DGB Lawyers is one of Wollongong's most respected law firms. It has provided trusted advice and guidance to businesses and personal clients since 1955.
DGB has three partners, with a strong team of experienced solicitors and support staff operating from offices in Wollongong and Oak Flats. Solicitors frequently meet clients on-site and outside of normal office hours. This is in line with the firm's mission to provide exceptional legal advice and customer service.
Partners wanted to upgrade Open Practice, a fully integrated practice management application that brings new efficiencies and scales with evolving business needs. DGB's current hardware, which would not support the software, was due for a refresh.
With guidance from Novo IT's Consulting Team, it emerged that ageing hardware was the root of several technology concerns. Besides not supporting new practice management software, DGB's plans for growth and new technical capabilities were limited. Slow network connections, both local and remote, were causing frustration.
Linda Wright, Partner at DBG, says, "Because we've worked with Novo IT before, they know our business well. It made the consulting process a breeze."
"Novo IT took a holistic view of our business, and helped us to identify the core issues that were holding us back," she adds.
DGB's servers were more than six years old. They would not support the planned upgrade to the latest version of Open Practice, the firm's practice management software of choice. The firm's current version of Structured Query Language (SQL) – a standard computer language for database management and data manipulation - was also incompatible with the latest version of Open Practice. The servers could not run the latest Microsoft Office, nor could they support any advanced functionalities that DGB might require in the future.
Novo IT Solution
Novo IT's Consulting Team architected fresh hardware infrastructure. This created a robust platform for current business applications, including Open Practice and Microsoft Office. It also catered for business growth and future capabilities, such as digital dictation.
Novo IT's Professional Services Team, whose chief mission is implementation, installed the new systems.
Wright says, "They worked quickly and efficiently, with minimal disruption to our daily business. They provided us with regular updates on the progress and were always prepared to ensure 'down time' was outside of business hours"
DGB's physical infrastructure was migrated to a virtual infrastructure. This gave the required capacity without the added costs of buying storing and maintaining multiple physical servers. A powerful new server was installed in the Wollongong head office, to act as physical host of the virtualised applications. VMware software was used to virtualise Windows SBS 2011 Premium, a powerful data management and analysis solution. It also virtualized a dedicated SQL server, to support the database elements of Open Practice.
Virtualised Citrix Xenapp 6.5 servers gave remote access to business critical Windows applications, data, and desktops from mobile devices. Citrix Xenapp centrally delivered DGB's virtualised applications and desktops from the Wollongong office to the Oaks Flats branch. Novo IT's Managed Services Team was engaged to provide ongoing management of the new infrastructure.
With refreshed hardware and software, the latest version of Open Practice was deployed firm wide.
"Open Practice really boosted practice management efficiency, with new functionalities that we couldn't previously use," says Wright.
With new Microsoft Office installed, DGB was once again using the same version as clients, avoiding compatibility problems.
Remote and local network connections were faster and more reliable, and user confidence restored. Productivity away from the office was vastly improved, with ready access to business critical applications on mobile devices.
Wright says, "The infrastructure refresh supports our current and future needs, in line with our plans for growth."
With business and technology strategically aligned, and Novo IT Managed Services on hand maintain ICT systems at peak performance, DGB is well positioned to continue its mission to provide exceptional client service and legal advice.