How to Centralize and Simplify Satellite Office IT for Law Firms

Law firms take on new shapes as they grow. One might become a regional powerhouse with two or more offices; another might act as an umbrella for a consortium of small offices located near to one another.

Regardless of the shape a growing law firm takes, firms with more than one location (or satellite offices) need to take on ever more complex technological solutions to manage and secure data.

The engineering team at Legal Workspace says that a law firm with satellite offices faces many of the same challenges as a firm concerned with optimizing mobility. Those firms will encounter issues around architecture and infrastructure.

Many of these types of firms opt to install their own infrastructure, using servers and Wide Area Networks that allow remote offices to access data—but even carefully constructed and well-maintained systems will run into difficulties, most of which revolve around performance, collaboration, and cost issues.

Improve Productivity by Enhancing Performance

When a firm operates from its own servers, there are any number of performance issues that could arise, including defective components, power problems, bottlenecks, software licensing surprises, and network and security issues.

Most of these firms need to work with an IT consultant or add a staff member to troubleshoot problems and maintain the system. Issues that might appear could be based on “age, equipment, or abuse,” according to Legal Workspace experts.

If performance issues are severe enough, they waste time and resources. And, if they interfere with productivity on a regular basis, it might be time to switch to a solution that is maintained continually by legal IT experts.

Because the specific needs of law firms are the foremost objective at Legal Workspace, its engineers can design a solution that allows users to be relieved of performance problems.

Streamline Workflow with Document Collaboration

When numerous people collaborate on the same documents, it’s important that they don’t waste time updating different or duplicated versions. If the same data is saved in multiple locations—or if someone has to go to a certain shared drive for information of one kind, and another server for information of another kind—confusion and mistakes are bound to happen. Now, with the most recent version of SharePoint we even have the ability for attorneys to work on a document at the same time.

The engineers at Legal Workspace help many law firms with satellite offices maintain a collaborative infrastructure—a central depository of applications and data, or a shared location—in order to diminish the likelihood of lost productivity from collaborative, but keeping a collaborative infrastructure in place gets expensive.

Making the transition from supporting a local technology infrastructure to a virtual cloud-based solution IT management is well worth it. The complexity of the transition is situational, but Legal Workspace makes planning a priority to get everything consolidated in one location where everyone can find everything easily.

Reduce On-Site IT Infrastructure Costs

Let’s say a firm has two major locations. The infrastructure might be set up in any number of ways. For example, there could be a server at each location, or a server in one location that the other location remotes into via an MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) tunnel. MPLS tunnels are devoted high bandwidth tunnels that run between offices to keep data synced.

But those tunnels are expensive: Depending on the amount of bandwidth you need, it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, which adds up quickly.

Law firms experiencing rapid growth benefit from a cloud-based IT solution, like the one provided by Legal Workspace, because adding local servers makes growth more complicated. With each new office added, more equipment and software licenses need to be purchased; whereas, with our cloud workspace, all a firm needs to do is add users.

And, regardless of the way in which a law office might build its infrastructure, data backup remains the most important factor. Accidents, glitches, and equipment failure happen, but they don’t need to interrupt business with the right cloud based IT infrastructure. Legal Workspace backs up its clients’ data in real time and to a second data center.

A cloud-based solution that works

Should a law firm decide that performance, collaboration, or expense issues are interfering with its ability to do business, a Legal Workspace solution could streamline workflow and simplify the way its workers interact with technology and information.

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