Kennedys: Providing additional IT resource
November 21, 2019
- Fulfil immediate IT support resource gaps
- Stabilise on-going IT support ahead of planned global IT project
- Improve out-of-hours support model
Plan-Net’s Services & Solutions
- 24/7 IT Support
- Sustainable and seamless 24-hour IT support model
- Improved levels of support service to end-users across the globe
- Reliable IT eco-system to support future IT projects & global growth initiatives
Ready for growth – International law firm Kennedys chooses Plan-Net to provide 24/7 IT support to its lawyers across the globe
International law firm Kennedys, established in 1899, provides litigation and dispute resolution, particularly in the insurance, reinsurance and liability industries. Its global footprint includes offices in Auckland, Dubai, Miami, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Tackling resource challenges to support business growth
Kennedys has been ranked as the fastest organically growing law firm in the last 5 years by Legal business 100. Kennedys is committed to growing and strengthening its international capability and for the IT team, from its London HQ, this means a stable and high performing global IT platform.
James Elmer, IT Manager at Kennedys, begins “Investment in technology is important but what’s crucial is having an effective support eco-system in place, fundamentally this means having the right people and processes embedded”.
“When Claire, our IT Operations Manager, joined we had a service desk refresh. We recruited and trained new staff, reviewed processes and had a really good year. However, staff began to leave because we couldn’t offer them career progression. We started to struggle with the churn and subsequent resourcing challenges.”
“We found it difficult to resource the quality of staff with the right skill-set and drive to want to do the job. In the legal sector, not only are there specific technologies, the end users tend to be quite demanding”.
Claire adds, “We found ourselves in a constant state of recruiting, training and managing staff, and having to deal with user complaints of poor performers. It meant we were fire-fighting all the time”.
The general consensus was to explore the use of an external provider. James had come across Plan-Net in a previous role and after assessing the market further, Kennedys felt Plan-Net was in the best position to assist.
Service alignment began with a period of site awareness.
Plan-Net analysts were deployed on-site at Kennedys offices alongside the in-house team. Following this, service delivery was transferred to Plan-Net’s central London office. James runs through the experience;
“We did have some concerns about how a third party could adopt the ‘Kennedys’ way of doing things, especially remotely, but Plan-Net aligned the service to mirror our in-house model. In fact, we’ve benefited from the new ideas the team have about how we can improve things.”
Claire explains the logistics of remote support; “Technically, it was relatively quick and easy to configure phone systems and networks to incorporate Plan-Net. There’s always a few teething issues, but we found them to be minimal”.
For end-users, there is no difference in experience. All Plan-Net analysts have a Kennedys’ email address and access to directly populate their service desk tool. The only impact was that the service improved.
Moving to round the clock support
“The fact that part of the service is being delivered by Plan-Net and based elsewhere in London doesn’t impact the lawyers at all. That was really the seamless bit about it all” James explains.
In addition, Claire meets with a Plan-Net Service Delivery Manager for regular Service Reviews that cover reporting against formal SLA metrics and other KPIs. Jointly they also review Plan-Net’s Continuous Service Improvement Programme which focuses on refining and progressing the service. “The service delivery model Plan-Net has implemented works well and if there are any issues I find there are plenty of Plan-Net people to turn to” Claire comments.
As day-time support was starting to stabilise, James knew they had to turn their attention to improving the firm’s out-of-hours model.
Kennedys was using on-call IT staff to provide night-time and weekend support. This resulted in disturbed nights for staff, and unpredictable levels of service for users and an expectation that it should only be used in emergencies.
In addition, the firm wanted to more effectively support its international staff. Kennedys made the decision to extend its use of Plan-Net to around the clock support. James describes the process; “Whilst there was an appetite to improve the out-of-hours service, it was particularly useful to have Plan-Net’s Senior Management help us formally justify the business case here at Kennedys”.
James explains the immediate benefits of a more formal out-of-hours model. “Being able to support international staff centrally and offer UK staff a better level of out-of-hours support, we can now offer a more proactive service. Besides availability increasing, analysts working at night can look at less urgent tickets raised during the day and provide a quicker turnaround time for the overall service”.
Kennedys has an ambitious and talented internal IT team, using a partner to help them look after end users has given them time to focus on projects that will accelerate the performance of the company. James comments; “Working with Plan-Net has enabled us to really focus on improving the service as a whole. Firstly, we have confidence in a support service that is able to maintain business as usual whilst giving us the time to focus on planning upcoming projects. Secondly, when we do move into the implementation phase, we know we can rely on a capable support function during what is often a challenging period”.
Acora and Plan-Net join forces
In 2019 Acora announced the completion of our merger with Plan-Net. This created a group with over 300 employees, 4 offices and 300 customers, focused on delivering outstanding customer experience to businesses across the UK. The group is underpinned by great people, strong technical innovation and a combined desire to grow.
This Plan-Net case study is an example of the great work the team have delivered and the combined capabilities of the new group.