Peer to Peer Magazine

March 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 44 of 103

tracking their calls into a system, so the change in process was new to them. However, once they saw the benefit of having an incident management system and process, they embraced the change. Lea: In my previous role as the service delivery manager at a magic circle firm, we successfully deployed a PBX system to all five regions in Asia with no interruption to the business. The project was managed in the London head office with local project assistants managing regional deployments. Our success was due to global involvement, training and open communication. A project that faced major challenges was the implementation of our accounting system. It was managed by global project managers very early in the stages of a merger and — due to cultural differences in processes and policies — the project proved challenging to all involved. We suffered from communication problems, differences in business requirements and conversions from locally built systems to a global system. These combined factors presented greater implementation challenges and more risks. We conducted a lessons learned assessment after the project and used the results to adjust our project processes. Michele: We've had success related to our formal communication process for notifying users of both scheduled and unscheduled outages. We require all IT staff to attend a presentation that covers these processes twice a year to ensure that all levels know how to raise awareness of, respond to and resolve user-impacting outages. This helps us report key information to our users quickly and allows us to provide workarounds to minimize interruption to both user workflow and service delivery to firm clients. Our success is jeopardized when things are pushed through too quickly or not viewed from a larger perspective; this adds risk to our delivery effectiveness. A few months back, we had one team working on communicating a message around one topic, and we inadvertently communicated information that was contrary to best practices on our other systems and in other offices. We didn't fully vet the messages and confused our users. We've since adjusted our review process to help reduce this risk in the future. What advice can you give to firms that are about to enter into global support models as a result of a merger/acquisition? Angelos: It is important to engage the business and ensure that any standard support model deployed actually meets business requirements. Obtaining agreement very early on with regard to the following areas should be considered: • Global language (both spoken and deployed to PCs) BE A HERO Learn more about our products at or contact us at 800-DOCAUTO. You Do It. We Help. 46 Peer to Peer • A single core computer build that includes agreement on the core applications to be deployed • Training and education of support staff across all the core applications • A communication plan that has a consistent format or brand for global communications • Core hours of support available within each office/region • Centralized versus follow-the-sun support, taking into account both cost efficiencies and service/support delivery requirements Lea: Review skill sets within. Utilize acquired skill sets to get a better understanding of the local needs and requirements. Centralization is not always the answer; there will be aspects of service that require local attention but global guidance. Michele: Full disclosure of gaps and flaws is very helpful — we are often reluctant to share our pain points or weaknesses with others, particularly in a merger situation where we want to put our best foot forward early on. However, the quicker you are able to comfortably share gaps, challenges and risks, the sooner you can work together as a team to plan and implement effective solutions.

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