Redchip is a Brisbane-based commercial law firm supporting ambitious and commercially minded entrepreneurs. Their mission is to go beyond the legal brief to deliver outcomes, rather than conventional legal thinking.
A reliable technology platform is essential to fulfilling this mission. In 2012, when performance of the practice management system brought the pace of business to a virtual standstill, Redchip engaged Sentrian to reconfigure their existing resources to deliver and support a fit-for-purpose IT infrastructure.
Since opening in the mid-90’s Redchip had tried various approaches to IT support, from small 1-2 technician start-ups, to larger staffed IT support companies. All ventures had their pros and cons, but none were able to fully provide the quality of support that Redchip’s expanding business required.
As Brisbane dried out after the 2011 floods, the firm came to the conclusion that their IT was not up to the challenge of supporting a successful modern practice. Not only did their infrastructure not have enough resilience to ensure business continuity through a major disruption, it was struggling to deliver even mediocre performance for the firm’s Practice Evolve application.
When staff started complaining about ‘the spinning circle of death’ when attempting to use Practice Evolve, Office Manager Debbie King knew it was time to act. “Despite meeting the specification, our hardware was simply not performing, and our IT consultants were at a loss to explain,” she said.
“Poor communication became a huge barrier when it came to resolving any issues involving our practice management system,” she said. “We often felt they were talking down to us, with ‘tech-talk’ and jargon that was difficult to understand, which seemed to be masking the fact that they simply didn’t know how to help us.”
The first challenge was to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the Practice Evolve performance issues. Sentrian’s site audit revealed a limited network connection to a poorly configured server, resulting in memory and storage capacity not being optimally allocated.
With a small memory upgrade and re-configuring the server to better manage workloads, Sentrian was able to resolve the performance issues through better utilisation of existing resources, meaning Redchip didn’t need to invest in any significant hardware upgrades. Establishing a more robust backup regime, including server imaging, delivered the redundancy required to survive disruptive events.
This new IT infrastructure was then supported through Sentrian’s Service Desk, providing Redchip with a single point of contact to report and manage issues and change requests. Noticeable improvements followed, including reduced response times and the benefit of having issues and solutions clarified in Plain English.
“I’ve found that regardless of who we speak to on the help desk, everyone is able to assist. We’re not waiting for a single engineer.”Debbie King, Office Manager
Since then, a continual improvement approach and constant push to challenge conventional thinking highlighted the opportunity to migrate several services from on-premises to hosted solutions. Redchip have now moved their Practice Evolve system to a private cloud data centre and migrated from a traditional on-site Microsoft Exchange server to Microsoft Office 365 for email services.
“Sentrian comes across as like-minded to Redchip in the way they look to service their clients,” Debbie says, citing the fact that the transition to Office 365 was completed without any disruption to email as one example of the value that working with a strategic managed service partner can provide.
A single point of contact to a responsive Service Desk process has also had a positive impact on culture and perceptions of IT she says. “Staff do not hesitate when reporting issues, which has helped stop issues in their tracks, before any potential escalation.”
Most importantly, the ‘spinning circle of death’ is now nothing but a memory. “Sentrian’s previous knowledge and experience with legal practice management systems was integral to solving our problem,” Debbie says. “Their close working relationship with Practice Evolve has been evident in the continual improvement of our set-up.”
Practice Evolve now performs alongside the firm’s suite of law-tech tools on robust, scalable IT infrastructure that allows Redchip to stand shoulder to shoulder with their clients in the digital economy. They can respond quickly to opportunities, capture and leverage their knowledge assets and make informed, data-driven decisions.