Teamwork Bring Tech Benefits For Law Firm

Posted on the 10 August 2010

Teamwork Bring Tech Benefits For Law Firm

A collaboration between Watson Burton LLP and technology experts ITPS has seen the law firm achieve a first in the northern region.

The firm’s in-house IT team worked alongside ITPS experts to configure Apple’s new lightweight iPad to access Watson Burton’s servers, giving staff mobile access to emails, client files, diaries and other back office data via the firm’s LawSoft practice management system.

Doing so enables staff to work from anywhere with an internet connection, without having to carry a laptop.

The firm’s mobile workers have previously used a laptop and a Citrix web gateway to access company information on the move. By downloading the Citrix receiver software from the app store and configuring an iPad, the team say they have transformed a gadget that is essentially aimed at the entertainment market into a technology tool with real business advantages.

The two organisations have worked together for over two years, and this is the latest in a series of technology advances developed by the team.

Watson Burton’s IT manager Jonathan Smith said: “We initially started testing the iPad in-house more to see what all the fuss was about than anything else, and to see how it could help when transporting lengthy documents on the move.

“After spending some time exploring the features we immediately saw the benefits that could be achieved if we could provide system access using such a neat device. We demonstrated it to senior management and got a very positive response. We now have several users around the business using the iPad ‘live’, and the feedback so far has been excellent, with comments such as ‘Take away my laptop, I’m using the iPad from now on.’ Based on the initial response we’re predicting that people will quickly see the business advantages and become converts.

“As our established IT partners, ITPS will be helping us to further develop the possibilities – we could see this become the way forward for mobile working across the business.

Kris Curran, a consultant at Gateshead-based ITPS added: “The project effectively means staff who are on the move are not faced with the option of either trying to work around the limitations of a smartphone, or carrying a chunky laptop. They now have all the functionality of both, in one powerful but easily portable device.

“Because the corporate network is based around a Citrix solution and all information is stored centrally, it’s still fully secure, even if an iPad should be stolen or lost.

“It’s a good example of how a strategic approach can take readily available technology and look at how it can be applied to make the business more flexible and efficient.

“It also shows that the iPad is not just a gimmick for gadget fans. Creating a hybrid between consumer and business opens up all kinds of exciting possibilities for Watson Burton in terms of workforce mobility and productivity, access to critical information, and speed of customer response.”

Watson Burton is committed to quality client service. The firm continually invests across the board in order to ensure that lawyers are best placed to deliver the fast and effective legal advice that its clients require.