In 2009, Adams & Adams successfully introduced Autonomy WorkSite in to three key practice areas. In April 2010, part way through rolling out WorkSite across the rest of the firm, Senior IT Manager Colin Short and Solutions Architect Pierre Colyn decided to upgrade to the latest version -WorkSite 8.5.
At the same time, the firm was engaged in a major modernisation and rebranding exercise which coincided with a move to new premises. Phoenix Business Solutions successfully managed the WorkSite roll-out and upgrade.
South African law firm Adams & Adams specialises in trademark and patent law, representing global brands throughout Africa. It’s ever growing commercial, property and litigation department ensures that Adams & Adams delivers a holistic service to their clients. The firm comprises 150 attorneys and 300 support staff based in offices throughout South Africa, Mozambique and Angola.
Adams & Adams: Simultaneous WorkSite roll-out and upgrade
IT infrastructure upgrade and new premises
Colin outlines the rationale for upgrading to WorkSite 8.5 part-way through the implementation. “8.5’s inherent functionality allowed us to fast track many of our in-house business improvement projects whilst providing a more stable working environment for our existing user base. Additional improvement features included offline folders, IDOL indexing and a new email management module (EMM). There were also practical considerations. As only one third of the firm were using WorkSite, it did not make sense to roll out the older version to the whole firm”
The move to new premises was part of a major rebranding initiative, so timing was critical “We had invested heavily in our IT infrastructure,” explains Colin. “We wanted the WorkSite 8.5 upgrade to coincide with our new technology, philosophy and approach.”
Phoenix manages the roll-out and upgrade
Having initially started discussions with local vendors, Colin ultimately turned to Phoenix.”We were struck by their experience of implementing and supporting WorkSite and their enthusiasm and ambition to develop a footprint in South Africa. Phoenix’s well-known WorkSite expertise made the decision a no brainer.” They managed the rollout and upgrade applying their experience and best practice to our templates and resources.”
Change control was an important consideration. Adams & Adams’ users are highly diversified in terms of technology. “To reduce the impact on the business, it was important that we tailor made some of the training sessions to suit the pace of our users.” This proved to be a very successful tactic during the implementation. The fact that Phoenix and Pierre had experience of implementing WorkSite ensured that the project ran smoothly, avoiding potential pitfalls. “We were well prepared for the changeover and migration with Pierre working closely with Phoenix’s on-site resources combined with round-the-clock technical support from the UK.” explains Colin.
Leveraging WorkSite’s powerful technology
The upgrade to WorkSite 8.5 benefits Adams & Adams, its lawyers and its IT team by enabling lawyers to operate in a more matter-centric environment. Worksite’s improvements with regards to accessing electronic files remotely, addresses many of the issues resulting from South Africa’s bandwidth constraints. “WorkSite 8.5 enables Adams & Adams to leverage those advantages which complement our infrastructure upgrades. Seamless integration with the firm’s practice management and specialist case management systems as well as other elements of the Autonomy suite means that the system will eventually require less support.”
Colin believes that some South African firms have failed to exploit WorkSite’s full potential because they did not benefit from the support of an experienced third party. “I did not want to introduce WorkSite without leveraging its powerful technology. Thanks to Phoenix, we have upgraded and rolled out WorkSite 8.5 and personalised the system to fit our working practices.” Phoenix’s vast experience with WorkSite implementations together with our bespoke personalisation and integration has underpinned the resounding success of Adams & Adams‘ WorkSite implementation. “Phoenix knowledge, enthusiasm and absolute commitment underpinned the project’s success,” says Colin.
Phoenix Business Solutions