Client – Symons Gay and Leland LLP Solicitors
Symons Gay and Leland, have an established reputation across the Romford and local Essex area. Having set up as solicitors in 1911, they have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Offering a friendly and supportive environment, they specialise in a range of legal areas.
Having moved to Microsoft Office 365 for email some time ago, the practice had reached the stage where consideration needed to be given to replacing their remaining file server which had reached the end of life.
Most of their line of business software was now “As a Service” in the cloud, so the challenge was how to best embrace that whilst at the same time giving users better collaboration and access to practice data.
Although replacing the Server seemed the obvious choice it was apparent that it only housed client files now, and took up real estate in the offices. Alongside that, the existing Thin Client solution didn’t offer the flexibility and rich media (training, video, etc) that the practice now needed.
Discovery – Understanding their business
Our Infrastructure Consultant engaged with Christine Ring, Practice Manager at Symons Gay & Leland to understand the practice and how users accessed their client information and applications. He then made recommendations around how best to not only implement the changes needed but also how to manage the change from the users’ perspective, including training.
The need for a richer experience for the users, and “anywhere” access was clear as users wanted to embrace multi-media content and share documents whilst in court or at client sites. Over 20 years working with the business gave us great insight, however, we assumed nothing as that often leads to the “easy” choice.
Following these initial meetings, we gathered feedback from the practice and used our knowledge from many years supporting the business. The need for shared, secure access to client data pointed towards a cloud-based document solution with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) offering the best platform for the practice.
Users would be able to access the client information securely when remote, but would also have to enter a second secure code on a mobile device.
The practice would have the benefit of removing the remaining Server hardware and with it the constant cycle of upgrading and buying expensive Server hardware every 3 to 4 years. Also replacing Thin Clients with PCs would provide a better user experience and flexibility.
The Tech Bit
Our Project delivery team, with project management from the consultant who had worked with Christine from the start, implemented a Microsoft Azure Server along with Microsoft SharePoint and Multi-Factor Authentication to secure access. They worked with the 3rd party providers (BigHand, Quill and Oyez forms) to make sure that the existing cloud application integrated with the new technology, and finally provided the user training needed to ensure a smooth transition to the new platform.
The end result is a far more flexible and secure platform for the practice with security at its centre so the partners, staff and clients have peace of mind. Users can access data remotely and work more effectively, enhancing the service that Symons Gay & Leland provide. With over 100 years in practice, they are set for the next chapter of success.
“Since 1997 Utilize have provided IT support for Symons, Gay & Leland. We have always found them to be professional and value their knowledge and advice. All the staff are very friendly and helpful, especially over the last few weeks in assisting the firm to get setup and working remotely.”