Legal Firm achieves 59% performance improvement with MaxParallel™

Lee & Thompson LLP achieves up to 59% improvements on their Accounting, SharePoint and Email tools by using plug-and-play MaxParallel™ performance optimisation tool from DataCore Software.

MaxParallel™ software pays for annual usage within two days through increase in partner and lawyer productivity and available billable hours.

Based in the heart of London’s West End, Lee & Thompson LLP is one of the UK’s leading law firms for individuals and businesses operating in media, technology and creative industries. With a client list that includes David Beckham, Stormzy, and Premiership Rugby, providing fast, constant access to data for lawyers and legal support staff remains a high priority for Rob Hilton, head of IT, Lee & Thompson.

As a long-term client of Legal IT Consultancy NETprotocol, Rob explains, “Supporting high profile clients arguably makes the environment at Lee & Thompson even more demanding than regular legal practices. Achieving increases in productivity is key across all areas to provide better service levels for our clients. Shaving minutes off existing processes actually culminates in productivity gains that enable growth and better client experiences.”

IT services include access to a Microsoft SharePoint 2013 document sharing and data collaboration platform that includes the practice’s Microsoft Outlook emails, delivered via a specialist legal email interface plug-in, MacroView, that provides increased functionality such as attachment sorting, retrieval and file drag and drop for case load management. SharePoint is running on a SQL Server 2008 R2 system, which although reliable and stable, was not performing to its optimum level in terms of speed.

Rob has worked on numerous technology projects with NETprotocol since 2012 telling us: “One of my first jobs when I joined six years ago was to enable collaboration via SharePoint running on SQL Server and although it’s not the fastest, it’s durable and dependable. We sensed that we had squeezed everything out of MacroView, and whatever we threw at it, we felt that it would never be lightning fast with the constraints of our current SQL server setup.”

That was until Rob once again turned to NETprotocol for advice, who were quick to highlight a new plug-and-play database optimisation tool from DataCore, MaxParallel, designed to enhance SQL Server environments to increase speed of reporting, a solution that fits perfectly with the needs of legal firms. NetProtocol explained that this optimisation was achieved through unique usage of Parallel I/O technology that would remove serial resource contention in Lee & Thompson’s multi-core SQL Server.

At first, Rob was slightly sceptical, but because of his trust in NetProtocol’s recommendation, combined with MaxParallel having an easy to download trial evaluation that promised to show benefits overnight without disrupting the SQL environment, Rob felt assurance that he had little to lose by downloading:

“Like all legal firms, we work to billable hours and optimising productivity to increase available minutes and hours for staff and partners. If we could identify savings in their time, we could correlate these to increases in available hours.”

Complete with a reporting dashboard in the trial, Lee & Thompson became one of the first users worldwide of MaxParallel, gathering and feeding back results from across the practice.

Deployment Results – Faster Access Times 

Overseeing this project with Rob was NETprotocol’s Technical Director and Founder, Mike Batters: “Lee & Thompson have seen impressive results from Datacore’s MaxParallel, as have other legal clients, and after our extensive testing in-house this was not a surprise. NETprotocol have run tests across numerous platforms with a variety of SQL based applications, and in virtually all cases the results have been extremely positive.”  

Several weeks on, and Lee &Thompson have now purchased the full annual licence of MaxParallel and are able to report on the improved system responsiveness.

1. Outlook email saving times decrease by 27%:

For Outlook, based on batches of saving 60 Microsoft Outlook emails for partners and staff, Lee & Thompson noted the following results throughout the organisation.

2. Saving Outlook Batched Emails: A time saving of 27% for partners and associates

Without MaxParallel:   47 seconds. With MaxParallel:    34 seconds

3. Evolution (accounts system) decrease in reporting times from 34%-59%

Accounts have been a key benefactor of the install. For instance, across three continually accessed accounting reports, MaxParallel has sped reporting by over 59%, helping practice managers, accounts and the finance director, access essential data faster to empower faster decision making.

4. Running Aged Work in Progress (WIP) Report: A time saving of 35%

Without MaxParallel:              7 minutes, 50 seconds. With MaxParallel:    5 minutes, 5 seconds

5. Running Debt Summary Reports: A time saving of 34%

Without MaxParallel:              11 minutes, 3 seconds. With MaxParallel:    7 minutes, 12 seconds

6. Running Apportionment Reports: A time saving of 59%

Without MaxParallel: 1 minute, 11 seconds. With MaxParallel:    29 seconds

MaxParallel annual licence pays for itself in under two days:

“Based on the cost and ROI benefits we have seen this technology offers to law firms, MaxParallel should be tested on every SQL installation in every organisation, as we believe in more than 90% of situations there would be a tangible benefit to users and ultimately their productivity,” Mike Batters summarises.

Given that savings in lawyers’ time – for example waiting to access, save and retrieve emails, can be readily substantiated to increasing billable hours on other caseloads, it’s relatively easy to estimate the ROI on the project to date. With 85 staff at Lee & Thompson, 45 of which are classified as partners or associate solicitors, using MaxParallel, each lawyer saves 80 seconds a day x 45 lawyers = 3,600 seconds = 1 extra hour a day, so it took the practice just two days for the annual licence cost of MaxParallel to be redeemed. And that’s not including the additional value to accounts, finance and other support functions, speeding reporting and transaction times.

Rob concludes: “We were surprised and pleased at the notable difference this plug and play tool has made to our SQL Server transactions. The fact that we just downloaded the trial and noted an immediate performance increase even when we were testing at a relatively quiet time of year, makes us excited to see what MaxParallel will deliver at peak workloads.”

NB: Lee & Thompson’s noted results are specific to its total environment/experience, of which DataCore is one part. Individual results may vary based on each customer’s unique environment.

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