Legal & Professional
Norton Rose LLP is a constituent part of Norton Rose Group, a leading international legal practice offering a full business law service from offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It has over 200 partners, 800 lawyers and 1,800 staff worldwide.
In 2005, the practice made the decision to relocate 1200 users from the five buildings that made up their London headquarters to a single central location in prestigious new premises at More London. The project was due to be completed by July 2007. Overlooking London Bridge and the Tower of London, the new 80,000 square foot premises were designed by Foster and Partners to consist of 9 floors of office accommodation around a central atrium. With a project of such scale, it was vital for the practice to ensure that the new premises were capable of delivering a fully resilient IT infrastructure that would provide increased performance and redundancy and facilitate new and flexible methods of working. The practice also needed a full understanding of how IT would influence the design of the building well before the project got underway to ensure that detailed IT budgets and project timescales could be accurately mapped out. PTS’s challenge would be to work alongside the professional project team to help ensure the Relocation project ran smoothly from the initial strategic IT scope design and specification, through to procurement, project management and occupation of the new building.
Anthony Salter, IT Programme Manager at Norton Rose LLP explained: “A large scale IT Relocation project isn’t something that any business undertakes that often, so we chose to work with PTS for their ability to provide the advice, guidance and strategic direction needed to ensure the project was properly managed in line with our requirements. PTS Consultants have undertaken many projects like this before. As such, they have a vast technical knowledge of the latest and emerging technologies and good visibility of best practice solutions that are being adopted in the marketplace.”
IT Relocation Strategy: The first task for PTS was to deliver a detailed IT Relocation Strategy that would act as a roadmap for the practice to take action on. Via a series of workshop assessments, PTS reviewed the infrastructure within the existing buildings; core wired and wireless communications; LAN technology, telephony, and collaboration needs; and the required user environment. Close collaboration with the professional team ensured the strategic IT design complemented the overall scheme for the building.
Anthony said: “The initial IT Relocation strategy was very important for us as it delivered a number of clear aims for our project and provided an overall framework for us to work within.”
Design and Procurement: The second stage provided detailed design of a state of the art structured cabling system with a sophisticated Intelligent Infrastructure Management System (IIMS) that would deliver IP telephony, pervasive wireless networking with multiple levels of security and connectivity to a main regional Datacentre for redundancy.
Anthony continued: “Setting up a secondary Datacentre was of primary importance to us since it provides the resiliency and Disaster Recovery capabilities we need to support our key Headquarter operations in London. We cannot afford downtime of key applications such as email and Document Management – these are core systems that our Lawyers simply cannot do without.”
The use of an IP‐based service offers an extensive range of benefits including guaranteed quality of service and enhanced security, flexibility and manageability and provides a stable and future‐proof platform for the practice to introduce new collaborative ways of working. The IIMS is an advanced network control and change management tool to automate and centralise management and monitoring of devices connected to the practice’s network. Design of the infrastructure involved extensive coordination with architectural layouts, electrical specialists and all 3rd party services to use the network. PTS managed production of all tender drawings and specifications, making sure that they dovetailed with the practice’s business continuity facility requirements and WAN design.
PTS Consultants then carefully managed the procurement of all elements right down to the IP telephone handsets on the desk. With the new wireless capabilities supporting flexible working practices, a useful hot desking application for the practice will be “Follow Me Printing” – which will allow the users to automatically connect to the printer nearest to them, regardless of where they log on in the building.
Anthony commented: “Using PTS to manage the IT procurement allowed us to focus on other important areas of work and fast track the whole procurement process.”
Implementation and Project Management: Finally, PTS managed the implementation of the physical IT infrastructure and voice and data networks through to project completion and occupation of the new building. All applications had to be carefully integrated into the IIMS to deliver the full user voice and data functionality required. The Relocation was conducted in four fast track phases to ensure that the transition went smoothly and ran to budget. The ongoing presence of PTS throughout the project reduced the strain on the client’s internal resources and allowed the design and delivery of a resilient and intelligent converged IP network as an integral part of the two-year Relocation project.
Key benefits that the project delivered included:
- IT Relocation for 1200 users from 6 buildings into prestigious new 280,000 sq ft premises at More London
- High performance converged IP network with Datacentre connectivity delivers increased performance and resiliency and back up for business continuity
- Secure wireless networking, IP telephony enables flexible working and hot desking
- Intelligent Infrastructure Management System automates network management significantly increasing efficiency and will reduce the cost of moves and changes
- Close collaboration with professional team and 3rd parties ensured requirements were accurately translated into specifications
- 4 phased fast track approach during the Relocation supported by PTS Consulting’s expert Project Management methodologies ensured the project ran on time, to specification, and to budget
Anthony Salter, IT Programme Manager at Norton Rose LLP summarised: “PTS’s support throughout the project from the strategy formulation to the final IT Relocation gave us clear direction and made the whole process simpler to manage. Thanks to the expertise of PTS Consultants, our Headquarters have a secure IT infrastructure and DR facility in place with a state-of-the-art IP-based telephony platform to support our day-to-day operations. Aside from the immediate performance benefits, the IP platform will also allow us to look at introducing collaborative working methods in the future such as desk‐to‐desk IP video conferencing and desktop collaboration.”
With the assistance of PTS Consulting, the building project was awarded the National and Regional British Council of Office (BCO) Fit‐out for Workplace Award. The BCO Awards provides public recognition for top quality design and functionality. The prestigious awards are also seen as a benchmark for excellence in office space.
The BCO summarised: “This impressive fit‐out within a new building demonstrates the unusual dynamic influences and design strategies that go into tailoring space to a specific tenant’s demands. This is a bright and well organised new home for a legal practice of which it can be rightly proud.”
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