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IT for legal firms transformed by pioneering solutions that take legacy systems into the cloud

Digital transformation specialist Extech Cloud is pioneering implementation of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) for legal firms, enabling almost any legacy application or software to be placed into a cloud environment. This helps modernise the workplace for law firms, while also offering time savings, cost efficiencies and productivity improvements, especially for remote working.

“In 2020, we have successfully pioneered the use of WVD and work with Microsoft as part of their own development programme,” says Richard Phillips, CTO of Sussex-based Extech Cloud. “This is cutting-edge digital transformation meaning there are now no compelling reasons why legal firms need to have on-premise servers. Our customers in this industry agree.”

In early 2020, Extech Cloud worked with Hunters Law – a multi-disciplinary law firm with practice areas for property, business, charity, family, and private clients – to assist with a new strategic IT direction. The company needed to upgrade its infrastructure and its servers, which were more than five years old. The firm’s Citrix virtualisation software license fee renewal was also approaching.

Previously told by their IT company and software owners that it wasn’t possible to put old applications on the cloud, Hunters Law was being pushed in to a “hybrid environment” where it would be locked in to a Data Centre. Although the company didn’t want to be tied down to one supplier, they thought there was no way out until Extech Cloud presented an alternative.

“We embarked on a complete review of our IT infrastructure with the focus on a modern workplace where our staff could work from anywhere. We chose Extech Cloud as they were able to demonstrate they could pull all of our technologies together properly to make us more efficient, while saving us significant capital expenditure and licensing costs,” says Arif Kamal, Chief Finance & Operations Officer, Hunters Law LLP.

Extech Cloud began by auditing the whole IT infrastructure and assets, set an IT strategy and started modernising everything. Now, Hunters Law takes full advantage of the benefits offered by Microsoft 365 and Azure, with the very latest security and exceptional performance levels. Four pieces of legacy software now run on the cloud thanks to Extech Cloud’s pioneering implementation of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).

For Hunters Law, practice and case management system Tikit Partner 4 Windows (Tikit P4W), CCH Central, CCH Trust Accounts and BigHand are now published as apps, as opposed to full remote desktop sessions.

In the past, due to lots of applications, Hunters’ whole system was increasingly slow, and the company didn’t want to spend significant money on upgrades and licences for marginal improvements. Since transitioning to the cloud, each user experiences faster speeds.

“A good example would be the CCH software, which previously took about 40 seconds to open the in the office, but now loads in less than 5 seconds from staff members’ home,” Extech’s Richard Phillips says. “Application updates also don’t need to be conducted on every single workstation and staff have access to systems even in a web browser and tablet.”

In March 2020, it was crucial that the team at Hunters Law had the ability to leverage cloud services to maintain day-to-day business operations while working remotely and to maintain regular contact with clients. All members of the team can now operate productively, from anywhere.

“It is important to also bear in mind the considerable challenges of performing such a transition during lockdown where all interaction between vendors, team members and staff has been remote and visits to site have not been possible,” says Arif Kamal.

“We are indeed most fortunate that the roll out of workplace devices was completed in March just prior to lockdown otherwise the impact on our ability to work and on the firm would have been very significant,” he continues.

Today, Extech Cloud also provides Hunters Law with service desk support and operational management of the cloud infrastructure, 100+ users and endpoints, along with advice and guidance on emerging products, features and security compliance and procedure information. Hunters Law only pay for the IT services they actually need on a month by month basis.

For more information on moving IT operations into the cloud for legal firms, contact the Extech Cloud team on +44 (0) 1444 443200 or email info@extech.co.uk .

Visit www.extechcloud.com for more information.

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