As a multi-site business whose team members work remotely, East Anglian Chambers has benefited from our fully hosted solutions, including state-of-the-art Nutanix HCI.
East Anglian Chambers is a team of barristers and legal clerks with offices in Ipswich, Norwich and Chelmsford. Ipswich is the main base, but team members often work remotely, or move between the group’s branches.
East Anglian Chambers became a client in 2012. However, for Head of Chambers Graham Sinclair, the connection goes back much further. ‘I bought one of my first laptops from Computer Service Centre around 2000, when they were based in a shop in Norwich city centre,’ he reveals. ‘And I’ve bought every computer I’ve owned since from them too. When we thought about changing contractors, I was keen to give them a chance to pitch. So I rang them, and we spoke the very next day!’
Gaining confidence from experience
To support their decision, the group looked at other chambers in the region. ‘They were running the same sort of software, but supported by one-man outfits, and we weren’t comfortable with that at all,’ recalls Graham.
‘Computer Service Centre aren’t just handling a few solicitors’ firms. They’re serving many different types and sizes of business, right up to offshore wind farms, and investing in the right certifications and qualifications. We gained a lot of confidence from that.’
Outsourced IT department
Since welcoming East Anglian Chambers as a client, we’ve acted as their outsourced IT department, offering responsive support as well as proactive advice on IT strategy and information security. In recent years, we’ve been busy helping the firm’s main headquarters at Ipswich upgrade its IT provision, and we also host the firm’s website, which allows enquiries, comments and training applications to be submitted online. ‘CSC have managed everything for us,’ says Graham.
As Graham explains, East Anglian Chambers is a time-sensitive business that depends heavily on its IT systems. ‘When the clerks are taking work bookings, or checking case references against court lists, they depend almost entirely on the system,’ he says. ‘If it’s down for a couple of hours, they’re still answering the phone and taking notes – but then just twiddling their thumbs.’
Fully hosted solution
With no dedicated in-house IT manager, but a definite need for a solution they could rely on, East Anglian Chambers opted for a fully hosted solution from day one. All the group’s data and applications are hosted at our own datacentre, including Lex, a specialist application for legal case management running on a SQL server.
‘We used to have a ramshackle combination of in-house servers located in a basement, which we’d build up over several years,’ comments Graham. ‘Because we have to preserve records for limitation periods of six or seven years, we were constantly running out of space – plus the basement could have flooded. So having it hosted is great. It takes away a lot of grief.’
Business continuity management
Recently, East Anglian Chambers have opted to switch to Nutanix HCI – our fully software-based hosting solution that offers great performance as well as infinite flexibility and scalability. Since everything is ‘virtualised’ and software-based, clients never need to buy another server.
Nutanix also offers robust business continuity management: if disaster strikes in the form of a virus or malware attack, all the data on the server can be restored almost instantly, using a ‘snapshot’ from some time before.
That made perfect sense for East Anglian Chambers, who’ve had some hair-raising experiences in this area. ‘We’ve had problems with old backup tapes, where something’s gone wrong, we’ve reached for the tape – and it hasn’t worked,’ reveals Graham. ‘That caused us immense difficulty in trying to recreate what we had before.’
The group has selected our Alto package, which means a complete snapshot of their data is taken every six hours, and the most they can lose from a disaster is six hours’ work.
Overall, East Anglian Chambers are delighted with the support they’ve received. ‘Since Computer Service Centre came on board, they’ve always been able to resolve every problem,’ says Graham. ‘And the working relationship has been perfectly fine.’
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East Anglian Chambers
East Anglian Chambers has benefited from our fully hosted solutions, including state-of-the-art Nutanix HCI.