, Jan 18, 2014
Leading UK law firm turns to Video-as-a-Service to support collaborative culture and acquisitive strategy.
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DWF is one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK, offing a full range of services to both businesses and private clients. The firm has almost doubled in size over the last 12 months, mainly through mergers, and now has a network of offices spread throughout the UK and Ireland.
At the heart of DWF’s philosophy is collaboration. The firm is acutely aware of the legal and commercial benefits to clients from developing close relationships and the sharing of knowledge and expertise, and differentiates itself as an ‘attentive listener’. Moreover, collaboration is critical to the success of DWF’s strategy.
Recognising that technology can help the firm fulfill its philosophy, DWF uses video conferencing (VC) to engage staff and clients. VC plays neatly into the firm’s environmental credentials too, helping reduce their carbon footprint, as well as time spent travelling to meetings.
The firm had an ISDN video system, but needed a more advanced solution that was fit for its long-term ambitions.
Richard Hodkinson, Chief Technology Officer at DWF explains: "DWF has grown substantially over the last 12 months, primarily through a number of mergers and an acquisition. The rationale was to bring our growing network of people, spread throughout the UK and Ireland, together as one singular firm."
He adds: "Time is money in the legal sector and VC helps us to engage with clients in a more efficient manner. If we were going to encourage more virtual meetings, the solution needed to be intuitive, cost-effective and provide a high quality, professional experience to the client."
After an evaluation of the marketplace, DWF selected Logicalis’ ImmersiV Video-as-a-Service. ImmersiV was chosen for its enterprise-class performance, flexible per-user per-month consumption model, and ability to connect via the firm’s IP network.
Through the high definition video conferencing solution, the firm is now able to host multiple video calls simultaneously, creating virtual meetings that are comparable to a face-to-face meet. As well as desktop computers and video screens, ImmersiV can be accessed from mobile devices, allowing DWF’s people to attend video calls remotely.
Since ImmersiV Video-as-a-Service is cloud-based, DWF is neither burdened with on-premise equipment or costly maintenance services. Hodkinson comments, "Logicalis has the specific skillset and capacity at its UK-based datacentres to successfully maintain and run this solution for us. Cloud is very much a part of our future ICT strategy, in terms of being able to house the majority of our infrastructure off-premise and managed by the experts, like Logicalis, as well as the overall cost benefits."
Following the deployment of ImmersiV, the firm has witnessed a significant increase in the use of video conferencing by its people – over 600 per cent more video calls took place in April 2013, through ImmersiV, compared to April 2012.
Hodkinson comments: "The figures speak for themselves in terms of justifying the investment. As well as ImmersiV becoming a staple of employee routine, usage peaks around critical periods during a big case or new business win, so the solution’s flexible per-user-per-month subscription model ensures we get value for money."
DWF now has over 2500 people and as the firm continues to grow, ImmersiV is also supporting the integration of new employees, helping to quickly embed them into the firm’s culture and processes.
But it’s not just employees benefitting: ImmersiV also underpins the firm’s innovative approach to client contact. Video conferencing ensures DWF maintains close relationships with its clients, whilst reducing DWF travel expenses and saving valuable time that might otherwise be charged on to the client.
This reduction in travel also impacts the firm’s carbon footprint. As Hodkinson explains, "We want to bring our people together without the expense and untimely nature of excessive travel. At the same time, we have an overarching responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions wherever possible – ImmersiV is a key tool in enabling us to achieve this objective."
As DWF looks to international expansion, the firm intends for ImmersiV to play a pivotal role with new partners and clients overseas. Hodkinson concludes, "This solution will support future integration and help secure new business by providing a platform through which everyone can collaborate, wherever they’re located.
"ImmersiV helps us to work smarter. It stimulates conversations, relationships and challenges us to be more efficient. It is a great facilitator of our firm ethos and is supporting our success as a growing business."