Legal & Professional Services
Speechly Bircham is a 300+ staff legal firm based in the City of London with a strong reputation for both commercial and private client work. The company handles complex corporate and property transactions as well as commercial disputes, while its private client services include family as well as tax and trusts advice. The six core areas of operation are: construction; corporate; employment; IP; technology and commercial; private client and property.
The firm forecasts predicted employee numbers for 2010 to be in the region of 350 people and approximately 420 by 2012. Since this would necessitate an expansion in office space, Speechly Bircham decided to relocate and selected a new 60,000 sq ft premises in London’s New Street Square. An integral element of the move was to transition the organisation to an open plan working environment. This would allow the company to take full advantage of opportunities for cross‐departmental interaction and team building.
One of the major challenges that presented itself in the project was the replacement of the data network and telephony systems. The migration from the old environment to the new converged technology environment needed to be implemented with no downtime, a controlled budget and tight timescale.
Design and Procurement: PTS provided a detailed design for the structured cabling infrastructure and the network enabling the use of IP Telephony, wireless networking, new printing and security functions. PTS worked closely with the Professional Design Team to ensure that the new IT infrastructure was adapted to meet the specific needs of Speechly Bircham. PTS carefully managed the technology procurement for the project to ensure that the best commercial value was obtained and that the overarching business requirements were attained, for example supporting flexible working practices through the use of hot‐desking, a secure wireless environment and “Follow Me Printing” – which allows users to automatically logon to the nearest printer. Robert Cohen, Head of IT at Speechly Bircham explained: “PTS ran a very controlled, documented and organised process which I was very impressed with. The technical knowledge of PTS Consultants ensured that our ITTs included a great level of detail specific to our particular environment. Their vendor-independent process and
Implementation and Project Management: PTS managed the implementation of the physical IT infrastructure and network systems through to project completion. PTS brought specific experience to managing the infrastructure work stream which meant that there was a reduced strain on the client’s internal resources allowing them to work on the in‐house enterprise project stream. “The good thing about having PTS involved during the relocation process was that its Consultants were able to take ownership of the work streams under their management whilst the Speechly Bircham team could focus on the Enterprise work stream that was being managed in‐house.”
Key benefits of the project delivered include:
- Relocation of the 300+ staff into the new 60,000 sq ft building in New Street Square, London, on time and on budget ‐ despite very challenging timescales.
- New IP telephony and network systems allow staff to use wireless networking for laptops and phones enabling flexible working and hot-desking. This also allows wireless Internet access for visitors and Internet cafes.
- IP‐based services offer a single smartcard solution for staff allowing: ‘Follow me printing’, cashless vending and improved security.
- Close collaboration with professional teams and 3rd parties ensured that IT’s requirements were accurately translated into specifications and accounted for in the overall build programme.
- Improvements in efficiency of day‐to‐day working procedures such as a reduction in printing costs by 50%
Robert Cohen, Head of IT at Speechly Bircham summarised: “With a very demanding timescale, PTS was able to step in and work with the professional team and help ensure that IT was accounted for within the overall build programme. We left the old building and systems on the Friday evening and moved to the new building on the Monday. All IT was in place and working for the users on the Monday morning and we didn’t have a minute of lost time. With PTS’s assistance, we were able to achieve the right balance between performance, price and professionalism.”
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