox’); continued iSheets evolution; the addition of multi-lingual support; enhanced transaction management solutions; and as Publisher 4 takes shape, our objective is to be able to combine them as integrated solutions to provide a professional suite of tools for every aspect of business.