Annodata improves communications for leading law firm
Annodata rolled-out a secure and cutting-edge Unified Communications solution.
Established in 1857, Thorntons Law LLP is one of Scotland’s largest full-service law firms, operating across eight locations throughout the east of Scotland.
Rapid expansion had meant that Thorntons’ communication technology had been allowed to develop organically, leaving the company with a disjointed telecommunications portfolio, which could not scale to meet the firm’s growth targets. Mindful of the critical role that telecommunications played across the firm, Thorntons sought a trusted partner that could help them unpick their services and design and implement a reliable, robust and agile solution that could support the different requirements of each part of the business and the fee earning staff in order to meet, and exceed, client expectations.
Sarah Blair, Director of IT, Thorntons, explains: “The challenges we faced a couple of years ago were all around our telecommunications strategy. We had a few reliability issues, were trying to build a roadmap for the future and provide a much more robust telecommunications service to the firm. Since we’re multi-service we have many different demands on the system – it’s not really one-size-fits-all and we needed to make sure that the system was going to be agile enough to meet those needs.”
“Annodata has performed to our total satisfaction. We look forward to developing our partnership over the next five years as they continue to listen to our requirements and accommodate our ideas.”
Sarah Blair, Director of IT at Thorntons Law LLP
Having already partnered with Annodata in their capacity as a Managed Print Service (MPS) provider, Thorntons were keen to see what they could offer in terms of their communications services.
“We started exploring some of the technologies that were available such as SIP, which were a bit alien to me really, so we needed a trusted partner to take us on that journey,” Sarah continues. “Law firms are, by nature, very risk averse, so we were keen to make sure that we could find the right partner with the right background. Yes, the technology needed to be right but so did the culture. We already had a relationship with Annodata and after we had the initial discussion, it became clear that the team had the right experience in the market and could offer the partnership approach that we really needed to adopt to make this project a success.”
After an initial technology audit, Annodata worked with Thorntons to align the business objectives with a suitable technology roadmap. The aim was to eliminate the multitude of disparate telecoms systems, to address the lack of centralised communications infrastructure and provide centrally managed reporting and dashboard indicators.
Annodata rolled out a fully scalable, secure and cutting edge Unified Communications solution across both the fixed and mobile estate. This included presence services, Instant Messaging (IM), video and multi-media-based conferencing and collaboration services so that fee earners could work on contracts/documents simultaneously and in real-time.
Importantly, all services were underpinned by Annodata’s fully managed and resilient Wide Area Network (WAN) spanning Thorntons’ eight locations, which serves to safeguard the delivery of the services.
Within five months of Annodata’s solution being deployed, Thorntons could boast a variety of improvements.
Benefits included a complete unified customer experience across internal and external marketplaces. This enabled an enhanced client experience across all external multi-touch points, be that digital or phone-based, giving a competitive advantage in the market. It has created a consistent and demonstrable client experience of the highest quality across all branches.
Sarah comments: “Fundamentally, this partnership has also enabled Thorntons’ employees to work and communicate more effectively. Now we have advanced remote working capabilities, we can assign more billable time to fee earning staff via any device or access method. It also means that, regardless of location or device, there is full access to all business functions and clients.”
Furthermore, Thorntons is now able to identify and demonstrate a defined set of SLAs to their clients which can be packaged as a ‘service offering’ and included in tender responses to win more and larger accounts.
Sarah concludes: “So far, Annodata has performed very well and to our total satisfaction. We look forward to developing our partnership over the next five years as they continue to listen to our requirements and accommodate our ideas.”
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Thorntons Case study
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