Leading London based solicitors Lee & Pembertons specialise in a number of key areas including Agricultural, Charities, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Matrimonial & Family, Property and Trusts, Probate & Tax Planning and has 12 partners.
Due to a successful growth programme, the practice had outgrown its current IT infrastructure and needed to replace it with a robust, reliable solution that would provide sufficient capacity for growth in the future as well as meeting existing needs.
Probrand faced several demanding challenges
- To develop an infrastructure that was cost effective, yet sufficiently flexible to allow for future expansion
- The project was to be managed out of office hours as to not impinge on the smooth running of the practice
- Any incomplete overnight work had to avoid impact on the infrastructure when people returned to work.
- All aspects of the new solution had to be integrated seamlessly across the firm's three offices
- The practice was looking for an outsourced IT maintenance provider to help them manage their IT requirements on a day to day basis
Lee & Pembertons already had a small business server solution in place which was originally configured for up to 50 client machines. The practice is typical of many mid sized law firms in that it operates the Microsoft Office suite of products coupled with specialist solutions covering areas such as time recording, case management, billing and accounting.
Working in the evenings and over the weekend, Probrand took the decision to upgrade the existing server infrastructure and installed a new HP Rack Proliant ML350 G3 Server together with the racking of the existing servers. These provided sufficient storage capacity to allow for growth and also provided rapid access to all documents and files.
Probrand worked closely with the practice and its telecommunications provider to ensure correct operation of a leased line fibre link which connect the firm's networks and telecommunications between its offices.
In addition, Probrand managed the roll out of a voice over IP telephone system. This provides an integrated telephone link allowing seamless transfer of calls between the practice's offices without the need for costly leased lines. The management of this task required Probrand to manage several providers to ensure a solution was delivered on time and on budget.
Once the new infrastructure was in place, the company then upgraded a Windows NT4 server and a small business server to Windows 2000 Server and an Exchange 2000 server to manage all e-mail
Probrand also migrated all of the data over from the old infrastructure to the new before switching all staff to the new system.
The turn around time for the entire project was just 5 working days in total and this was achieved working through the night and at weekends.
Once the solution was installed, Probrand provided outsourced IT support to the practice from its Birmingham based call centre. As Ian Callens of Probrand points out, "With the right systems and infrastructure in place location is not an issue. We are able to provide all the support needed by the practice from an office located 100 miles from our client. As well as managing day to day queries, we can manage all upgrades and maintenance remotely over a secure web based link.
The transition was achieved in just 5 days without any impact on the normal operation of the practice
Lee & Pembertons now has a high speed solution which can handle significant expansion in the future
The firm has been able to keep its IT maintenance overhead to a minimum by outsourcing support and maintenance to a remote provider
Importantly, all of the firms offices are on a common high speed, secure infrastructure which allows all aspects of the practice to be shared across the business.