For a law firm that is built around taking a different and client-focused approach to professional service delivery, the proactive client-focused approach of Inspire Cloud is a great match. Carbon Law Partners highly values the efficient response and proactive advice it receives from the Inspire Cloud team. Together, they have fixed many IT annoyances and frustrations to make day-to-day work much easier and more efficient for users.
Carbon Law Partners chose to engage with Inspire Cloud in an incremental way; first commissioning Inspire Cloud to conduct a health check of the firm’s Microsoft 365 tenancy. ‘It was a relatively small piece of work,’ explains William, ‘we thought the Health Check would be a good way for Inspire Cloud to do the groundwork of due diligence after which we could have a more informed conversation about strategy. It would also enable us to test the working relationship and see whether it was a good pairing.’ In fact, the Health Check revealed some surprises for the business – as well as some quick wins that would help improve the user experience and tighten up cyber security.
The firm had been supporting flexible working arrangements through the use of Citrix virtual desktops. However, in 2018, in order to offer staff a better and more seamless remote experience, Carbon Law Partners switched to a combination of cloud-based matter management software and Microsoft 365. Even so, the leadership team knew that further improvements could be made.
‘We were thinking about the direction of our overall IT strategy,’ explains William Brewis, Chief Operating Officer at Carbon Law Partners, ‘and we thought it would be increasingly built around Microsoft 365. Our existing IT supplier was less than perfect in a number of service level areas – and Microsoft 365 was definitely one of those weak spots for them.’
At the time, Carbon Law Partners was working with Hyperscale, a leading advisory and implementation consultancy for professional services companies, and it introduced Carbon Law Partners to Inspire Cloud. It was clear to the Carbon Law team that Inspire Cloud had deep knowledge of Microsoft 365. ‘Hyperscale recommended we talk to Inspire Cloud,’ explains William. ‘And we felt confident pretty much as soon as we engaged with them.’
The Microsoft 365 Health Check delivered by Inspire Cloud highlighted a number of improvements that could be made quickly and easily to improve cyber security and make the day-to-day working life of staff easier. ‘We’d been grumbling about the use of Teams Voice for 12 months,’ explains Laura, by way of example. ‘We thought it was just a problem with the way Microsoft Teams works not suiting the way we work. But following the Health Check, Inspire Cloud fixed those annoyances for us: with a few small configuration changes, they made everything work really seamlessly.’
The feedback and changes that came out of the Microsoft 365 Health Check further strengthened the confidence Carbon Law Partners had in Inspire Cloud. ‘We knew that Microsoft 365 was going to be a core part of our setup and working with Inspire Cloud confirmed that we need someone who really knows about 365 to be managing it,’ explains William, ‘and we’d got a good feel for Inspire Cloud’s working style and the team’s expertise.’
Following the completion of the Health Check in January 2021, Carbon Law Partners began planning the transferral of the management of all its Microsoft tenancies to Inspire Cloud. ‘We didn’t really have any reservations about changing IT supplier,’ recalls William, ‘because we saw the need to change. We’d built up trust quickly with Inspire Cloud and, really, the only way was up.’ ‘We built in plenty of contingency,’ adds Laura. ‘We didn’t come across any issues, except for third-party suppliers slowing things down. Even then, Inspire Cloud did everything possible to move things along with calm and measured solutions and responses.’
In particular, Carbon Law Partners values the consultative approach taken by Inspire Cloud. Rather than saying ‘this is the way you need to do it’, Inspire Cloud always offers a variety of different solutions to a problem and talks through the pros and cons of each.
‘Whenever we go to them with a business problem, they offer several solutions,’ says Laura. ‘They made the effort to learn about our business. As a result, the solutions they suggest are applied to our business model and they make recommendations based on how we work.’
‘One of the main improvements since switching over the management of our Microsoft 365 tenancies to Inspire Cloud has been the reduction in the number of support tickets we need to raise,’ reflects Laura. ‘The changes that Inspire Cloud has made to the configuration got to the root of a lot of the problems we were having. As a result, we’re logging fewer support requests – they’re down by around 40 percent. Users are a lot happier. And services and applications are deployed correctly.’
She gives the example of a simple configuration error that was preventing users from using the full functionality of Microsoft Word on their mobile devices. Poor configuration made it almost impossible to effectively edit a document on a mobile phone.