Blackstone Waterhouse uses Cloud to attract staff

By implementing Cloud, staff members can now work from home and out of the office via remote access

Sydney law firm, Blackstone Waterhouse, has been able to head hunt top legal talent with the enticement of greater work-life balance thanks to a new Cloud services implementation.

The firm, which has 25 staff, began working with private Cloud provider, OBT, in 2010 and deployed Lexis Affinity legal practice management software the same year. The Cloud infrastructure provides IT services to staff desktops as well as offering remote access to lawyers while they are out of the office.

In-depth: Cloud computing strategy guide.

Blackstone Waterhouse managing partner, Danny Arraj, told Computerworld Australia that he saw Cloud computing as a way to attract staff, offer clients 24-hour access to legal expertise and reduce IT overheads.

“For a firm of our size to get the best resources in the marketplace, we had to be able to offer something special,” Arraj said. “For many lawyers, one of the most important things is the work/life balance.”

Since the implementation, Arraj said staff are working from home more often and no longer need to wait until they are back in the office to answer client queries.

“A lot of our employees live an hour away from the Sydney central business district [CBD] so they’re working on the train in the morning,” he said. “Staff really appreciate the convenience, but they are also more efficient and productive than before.”

By way of example, Arraj said staff will leave the office earlier but work during the evening when required.

He added that Blackstone Waterhouse has improved downtime and security through the use of Cloud. For example, prior to the Cloud implementation, if the firm experienced a server crash it would have to wait for an external IT contractor to fix it.

“This might take several days, costing valuable billing hours and revenue,” he said. “I used to have an IT person looking after our operations but I don’t need that now, we just use OBT.”

The use of multiple backup systems means the firm is protected against data loss through a natural disaster or virus attack. In addition, its former server room has now been put to new use as a library.

Arraj said that the firm plans to open a new office in Melbourne during May 2012, with new recruits offered the same opportunity to work from home via remote access.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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