To improve flexibility, scalability and productivity for their network of legal professionals, visionary law firm Howell Jones, engaged AspiraCloud to implement a cutting-edge Microsoft cloud solution.
Howell Jones Solicitors is an expert law firm established in 1977, specialising in family, employment, property, litigation, negligence, personal injury and commercial law. With 75 staff across seven offices in London and the South East of England, Howell Jones is renowned for its progressive attitude, customer service and results. Steady growth through acquisition has given Howell Jones a broad spectrum of services and further plans to expand into new niche areas of law.
Having every detail to hand is an important part of winning cases and delivering a high quality service for the firm’s lawyers. However, with restricted remote access to integral internal systems, the legal teams were unable to access information while away from the office.
Working with ageing software and hardware, Howell Jones faced unnecessary complexity, costly systems management, as well as significant risk and data security concerns with their current IT infrastructure – which was hampering the firm’s ambitions growth plans. And despite back-ups being in place, the IT team were unable to test any disaster recovery scenarios without disrupting the daily business.
Faced with expiring warranties and hardware refreshes, Howell Jones commissioned an independent IT review which highlighted significant scope for improvement by migrating to the Microsoft Cloud.
The Operations Director at Howell Jones explained: “Our biggest concern was data security and the rising cost and complexity of managing the existing IT environment. Like many law firms, we had reservations about moving our data into a third-party location, but cloud professionals, AspiraCloud, really understood our industry and the Microsoft cloud became an unquestionable choice.”
Microsoft Azure Gold partner and Cloud Productivity expert, AspiraCloud, worked with Howell Jones to design and deploy a new solution in the Microsoft cloud to create a modern working environment.
Howell Jones’ IT infrastructure now comprises a virtual server environment within Microsoft Azure. Old, on-site hardware was resigned. All legacy applications, including the existing case management system, were migrated onto Microsoft Azure and all staff have access to the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity applications.
SharePoint Online now houses the company intranet and document storage while Microsoft Teams enables selected files and documents to be securely shared with customers and external partners. Power BI allows the Howell Jones management team to create dashboards to quickly see the health status of the company KPIs and armed with sleek, modern Windows 10 devices, and fully managed mobile phones, lawyers can work remotely with secure access to files, case notes and applications from home, the court room or the office.
The new Microsoft cloud environment has delivered significant benefits to this leading firm of solicitors.
Introducing Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 and Power BI has simplified the complex infrastructure, and generated significant cost savings – the firm has saved a large amount of money on network connectivity in the first year alone, while also making substantial savings on IT management and support. This has allowed the firm to reinvest in IT services so that provision continues to meet the need of the organisation going forward.
Microsoft Azure provides an immediate back-up and disaster recovery solution, enabling the firm to test DR scenarios and be confident that if required, entire sites could be recovered within 2 hours.
The new tools have enhanced internal and external collaboration, delivering increased personal productivity, as well as greater levels of control and data protection. Microsoft Teams helps the firm stay in touch with customers from any location with audio calls, video conferencing and instant messaging available across all devices.
Remote access to applications and case management files has increased service quality while rigorously meeting the compliance standards set by the firm’s regulatory body. Lawyers can use every second productively, whether at home, in court or while travelling – securely accessing email, applications and files from laptops, Surface Pro 4 machines or Lumia phones – maximising billable hours and boosting profitability.
The Operations Director continued: “Azure and Microsoft 365 provide everyone access to the same apps, allowing them to do more, more quickly and with more control. We’re creating management team dashboards in Power BI and extending it to all users so they can create their own customised KPI views. This immediate insight was something we couldn’t have dreamt of before.”
AspiraCloud demonstrated they really understood the requirements of our industry and those of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). With their vast understanding of Microsoft 365 too, AspiraCloud and Microsoft cloud became an unquestionable choice.
Now in the cloud, Howell Jones has 100% confidence that data is safe, secure, encrypted, and never retained by Microsoft; enabling it to fully meet the SRA regulations and remain compliant. The business is also enjoying greater app performance, cost efficiencies and control.
The flexibility and scalability of the cloud has enabled Howell Jones to continue growing, safe in the knowledge that the platform can flex quickly and cost-effectively to meet future demand.
If you want to find out more or do the same for your organisation, simply get in touch.