Client:
Williams & Hughes

Case study:
ICT Infrastructure

Industry:
legal services

Employees:
35 users

The Business

Williams + Hughes is a boutique Western Australian law firm specialising in commercial law and commercial litigation and dispute resolution for private businesses, public companies and individuals.

  • Williams & Hughes, established in 1986, as a commercial law firm concentrating on the areas of corporate, business, resources and property law.
  • Branch office in regional Geraldton opened in 2008.
  • Estimated IT budget for 2014/2015 of $300k

business situation

Williams and Hughes having been established since 1986 had a requirement to reinvent the way they leveraged Information Technology. Having approached CT Group in 2008 to provide mainstream IT support for the organization the overall strategy and plan was to refocus the firm into utilizing IT as a means to provide increased efficiency and automation within the firm.

In 2010 the decision was made at a board level and the project commenced to replace the IT infrastructure Williams & Hughes were currently using and in addition provide a new way of operating and automation via document management and automated template creation.

The organization utilised Windows XP, Open Practice, Office 2007 and a standard file share as their main line of business applications. These technologies provided a robust environment, however, lacked the smarts of business acumen required by a high-demand law firm aiming to push the boundaries of process automation.

The system required multiple touches to input data and as a result led to an inefficient workforce constantly inputting data into multiple locations and disparate systems.

Technical situation

The business processes increased the overhead of support staff as the workload increased exponentially as the company grew and opened up their second office. The company required a solution to perform the following;

  • Reduce the margin of error associated with document creation.
  • Increase the time and efficiency of document creation and delivery to clients.
  • Increase the auditability and robustness of their document repository.
  • Automate the solution to provide lower costs to their clients at higher profit margins
  • Continue to utilize IT as a leverage tool to their business as opposed to a lagging tool.

Solution

CT Group embarked on the IT overhaul with the vision in mind to provide the robustness and automation required, leveraging best practice solutions designed, developed and implemented by leading engineers.

IT Server infrastructure upgrade:

  • Migrated from a physical Windows Server and physical Terminal Server to  virtualization with two hosts for increased redundancy & robustness
  • Upgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Exchange
  • Retained the Terminal Server for Geraldton staff
  • Upgraded Open Practice to the latest version for compatibility

IT Server new deployments:

  • Implemented HP Autonomy Worksite (Document Management System) to replace  shared drives
  • Built and developed Office 2010 templates to retrieve client/matter Deployed SQL  2008 R2 to manage Open Practice and Worksite

IT Desktop infrastructure upgrade:

  • Deployed new workstations with premium warranty designed to last 3 years
  • Installed 22” dual screens to all workstations for added efficiency
  • Upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7
  • Deployed account and document templates to all staff including fee earners

Benefits

The implementation of these new systems in conjunction with processed automation and a redefined document repository magnified the efficiency and process management of the firm.

  • Provided integrated practice management and document management system
  • Profit increases despite price reduction to clients
  • Reliance of support staff by fee earners reduced, impacting efficiency and productivity
  • Document creation and delivery increased
  • Fully auditable document management system
  • Increase efficiency in document search
  • A return of investment less than 12 months
  • Client matter management provided support staff with certainty of document control