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Garden Court Chambers makes the case for communications transformation with UCaaS

Rapid transition from limited on-premise systems to cloud-based video conferencing and workstream collaboration sees leading London legal firm gain ‘frictionless’ digital workplace for a team-centric experience

London’s largest barristers’ chambers, Garden Court Chambers, has enhanced and simplified communications and collaboration for its barristers, clerical and admin staff with a new digital workplace system.

Founded in 1974, Garden Court Chambers supports NGOs, charities, campaign groups, special interest groups and businesses, and is well known for working with organisations to pursue high-profile test cases of constitutional importance.

The company’s previous communications system had traditional phones on each barrister’s desk with calls transferred through the switchboard. This was a limited way of working. It meant a receptionist had to be on-site to manage the switchboard and, with only a few licences available, video conferences had to be set up by staff.

Barristers were unable to move quickly to fulfil their own business needs – to find a phone number, they had to call reception, and requests for expensive licences for alternative video-conferencing apps were becoming more frequent.

Also, although it was usual for barristers working away from the chambers to give clients their mobile numbers, transferring calls between mobiles was arduous and call-forwarding from a desk phone to a mobile number could only be done by the IT admin logging into the phone system.

The company decided on an upgrade so that it could empower its barristers to move forward into the dynamic and collaborative new world of work with a comms technology platform that supports the often-unplanned nature of their profession.

As Garden Court Chambers embarked upon the process, customer experience and unified communications specialist Fortay Connect worked as a trusted adviser to the firm, charged with understanding its requirements, provide market insights and optimise the evaluation process. Following a competitive proposal, Garden Court Chambers chose Avaya Cloud Office for its ability to deliver an all-in-one cloud communications system as well as features such as call analytics, straightforward billing and ease of use.

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The company has now deployed the Avaya OneCloud UCaaS (unified communications-as-a-service) platform and with the installation of Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral and the migration of 275 users completed in April, communications at the Lincoln’s Inn-based chambers were transformed into what is now described as a flexible, always-on video-conferencing and workstream collaboration system to support working from anywhere.

“Barristers’ work can be unpredictable and often they need to be available 24/7, so they need a digital workplace without departmental silos, always-on access to information from any location, at any time, and persistent, group workstream collaboration for a true client- and team-centric experience,” said Dan Bunce, IT systems project manager for Garden Court Chambers.

“With Avaya Cloud Office, our barristers get a single number for calls, chat, video meetings, file sharing and continuous collaboration that reaches them wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using. They can also easily manage their own preferences for call forwarding, availability, presence, messaging and video meetings, removing the burden from IT admin, staff and reception.

“I particularly wanted call analytics so I could investigate reasons why video or sound might be poor and fix it. Simple billing was also important. Unlike other solutions, Avaya’s pricing is transparent and granular, with a single predictable monthly bill and no hidden tariffs or monthly hardware costs. The speed of deployment – in under a month – ensured no working days were lost, which was crucial in protecting the barristers’ business.”

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