Kipp and Christian Significantly Increases Billable Hours Thanks to I.T. Now
Every office has significant potential to unlock productivity gains from their technology infrastructure. Downtime, data loss, even slow performance can seriously impact productivity, and when employees aren’t being productive, the company misses out on additional revenue.
In the legal field, the importance of I.T. is more apparent than in just about any other industry because every hour of downtime translates directly to fewer billable hours and lost revenue. Confidential client information and case records must be protected at all times, lest the firm be subject to steep fines, lost client trust and potential disbarment.
The bottom line is I.T. can either be an impediment to success at a law firm, or it can be great ally to lawyers, paralegals, managers, and everyone else that makes up an effective legal team. For smaller firms in particular, finding the right I.T. solution can be a challenge.
Kipp and Christian, P.C., is a Salt Lake City-based law firm that practices in a diverse range of areas including insurance, personal injury, professional liability, products liability, and commercial litigation. Their office requires 23 computers, two servers —combined into one—and countless peripherals, including scanners and printers.
Around 10 years ago, the practice found itself in a troubling situation regarding the reliability of its technology platform. Without a full-time I.T. professional, the firm relied on a patchwork of computers with different brands and service agreements. Without a professional I.T. department to keep the system running, problems weren’t being fixed on time, if at all.
“We were using solo technicians around the area that were referred to us,” said Gus Bernardo, office manager for Kipp and Christian. “The main problem we had was their lack of responsiveness. They weren’t available or took too long. And they rarely even solved the problem on the first time out.”
Over time it became evident to Bernardo that he needed a solution more tailored to the needs of the firm. Individual technicians might be able to fix a computer every once in a while, but they didn’t know how to tailor I.T. to help Kipp and Christian meet its productivity potential.
The company needed someone devoted to them, not just their technology. They needed someone who understood their business, their goals and how technology fits into their processes. But as a small business, the company had limited financial resources to find the right solution.
“We needed to either hire someone full-time, or contract with someone outside the office to manage it,” Bernardo said. “When we considered the cost of an in-house person, including benefits and salary, it didn’t make sense.”
I.T. Now Was the Solution
The solution presented itself in a flip through the phone book. Bernardo stumbled across I.T. Now, a company that bills itself as a technology partner, as opposed to a simple help desk.
I.T. Now’s approach seemed to fit Kipp and Christian’s needs: a professional I.T. services company that integrates with internal teams in the same manner as a full-time, in-house I.T. department would. I.T. Now manages all aspects of a company’s information technology -hardware, software, network, firewalls, virus protection, and more.
Considering the cost of hiring I.T. Now was less than that of an I.T. professional, Bernardo signed on. “Their prices are competitive and reasonable,” he said.
Within weeks I.T. Now was up and running as the de-facto I.T. department for Kipp and Christian.
Under I.T. Now’s direction the firm upgraded its hardware and software to make it uniform across the company and tightened up its security. I.T. Now also remotely monitored Kipp and Christian’s network 24/7 and ran frequent diagnostics to find current issues and to anticipate future risks before they did any damage.
“They make sure if there is a malfunction or hardware crash, they will replace it immediately,” Bernardo noted. “We used to have different computers and platforms, but now we keep everything the same. Because I.T. Now is a licensed Dell partner, everything is Dell, so that makes it easier. “
Data security and downtime are no longer concerns for Kipp and Christian, so billable hours aren’t at risk, and neither is the firm’s valuable data. Instead of an individual I.T. tech, the company receives the knowledge and attention of I.T. Now’s collective team who are devoted to their technology needs.
“With the remote support, it’s almost like they are working with us here side by side now,” said Bernardo. “They take care of our onsite and offsite backups, with a firewall and anti-virus, so we know our data is secure.”
That’s the difference between I.T. Now and the vast majority of I.T. outsourcers or managed service providers: I.T. Now took the time to understand Kipp and Christian’s goals, and developed a custom I.T. strategy to help the practice achieve its objectives.
“They respond almost immediately every time I need them,” Bernardo said. “They are precise on the recommendations they make concerning equipment and software applications and the best way we can save money for the company.”
Basically, Kipp and Christian get a full I.T. department—and more—without the overhead.
“A lot of hours and money are at stake,” noted Bernardo. “For every dollar I pay them, we probably make three or four times the amount of each dollar spent so that is obviously a justifiable business expense. They take it upon themselves to know everything about our technology needs to help us do more.”