Over the past three months Cloud Solutions has migrated Hong Kong based Law firm, Gall Solicitors, to the Cloud. Gall Solicitors are located in Central Hong Kong and employ 24 full time staff.  Gall specialise in litigation, mediation and arbitration. The firm migrated all their key business applications to the Cloud. This included their Email Server, Document Management System, Time & Billing System, their file storage and Windows desktops.

Phase one saw Cloud Solutions implement a new Time & Billing Systems (TaBS). Client and Matter balances were imported and all time-keeping staff started to enter their time sheets into the new system. TaBS was hosted in Rackspace’s Hong Kong Private Cloud or Managed Hosting services.  The TaBS systems was installed on a Linux server with Cloud Solutions providing all implementation and training services.

Phase two saw their Exchange Server migrated to Google Apps for Business. Cloud Solutions worked with each member of staff to ensure all their emails in Outlook had been safely migrated to Google Apps Cloud system before switching away from Microsoft Exchange.  Users continued to use Outlook however the back end email server was now Google’s Cloud Gmail servers. Gmail was integrated to iPhones, iPads and Blackberrys for key staff. The migration was very smooth with no email down time during the switch. Cloud based auto archiving and backup services were additional add-ons to Google Apps adopted.

Cloud based Document Manager, NetDocuments was next to be implemented. NetDocuments has been specifically designed for use in Law Firms. Gall Solicitors had a traditional Windows file server in their office with hundreds of folders with documents stored in by matter reference and name. The complete folder structure and all documents were imported to NetDocuments in the Cloud. The documents were indexed and categorised by Matter, Precedents and Administrative. NetDocuments offer integration with Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Files can be opened and edited as normal. Emails in Outlook can now be filed against a matter in NetDocuments. This feature was very well received as Email management is always an issue for any law firm. 

The document manager was also integrated to the photocopier and Time & Billing system. Photocopies can now be emailed directly to the document manager for filing and once a new matter is opened in the Time & Billing system the client and matter code is created automatically in the document management system, allowing documents to be created and filed without delay. Folders and documents in NetDocuments can be linked directly with Clients and Matters in TaBS.

Accessing and sharing documents has become easier with the easy-to-use and intuitive interface, powerful security features and search engine offered by Netdocuments. The remote access to all documents has been another winner especially the new iPad client from NetDocuments.

The final phase saw the replacement of all aging Windows XP computers with the latest range of Linux Cloud computers from Wyse. Virtual Desktops (VDI) were implemented which provides for a standardised Windows 7.0 desktop hosted in the Rackspace Private Cloud environment. Local file storage is available from a 500GB Cloud based SAN. The desktop environment improved overall accessibility, security, standardisation, disaster recovery and requires less IT support. Each user’s desktop environment is located in the Cloud and the Cloud computer or terminal on the user’s desktop allows them to connect to their virtual desktop across a secure Internet connection.

Additional desktop tools for PDF manipulation and OCR were installed along with CompareDocs for redlining and Word and PDF document comparing and change control. Lawyers now access their complete office environment from home, from Court or when they are out of Hong Kong for business or pleasure. 

The firm has worked hard to adopt new internal processes to maximise the benefit offered by the Cloud. This includes administrative processes like New Client opening forms and HR related Leave Requests being all migrated to Cloud based electronic forms along with a comprehensive Intranet that offers professional and systems information, legal news, training videos and user guides. Currently Gall do not employ a single IT person to maintain their system as the Cloud offers such a stable and secure environment.

The firm is now able to expand both in Hong Kong and abroad without constraint. Their data and IT systems are far more secure, more accessible, amd more available with 100% up time guaranteed.  

Gall Solicitors are a market leader in the adoption of Cloud computing in their profession. This has allowed the firm to  provide the best services possible to their clients in the most productive way. There has been no doubt this has been a very successful project from both Cloud Solutions and Gall Solicitor’s point of view.

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Cloud Solutions tel: +852 3973-3848

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