Office 365 boosts productivity for law firm

Since its foundation in 1919, Wright Solicitors has always been a progressive law firm, dedicated to delivering high quality legal advice to their clients and always seeking ways to improve the service they provide.

From offices in Dudley and Bewdley, the firm provides a wide range of traditional legal services for individuals, families and family businesses, but recognises that technology offers smaller law firms a significant advantage in an increasingly competitive commercial environment.

Adopting cloud services

In 2014, Quiss Technology helped the firm adopt cloud services in a drive to improve efficiency and productivity, which would ultimately help them deliver a better customer service.

The strong reputation we have built for delivering comprehensive managed IT services to clients of all sizes across the legal sector and our unrivalled experience of the wide variety of applications used by law firms, was critical in our appointment.

Wright’s switched to a fully managed, hosted IT solution, with their servers moved off-premise and into our data centre in Tamworth.

The case management system used by Wright’s at the time would not support a transition to Office 2013, so the firm happily used Office 2010 for the last two years.

We developed a private cloud solution for Wright’s, which offered a scalable environment, built on infrastructure dedicated only to their business and located within England, which is important for many law firms.

This bespoke environment ensured they could exploit all the advantages of cloud services, without the data location issues that deter some law firms from making the switch to hosted services.

The quality of the service they provide their customers is central to Wright’s growth strategy and dictated that implementation of the entire system rollout, server uplift and new equipment install was undertaken over a single weekend to keep disruption to a minimum.

Integrating two new offices in Bewdley in 2016 proved relatively simple, thanks to the hosted solution, requiring nothing more than new equipment and an internet connection.

The internet connection unfortunately delivered neither the speed nor capacity needed. The two offices, although only a few hundred yards apart, require close collaboration between the respective teams and share reception duties.

Hosted telephony solution

When discussing the necessary upgrade to the internet connection, we also suggested VoIP would help improve productivity and efficiency. Calling one number rings phones in both offices, with external calls easily transferred between the offices and calls between colleagues in different offices being cost free, regardless of length.

To ensure the internet connection was suitable, we arranged new fibre connections, which deliver impressive download speeds, with the fast upload speeds and quality needed for a high-quality VoIP solution.

Hosted telephony is a smart choice for many reasons, but the business continuity aspect should not be overlooked. In the event of being unable to access their offices, Wright’s can easily re-locate temporarily, then make and receive calls with the same number and minimise disruption to their customers.

Migrating to Microsoft Office 365 was pain-free and is already helping increase productivity and efficiency throughout the firm, with the additional features enhancing the service we deliver.Clare Mackinnon, Business Manager at Wright Solicitors

Consultancy proves worth

Everything worked as it should, with support for day-to-day issues handled by our UK-based, 35-strong support team of helpdesk engineers, network engineers and systems specialists all ready to swing into action.

However, an important feature of our role as a managed IT services provider, is to understand the impact new technology might have on our clients, assessing the benefits of making any changes.

This consultancy aspect of our service identifies new technology, potential system upgrades and changes to third-party software, with the purpose of bringing them to the attention of our clients.

Unfortunately, any potential benefits of new technology or upgrades rarely coincide with contract renewal dates, but that does not preclude our advice from being offered and discussed at the earliest opportunity.

Benefits of migrating

We recognised one such improvement for Wright’s would be to switch from Office 2010, to the latest version of Microsoft Office 365, adopting more cloud-based services. The compatibility issues with the firm’s existing case management system were resolved and the benefits of transitioning were clear.

The working environment for the firm’s users is familiar, with a lot of similarities between a hosted Office 2010 solution and Office 365. But, the additional features included, like Azure, Skype for Business and SharePoint offer Wright’s even greater flexibility for its users.

Importantly, the greater collaboration possible with SharePoint, better communication with Skype and greater resilience thanks to Azure is helping Wright’s improve their customer service. And all without buying any additional services to bolt onto Office 2010 or 2013, as it’s all included in the subscription.

Clare Mackinnon, Business Manager for Wrights highlights the benefits: “The advice from Quiss made perfect sense and switching to Microsoft Office 365 has delivered numerous benefits. Our files are always accessible and always current, which is critical when solicitors are working remotely. Quiss completed all the necessary work by the deadline and handled all the issues with their usual pragmatic approach that demonstrates nothing is too much trouble.”

The switch to Office 365 was made mid-contract, without any increase in cost, despite the added features. Wright Solicitors and their clients are benefitting from the efficiency and productivity gains delivered, highlighting that getting more for less makes sense for every business whatever the stage of the support contract.

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