Lex4you is an online platform that allows users to contact lawyers using the lexCall service thanks to WebRTC technology. Pascale Hellmüller, the project leader at TCS, looks back at this success story.
TCS wanted to provide a wide audience with access to useful, easily comprehensible information on legal questions that arise in various areas of everyday life. In addition, the lexCall online service was developed for a limited target audience. Via lexCall, TCS insurance holders can directly contact lawyers from TCS’s Legal Protection service using WebRTC (voice over IP) technology, in other words a phone call made using a web browser. Pascale Hellmüller explains how using the Scrum method enabled this platform to be established online within the given time frame, whilst also ensuring satisfied end users.
Liip assisted the TCS project team throughout the process of developing this multiservice platform.
A first in the field of legal assistance
Liip: What is lex4you? And what is its purpose?
Pascale Hellmüller: lex4you is an interactive online platform that offers legal information. Three services are available. lexSearch offers everyone access to useful, comprehensible information on legal questions, that arise in various areas of everyday life. lexForum enables users to get to know each other and discuss their experiences with everyday legal issues. lexCall enables a limited audience, primarily TCS Legal Protection insurance holders and holders of insurance from some of our B2B partners, to gain legal information directly from a lawyer online via a voice over IP call.
What was the situation before lex4you?
Unlike its competitors, TCS Legal Protection did not offer a specific service for gaining legal information by phone. Before lex4you, this service could only be offered as a gesture of goodwill. We wanted to align ourselves with our competitors and provide this service to our insurance holders in an innovative way.
What is the situation after the go-live of lex4you?
The aim of lex4you is to provide guidance to our insurance holders: firstly via the online platform itself (open access to texts and documents plus a forum), secondly via the lexCall telephone service. Lawyers answer calls directly and immediately provide insurance holders with information. We support our insurance holders in legal situations in which they may feel helpless. We guide their approach, even if there is no legal dispute. The lex4you platform also allows insurance holders to submit a request for a call during business hours. We wanted to strengthen our customer service by fostering the proximity between our lawyers and our insurance holders.
How did the project go?
If I had to sum the project up in two words, they would be dare and learn It was a form of gambling that proved to be an extremely positive learning experience – for everyone and from all perspectives. We did not have any digital experience in the field of insurance. Using the Scrum method was something new for me. Organising this as a project, that is encouraging a participatory approach for all stakeholders, was also a new experience for the management of the relevant business unit.
The agile approach is demanding. It implies a rigorous approach and the definition and respect of a certain framework. This framework was defined in conjunction with the business unit management. This exercise enabled the project team to be independent when taking development-related decisions and to facilitate the project’s progress.
The Scrum approach allows multiple iterations, and lessons can be learned every three weeks. As soon as we realised that we can adapt to the lessons learned, anything became possible. With the right partner and the right mindset, there are no obstacles, and everything ultimately works.
Liip was very creative in facilitating our work.
The benefits of using the Scrum method
What were the compelling arguments for using agile methodology?
We had time constraints: the new lex4you platform had to be launched in ten months’ time, meaning that we needed an approach that would allow us to meet this deadline. We also wanted a solution that would enable us to develop basic functions tailored to the needs of our insurance holders and our organisation in the first instance, and then subsequently to build on these. Waterfall approaches proved to be less suitable and generally more expensive in a situation like this. The Scrum method was therefore the best way to meet our needs in terms of time and progressive development of functionalities.
What I really like about the agile approach is that each problem can be seen as a present, because the method allows you to identify it during development and immediately incorporate the solution into the process.
What were the benefits of using this method?
We launched the project internally using our usual modus operandi. We had already worked to define the service and its functionality before our collaboration with Liip. In order to be consistent with the Scrum method, we had to be daring enough to deconstruct this concept and then (re)construct it as we went. This enabled us to benefit from the experience of co-creation with Liip.
This participatory approach brought the project team, Liip and our management together. Platform users and the stakeholders involved, in promoting and managing the service (lawyers, managers of the future service, sales and marketing representatives) were included in the successive testing phases. They were able to give their opinions on the functionality being developed, and we could incorporate this feedback into subsequent development phases.
When the project was completed, I received a comment from the management, sayingt: ‘We understand the approach now, and if we were to do it again, we would go the same way.
An innovative technological solution
Why did you choose WebRTC technology for your lexCall service?
Our initial idea was to create a conventional call centre, but we would have been dependent on telephone operators. Opting for an online solution gave us greater independence and flexibility in developing and evolving our lexCall service.
This responsive website offers WebRTC (real time communication) functionality. The lexCall service enables insurance holders to contact our lawyers using voice over IP technology without any additional cost if they connect from a computer or tablet, or within their telephone package if they connect from their smartphone.
We also saw an opportunity to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. This digital solution means that there is no queue: the website shows in real time if a lawyer is available to answer a call, in three different languages (French, German and Italian). If no lawyer is currently available during business hours, the insurance holder can submit a call-back request.
What are the benefits of using this technology?
All insurance holders using our lexCall service are logged in to the platform. The system checks whether or not the insurance holder meets the requirements for access to the lexCall service. If not, the insurance holders are informed of what they should do, to (re)benefit from the service .
This means that the lawyer answering the call does not need to establish the insurance holder’s identity, saving time and making the process more secure than a conventional call centre.
We can also activate or deactivate the lexCall service at any time with a single click. This gives us better control of our costs, particularly those related to calls made, using a standard telephone network. The web solution allows us more flexibility in managing this service.
At the end of the fifth sprint, during the demonstration, I was thrilled to see that the platform was really starting to take shape. This was very encouraging. We were all at the same table, Liip and the TCS project team. Together, we were finding solutions and turning what we had designed into something real. It was fantastic. This proximity really shows that collective intelligence ensures excellence, something that is difficult in organisational silos.