Osborne Clarke Case Study

Requirement: Skype for Business with Enterprise Voice

International legal practice Osborne Clarke chose GCI to deliver a new Skype for Business Enterprise Voice platform, allowing users globally to communicate and collaborate in a more productive, agile and flexible manner with their customers and each other.

The Client

Osborne Clarke is a multi-award-winning law firm, with 25 offices globally. Founded in 1748, it now employs around 1,600 people and advises clients across a number of different sectors and has worked a variety of companies, from household names to tech startups. The company’s goal is simple: to help its clients and their people succeed in tomorrow’s world.

The company’s existing global Voice and LAN infrastructure used an Avaya solution which - while it worked well for staff in its offices – had technical restrictions and was not flexible enough to meet users’ needs when working remotely. The hosted version of Skype for Business in place – bundled in with Microsoft Office 365 – was only used for messaging and for presence, and not enabled for inbound or outbound calling from the PSTN, meaning that anyone operating from outside the internal network would need to be contacted via a different method. Requirements were changing and, as early adopters of technology within the sector, the firm wanted to reduce costs and increase agility for its staff, as well as to consolidate its disparate telephone and meetings systems into one solution. After a competitive tender – where Osborne Clarke looked carefully for a specialist that had the right experience and knowledge of deploying a Skype Enterprise Voice global platform – the company selected leading Converged ICT Services Provider GCI to provide a solution which would improve communications and collaboration between staff, offices and customers.

Technical Solution

GCI took a phased approach to the Skype for Business Enterprise Voice project, implementing a hybrid environment that housed three platforms; Osborne Clarke staff on the existing Avaya platform, users already using Skype for Business within Office 365, and those on the new GCI Skype for Business platform. This enabled all users to easily coexist and communicate with one another no matter which platform they were using - no mean feat given the number of users and the fact that this solution was to be deployed globally. The project consolidated these different systems with minimal downtime, improving relationships as staff could all now effectively use Voice communications via the Skype interface that they were used to. Additionally, to help enable the new Voice capabilities of Skype for Business, GCI replaced the existing ISDN 30 estate and telephone lines with SIP connectivity, offering higher levels of flexibility and reliability whilst cutting running costs.

Success and Company Benefits

Osborne Clarke now has an Enterprise Voice environment which houses three platforms to ensure a phased approach. No matter which platform the staff are using, they can all easily communicate with each other and with their customers. The solution provides Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, and is helping Osborne Clarke to comply with strict call retention regulations within the Legal sector. The rollout of the platform has been completed with great success in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, with more offices still to come.

Nathan Hayes, IT Director at Osborne Clarke, said: “Before engaging with GCI, we had instructed another IT provider who were ultimately unable to deliver the requirements of the project. It was therefore imperative that their replacement had a wealth of experience and exceptional references when it came to delivering a solution of this scale. GCI’s level of experience in not only the solution we required, but also in dealing with the stringent rules within the legal sector, was a key part in our decision-making process.

“GCI had a “test and learn” approach to the implementation, which meant that we could be certain the solution would meet all our expectations before deploying it further. The goal was to make the end user experience for our fee earners as slick and as easy as possible, and I am delighted to say that so far this has been very successfully achieved.”


Keith Lourie, Senior Solutions Consultant – Legal Lead at GCI, said: “Osborne Clarke had a clear vision; to achieve a more flexible, agile platform for global, internal and customer communications. I’m very happy to say that this has been achieved. The addition of GCI’s Cloud Contact Centre – an omni-channel platform that integrates natively with Skype for Business - will offer further improvements to the customer experience and internal support.”


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