LawWare planned to launch a cloud-based practice-management solution for law firms, particularly small businesses that want to avoid the running costs of IT or lack the resources to develop their own infrastructures. By choosing Microsoft Office 365 and Hyper-V technology, LawWare successfully developed LawCloud with help from hosting service provider Rise. Since LawCloud went live, the organisation has grown by 20 per cent as more customers adopt the service.
LawWare, based in Edinburgh, is a leading developer of software for the legal profession. Founded in 1995, the company provides practice-management software for more than 20 per cent of law firms in Scotland. LawWare has achieved success by designing software for a range of firms, from sole practitioners to medium-sized firms, and continues to create new solutions with its own internal team of developers.
Traditionally, LawWare implemented its practice-management software at customer sites, also providing a team to help maintain the systems. However, the company saw that small law firms often lacked the IT infrastructure to support software systems, and found the cost of new technology prohibitive—particularly in the current economic climate. It believed the answer lay in using the legal community’s familiarity with cloud technology to deliver the software as a hosted system.
LawWare looked for a cloud solution and hosting provider it could trust. It was crucial that law firms had peace of mind concerning the security of their confidential information and continual access to their data. Only when they felt certain that their information was protected would they take advantage of the management simplicity and cost effectiveness of a cloud-based solution.Solution
LawWare evaluated a number of cloud technologies on the market. It looked for a system based on Microsoft software because of the success of its existing on-premises solution, which featured Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Office 2010. The company decided to build its service with the support of Microsoft Office 365, which would provide customers with Exchange Online for email and shared calendars and SharePoint Online as a collaboration tool.
LawWare asked Rise, an expert in hosted IT infrastructures, to create a highly reliable platform to support the new service. Warren Wander, Managing Director at LawWare, says: “Once I started talking to the people at Rise, I found their expertise, friendliness, and willingness to help to be a really good match for my business.” Rise provided LawWare with its Data Center on Demand solution, which is based on Hyper-V technology, a key feature of Windows Server 2008 R2. The solution gives LawWare a resilient environment and round-the-clock support. Furthermore, because Rise datacentres are based in the United Kingdom (U.K.), LawWare complies with data protection laws.
LawWare ran trials of its LawCloud offering for nine months before officially launching the service. By the time it went to market, 25 law firms were already using the cloud platform. LawCloud customers—which access the solution for a fixed monthly fee—can reach their data from multiple locations, including the office, home, or court buildings. For daily management, IT personnel at LawWare use a web-based control panel for completing a range of tasks such as increasing server capacity to meet demand. Because Hyper-V is at the core of the Data Center on Demand solution from Rise, LawWare can reliably deliver the LawCloud service. Indeed, thanks to the hypervisor technology’s Live Migration, Host Clustering, and Cluster Shared Volume features, availability is maximised.Benefits
Since the launch of LawCloud, LawWare has seen 20 per cent growth. Wander says: “Customers find the low monthly price an attractive alternative to the high upfront cost of servers and software licences.” The service is helping LawWare open new markets and compete with larger practice-management software suppliers across the U.K. LawCloud customers know that their data is secure and highly available thanks to reliable disaster recovery.
LawWare grows by 20 per cent with LawCloud. Thanks to the cloud solution, LawWare is expanding at a time when many law firms find it harder to develop their own IT systems. In addition, the company expects the rate of growth to increase when it launches LawCloud across the U.K.
Firm can now compete with larger businesses. Wander says: “Rise has helped us compete effectively with other firms in the market. We expect to double our online users from 60 to 120 in a matter of months.”
Customers have peace of mind. With Hyper-V virtualisation technology, LawCloud customers know that robust disaster recovery will rapidly restore data in the event of an emergency.
LawCloud simplifies IT for customers. Instead of spending resources on planning for IT, LawCloud customers pay a monthly fee to cover all its IT needs. Wander says: “Now customers have a single point of contact at LawCloud, making the system easier to maintain and more cost effective.”
New solution exceeds customer expectations. Feedback from customers on LawCloud has been excellent. “The cloud service and working with Rise has changed us as a business,” says Wander. “It has brought us a new lease of life and made us more agile and responsive.” This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.