Freeths: Deploying LoopUp to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic
For over 125 years, Freeths has provided its clients with outstanding service and legal expertise. As a top-50 full service commercial law firm with over 970 staff across 13 UK offices, keeping employees connected with each other and with their clients is essential to Freeths.
A bigger picture collaboration strategy
As Head of Infrastructure at Freeths, Neil Harris is responsible for managing telecoms services across the firm. Freeths’ lawyers had been using a range of different web conferencing tools as well as a basic dial-in conferencing solution. Many of these solutions had been mandated by their clients and the courts. This created confusion and led to spiralling costs, with separate licences required for each product.
Neil decided to embark on a unified communications strategy that would feature a single conferencing platform across the firm. It would be rolled out over four years and would integrate teleconferencing, email, high-definition video conferencing and other online communications as well as replacing the firm’s current telephony system.
“We had a bigger picture focus when it came to our collaboration strategy”, said Neil. “We had a phased plan with goals, deadlines and benchmarks. Then the rug was pulled from under us”.
COVID-19 pandemic strikes
In March 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses around the world to implement large-scale working from home. “One of our big tasks was to ensure everyone was set up with an effective communication platform”, said Neil. LoopUp was already being used by some of Freeths’ lawyers. “We had a dozen accounts actively using the solution, who were all really positive about it”, said Neil. “But because of the UC plan we decided not to roll it out company-wide. Then COVID-19 struck and it made sense to get a few more LoopUp accounts set up”.
LoopUp goes the extra mile
As more and more lawyers began using LoopUp for their meetings, Neil started receiving requests for further LoopUp accounts. “Lawyers were experiencing LoopUp calls or hearing about the tool from their colleagues”, said Neil. “So, I put in a request with LoopUp for 50 more accounts and then another 50 and another. It was like LoopUp’s popularity had exploded”. Neil realised that LoopUp would have to be rolled out at a much larger scale than initially thought. “We ended up with over 600 accounts”, said Neil.
This is where the LoopUp team really came into their own in terms of speed of delivery and the way they went the extra mile. I was bombarding them with requests and they were turned around in the same day”. Neil Harris, Head of Infrastructure at Freeths
Quick, easy and painless implementation
The deployment of the product was quick and seamless. Neil provided the LoopUp team with names, email addresses and phone numbers of individual users, centrally deployed the LoopUp Outlook app and configured single sign-on. LoopUp took care of the rest. They set up individual accounts, sent out activation emails and hosted a live 15-minute introductory session, all in a matter of hours.
“I cannot stress enough how easy it was”, said Neil. “With any of the big UC solutions, it would have taken too long to get set up and slowed our lawyers down in keeping legal matters moving”. LoopUp’s flexible pricing model also sped up the purchasing decision. “LoopUp’s pay-as-you-go pricing meant anyone could be set up with an account as there are no fi xed costs for having an account. You just get charged for as little or as much as you use” said Neil.
No hand-holding needed
LoopUp users were particularly impressed by how easy the tool is to use. “We were given a quick introduction to the tool and that was all we needed”, said Neil. “There was no additional hand-holding”. Staff across the firm are using LoopUp, from legal assistants all the way up to the top. “LoopUp has really been our ‘go to’ tool over the last six to eight weeks”, said Neil. “The fact that more than 50% of our firm are actively using LoopUp speaks for itself”.
Reliability when it matters
One feature that is critical to any remote meeting is audio reliability. Most web conferencing platforms use VoIP to carry audio by default, sending packets of data over the internet. Any latency or loss of packets leads to ‘jitter’ – words are jumbled or missing altogether, making a conversation inaudible. This isn’t typically a problem if users are on a corporate network with managed Quality of Service, where VoIP traffic is prioritised. But if a user joins a call from off the corporate network, for example from home, VoIP can lead to audio reliability issues. For this reason, LoopUp routes all calls over regular phone lines and only uses the internet for screen sharing and video. This guarantees audio reliability at all times.
Keeping lawyers and clients connected during a pandemic
The IT team at Freeths had a four-year unified communications strategy planned out but when the COVID- 19 pandemic struck, they adapted quickly to ensure their firm could stay connected with each other and with clients. This meant lots of plans went on hold as they needed to implement a collaboration tool to be used immediately. Rather than forcing all employees to use a single remote meeting solution, Freeths left the decision to individual users. Because of its ease of use and reliability, LoopUp became the frontrunner.
Unlike other solutions, LoopUp is quick to deploy and Freeths were able to set up a large amount of new accounts very quickly. LoopUp has become an invaluable asset to the firm and Freeths are now considering LoopUp as part of their long-term collaboration strategy.
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