CommArc staff know their stuff when it comes to technology, but it was their customer service and close understanding of the legal industry that made all the difference to one of Canterbury’s oldest law firms.
We replaced their old problematic IT system with one designed to meet their needs as a modern law firm – and they love the difference it’s made.
An IT partner that understands law firms.
A more stable system.
Better server performance.
An easier and more reliable backup service.
A strong foundation from which to evolve the firm’s technology.
As with any law firm, Corcoran French needed a well-designed IT system and a strong IT partner to support their staff and clients.
That just wasn’t happening with their old IT provider.
“We had almost daily issues with the old system,” explains Corcoran French general manager Steven Duxfield. “There was always something going wrong. If it went wrong with one person today it’d go wrong with another person tomorrow. And there didn’t seem to be any way to track why it was happening or to find a solution.”
Duxfield adds the provider didn’t really understand what a law firm needed.
“They had no other legal clients,” says Duxfield. “We felt that major missing component. If we had a problem with any piece of legal industry-standard software, they didn’t have the contacts in those organisations, they didn’t know what we were talking about. They had to go away and find out.”
Corcoran French decided to look for a new IT partner.
“We needed someone who understood the legal environment,” says Duxfield. “We needed someone who understood businesses of our size. We needed someone who could speak in English – not ‘geek speak’. And we needed someone we felt we could relate well to.”
We were top of the list.
“CommArc understands the legal industry. They have the contacts in the places we need – they can just get on the phone or email and get things sorted. That’s a big help: the ability to understand what happens in a law firm, how law firms work, how lawyers think and what lawyers, their managers and their secretaries need.”
Although we have a lot of experience with law firms, we know they’re not all the same. So when we began our relationship with Corcoran French, we worked with them to understand what they needed.
“CommArc staff came in and sat down with us and talked with us about what we were trying to do as a firm,” says Duxfield. “What we wanted in terms of our IT. What we were intending to do in other areas in terms of growth or additional offices or people. Some of the technology we might have been interested in and what we hoped to achieve from it. And then they developed a plan from there.”
Planning a new IT system to fit the needs of a busy law firm
We reviewed the existing system. Although we were able to resolve some of its problems, we realised the only way to give Corcoran French staff and clients what they needed was to design and implement a new IT system.
Taking what we’d learned from talking with the firm’s staff, we put together some initial ideas for discussion, such as the options of cloud versus onsite servers. We provided indicative costs, benefits and the pros and cons.
We talked these through with Corcoran French, then worked with them to outline a system plan with detailed costs.
“We presented the whole thing to the full partnership,” Duxfield recalls.
“They told us to get on with it.”
Getting the system in place
The transition between the old system and new was seamless. The old system was taken offline after staff left one Friday evening. By Monday morning, staff could log straight back in as normal – but with a much better experience.
“We’ve got a lot more stable system,” Duxfield says. “Increased performance on the servers. Increased hard drive space. We have a cloud-based backup, so we don’t have to worry about tapes: losing them, finding them, putting them in the right order, sticking them in the machines, tape drives failing – spitting out the wrong tape. None of that sort of stuff.”
Duxfield says the new system has put them in a much better position and has prepared them for future improvements.
“It pretty much brought us back to where we should have been a few years’ ago. Our staff seem very happy now and tell me there are no problems.”
Now that the system is working well, Duxfield says the firm looks forward to building on it with CommArc’s help.
He adds that it’s that kind of help that’s vital to a law firm.
“The relationship with your IT provider is key. The relationship and the knowledge and ability. The relationship between Corcoran French and CommArc’s account managers and key service and tech people is crucial. And that relationship is working really well. CommArc understands the legal industry.”