Top 200 Law Firm, Lupton Fawcett Reviews Extreme Network Subscription (ENS)

About Lupton Fawcett LLP

Ranking as a top 200 UK law firm, Lupton Fawcett LLP offers a full suite of legal services to support both individual and corporate needs across the UK. Placing client care at the forefront of their business, they pride themselves on a professional, yet personal service focused on individual challenges and needs.

With three offices housing 280+ employees, Lupton Fawcett LLP has been practising law for over 100 years in the UK and has some exciting and ambitious plans for how technology will support it’s growth in future.

James Hood, Lupton Fawcett’s Head of IT tells us more…

“At Lupton Fawcett, our over-riding remit is to maintain an infrastructure that has the capacity to support double the number of users than it currently does – whilst at the same time reducing expense wherever possible. This sounds like a contradiction in itself, but as we’ve recently found with our latest network deployment, Extreme Network Subscription (ENS) allows us to achieve this.”

Needs and Challenges

Lupton Fawcett, like many Law firms, faces challenges of increasing demands on IT infrastructure across the board, with networks being a vital part of every system.  Every law firm will know that meeting these ever-growing demands on network infrastructure is an expensive exercise when a  CapEx investment is required. As an alternative, ENS unlocks the ability for businesses to be far more flexible and agile, without the significant costs typically associated with “rip and replace” network upgrades using other vendors.

We asked James, to tell us how he believes the changing needs of law firms can be met from a networking perspective:

“The relatively new Subscription model from Extreme Networks has allowed us to deploy state-of-the-art technology in a very cost-effective way, ensuring that we have the latest in networking infrastructure, whilst we only spend money on what we need, when we need it.

Interestingly, we also know that we’re not alone in the Legal IT market – a number of my peers in the industry have a similar outlook to Lupton Fawcett LLP, which seems to be reflective of the way market needs are changing. I have no doubt that Extreme’s subscription model (ENS) will immensely benefit the Legal IT sector (or indeed any other M&A-centric business model), once it has gained a foothold and more people are aware of it.”

Solution Overview

NETprotocol recommend Extreme Networks to law firms not only for the financial flexibility it provides, but also as an enterprise-grade technology which offers benefits that stretch far beyond high-speed network switching.  Legal Practices and general business regulation are driving a far greater need for intelligence in every aspect of IT.  Extreme Networks’ solutions give this industry the ability to have high levels of visibility, plus implement granular controls & functional automation over the entire network, with minimal effort.

James Hood gives us a summary of his most recent network investment and implementation:

“Our most recent network deployment includes 2x Extreme X670-G2 core switches. My role in this was a mixed project management and technical implementation one, alongside NETprotocol, who again were instrumental in an advisory capacity, ensuring that the technology acquired met the technical requirements of our firm. In order to guarantee the success of this project, we worked hand-in-hand to “sense-check” any configuration and agree any adjustments required.”

So what are your major initiatives that touch the networking infrastructure at Lupton Fawcett LLP?

“Virtualisation is a critical initiative for us to ensure we have sufficient bandwidth to serve the needs of our users and to optimise front-end performance, through minimising the impact that back-end processes such as ISCSI, backup/replication etc can have on this. We also recently embarked upon a project to overhaul our LOB application suite which was another key driver to ensuring user expectations are met.”

Can you summarise what applications you, as a law firm, need to run on your network?

“We are mainly a Microsoft house with Server 2012 R2 as the predominant server OS, plus lots of MSSQL and Exchange Servers which are all delivered by a recently-launched upgrade to Citrix XenApp 7 (from 6.5). We also run a number of process-heavy LOB applications (Elite Envision, SelectHR, Dynamics CRM etc.) which depend on stable, high-performance back-end infrastructure.”

Next Steps & Outcomes

We asked James what tangible results he expects to see from the new solution?

“With future application deployments in mind – which are planned for the coming 12-18 months, this recent network investment was more proactive than reactive, shall we say. We needed to ensure our coming plans were not impeded by any lack of network capacity, therefore the benefits of this recent network investment will only increase over time. At this stage, it is safe to say that following the deployment of XenApp 7 combined with the fluidity and capacity of the back-end infrastructure, the end-user experience has been significantly enhanced in terms of responsiveness.”

What are your next steps for improving technology at Lupton Fawcett LLP?

“Implementation of our new LOB application suite is next, which we know will be both pain-free and successful due to the recent network installation. We now benefit from a high-performance core infrastructure comprising of HP G10 Virtualization Hosts, Nimble Hybrid-flash storage and, of course Extreme core networking. I have no doubt that this “holy-trinity” of compute, storage and network technologies which NETprotocol has helped us build, will pay dividends over the months to come and I personally look forward to working with Extreme for many years beyond.”

Finally, can we ask how law firms can respond to the changing networking demands in the sector?

“I, like many others from my generation of IT Infrastructure Engineers, was brought up with the “Cisco way of doing things.” Even as recently as 3-4 years ago, had I been faced with a similar requirement I would have instantly opted for Cisco. Having been introduced to Extreme by our Legal IT friends at NETprotocol, it is clear to me the Cisco way is not always the best way! 

The introduction of Extreme’s subscription payment model quite simply means we can enhance IT performance without increasing costs, which makes it an unbeatable solution offering in my eyes.”

To conclude, NETprotocol’s Technical Director, Mike Batters tells us:

“As Lupton Fawcett’s network continues to evolve, the solutions the business has already acquired will allow this to happen quickly & easily. Compared to other network vendors, where these enhanced features are usually reserved to the high-end products, Extreme switches include them throughout much of the range.”

More like this