Godwins Solicitors LLP is based in Winchester, Hampshire and was founded almost two centuries ago in 1832.
Their staff totals around 35 and their team of lawyers possess a wealth of experience working with large firms, both in London and in regions across the UK. Godwins specialises in legal issues around property (both residential and commercial), family (including divorces), and private client work for a number of high net worth individuals.
Godwins was looking for a partner to help them conduct a thorough review of their IT strategy. With their current on premise servers around a decade old, their infrastructure was looking outdated and not adequately supported the changing demands of their business. The partners identified that a change was needed to execute their growth plans and support their current lawyers to work more productively.
At the same time, Godwins wanted to pivot towards a new provider who could provide a cloud-first solution, as well as specific expertise geared towards law firms. “We were using a smaller IT provider for cost reasons and they ran a good help desk,” Andrew recalls. “The problem was that they didn’t really specialise in working with law firms.”
Following a competitive tender process, through which Godwins sought a partner that could demonstrate the practicality and security of a cloud solution, they teamed up with Oosha, part of Access Legal. The result is the implementation of a Digital Workplace via a virtual desktop multi-cloud solution that combines Oosha’s cloud platform with Microsoft Azure - replacing Godwin’s on-premise server hardware. This infrastructure and its related IT support covers all of the third-party applications that Godwins’ users rely on day-to-day, including the virtual desktop. Andrew explains: “We log into Citrix to access our virtual desktop. Everything we need is on the desktop, and with the guidance of Oosha, we decided to lock down the local PCs, so that everyone adheres to the same security measures”.
When defining the IT strategy for Godwins, Oosha introduced the ‘Digital Workplace’ concept. With this agile solution, Godwins’ users can securely access a virtual desktop from multiple devices, which provides reliable and secure access to Microsoft Teams and other legal applications.
This enables their team to work seamlessly between the office, from home or on the move: a vital consideration at a time when COVID-19 has reshaped how legal firms operate. Oosha, part of Access Legal, also provides IT support for end-users, which also includes managing issues relating to their various legal and Microsoft applications.
As well as technical excellence, Andrew felt that Oosha stood out thanks to an up-front integrated approach with no hidden costs, and because every requirement was covered by Oosha in-house. Andrew also singled out the service Oosha provided, from the initial migration and integration through to special support as the pandemic took hold: “From the very beginning, three Oosha support staff came on site for three weeks after their comms team had done the initial networking. Everyone was extremely nice to deal with. On top of this, the laptops we sourced at the time of the first lockdown in March were given really good backup by the team in terms of getting them ready for use at home.”
Godwins and Oosha, part of Access Legal, are now working together to build on their success and find new ways of bringing technology into their operations, including document security, as well as look at how sensitive information can be better protected when transferred digitally. Andrew is keen to make sure that, while Godwins can move away from many of the outdated practices that still prevail in the legal sector, any new solutions that are introduced must provide strong user-friendly experiences. “Some of my clients are in their 80s. So, it’s important we provide a system that is user-friendly and accessible to them especially - not one that requires logging into a port or answering five security questions before you get to a document”, said Andrew.
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