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Lawyers first with Exchange 2003

Cliff Saran
Law firm Wragge & Co has become the UK's first user of Microsoft Exchange 2003. It will use the software to provide integrated messaging.

A key driver for Wragge & Co in selecting Exchange 2003 was the need to link the company's various IT systems together to provide integrated messaging. Derek Southall, Wragge & Co partner responsible for strategic development, said, "Our primary focus for Exchange is data integration."

Wragge & Co provides electronic services such as portals for its customers. "Technology allows us to deliver more law per hour," he said.

A team of 10 in-house IT experts together with Microsoft Consulting is currently working to link Exchange to Wragge & Co's core systems. These include Hummingbird document management, portal and collaboration software; the Interaction customer relationship management package; and legal finance system CMS.

By October, Southall hopes to have rolled out Exchange 2003 to between 100 and 120 users. He said the remainder of Wragge & Co's 1,035 staff would be upgraded by January 2004. Microsoft's new messaging platform will be formally launched in the autumn.

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