Legal firm Mills & Reeve is implementing a converged IP-based network and communications software across it four UK offices to reduce costs and improve service and efficiency.
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"We needed to replace an ageing telephone system, but realised it was an opportunity to save costs on inter-office calls by moving to a converged voice and data network as well as add value through improved responsiveness to calls from clients," said Graeme Low, head of IT at Mills & Reeve.
After a formal two-stage tendering process involving six companies, Mills & Reeve awarded a five-year contract worth £600,000 to Redstone Converged Solutions.
Low said several shortlisted companies were able to meet the law firm's basic telephony requirements, but Redstone was able to demonstrate how to get added value from investing in a tried and tested Cisco network and IP telephony platform.
"Redstone proposed adding third-party business communications software from IPFX, which will give us tremendous scope to make the business more productive and efficient by integrating closely with Microsoft Outlook," he said.
The software will enable the firm's lawyers to see the availability of team colleagues, read faxes, access voicemail, and click to dial contacts all within the Outlook environment.
"IPFX will bring together a whole lot of different systems into a single application where most lawyers work, and that is where we expect to get the greatest efficiency gains," said Low.
Mills & Reeve plans to adopt a phased approach to the implementation, starting this month with the insurance division, which will test the system across that division's staff at the firm's London, Birmingham and Norwich offices. The Cambridge office will not be involved in the first phase.
"The pilot phase will enable us to examine the team working element of the system and help us to understand how it will work best for the firm and amend our telephony policies and procedures where necessary, before rolling it out across all practice areas in all four offices," said Low.