Outsourced IT in Action: Cloud-based Services Helped Prepare this Firm for a “2020 that none of us saw coming”

Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, a leading, full-service firm based in South Carolina, underwent a merger in 2017, which combined two law firms with established reputations for excellence and commitment to corporate, insurance and business clients. As a result of the merger, the firm’s IT needs increased beyond what its in-house team member could reasonably handle.

The firm engaged LOGICFORCE in 2018 to provide comprehensive IT support, which included transitioning all of Robinson Gray’s data, end user applications, and its accounting platform to newer, cloud-based services. Fortunately, this transition, which was initially made to increase security and provide a more consistent firmwide work experience for its team when working remotely, allowed the firm to seamlessly transition to a remote-work model when the pandemic began in early 2020.

“Our transition to cloud-based services began as a means of increasing security and providing a more consistent firmwide work experience…Little did we know at the time the extent to which we had prepared ourselves for a 2020 that none of us saw coming.”

LOGICFORCE Business Development Manager, Matt Collins, spoke with Kevin Bell, Technology Partner at Robinson Gray, about its current IT infrastructure and how having outside technology expertise has created value for the firm.

Matt at LOGICFORCE: Prior to partnering with LOGICFORCE, how did your firm approach its IT services?

Kevin at Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte: We handled our IT in-house with a full time IT employee who maintained our on-premises servers and end user hardware, and who supported our end user application software.  While he was extremely capable, our merger in January 2017 brought additional technology to be managed and increased the demands on IT support beyond what one person could reasonably accomplish.

Matt: How has your partnership with LOGICFORCE helped you navigate operational changes as a result of the coronavirus?

Kevin: Starting in January 2018, we worked with LOGICFORCE to transition all our data, end user applications, and our accounting platform to newer, cloud-based services.  Conveniently, we completed the final conversion weeks before the majority of our attorneys and staff transitioned to a full time WFH model due to the pandemic.  From a technology perspective, the transition to the WFH model was not disruptive because our attorneys and staff were using the same computers, monitors, and methods of work they previously used at the office. 

Our transition to cloud-based services began as a means of increasing security and providing a more consistent firmwide work experience for our users whether they were in the office or working remotely from home, a conference room, or a hotel room.  Little did we know at the time the extent to which we had prepared ourselves for a 2020 that none of us saw coming.

“However capable a law firm’s IT staff may be, they are typically operating on a sample size of one firm. Bringing outside resources with a broader exposure and insight to the table is extremely valuable.”

Matt: What technologies have been most helpful to your attorneys over the past few months?

Kevin: Our cloud-based email, document management, case management, and accounting platforms have allowed all of our staff and attorneys working from home to have the same ability to create work product, enter time, and make filings as if they were in the office.  Zoom has, of course, become a regular feature of everyone’s life, and we too have deployed and expanded our use of that technology.  In addition to depositions, mediations, and oral arguments, Zoom has allowed us to keep in touch with our attorneys and staff, to conduct training and meetings, and to inject much needed camaraderie into the WFH experience.

Matt: If another firm was on the fence about engaging an outsourced IT provider, what would you tell them?

Kevin:  Having transitioned two firms to outsourced IT in varying degrees, I would encourage any firm to strongly consider outsourcing. Not only has law firm technology become much more complex both in terms of infrastructure and applications, law firms are also becoming increasingly dependent on technology. However capable a law firm’s IT staff may be, they are typically operating on a sample size of one firm. Bringing outside resources with a broader exposure and insight to the table is extremely valuable. 

Matt: What is the most significant value add that your partnership with LOGICFORCE has created?

Kevin: Prior to our partnership with LOGICFORCE, we were operating at a high level in terms of our use of technology, but our approach to both infrastructure and applications was inconsistent and fragmented across the firm.  Working with LOGICFORCE has allowed us to transition to a firmwide hardware refresh schedule and to deploy a uniform suite of legal technology platforms across all of our teams, which in turn has created a larger base of users who can explore and create ways to leverage the capabilities of our applications. 

The LOGICFORCE Difference

After decades of working with law firms across the country, we’ve found that in addition to reduced IT costs, our clients experience an average of 80% recovery of their master service agreement fees in the first year by using our team’s recommended pricing models and billable rates. We offer scalable solutions tailored to law firms. Our trademarked assessment, Synthesis E-IT Secure® (SEITS ®) maps out a firm’s current technology system — the combination of IT, eDiscovery, cybersecurity and data management — and helps plan for the future using these powerful technologies. 

Matt Collins is a Business Development Manager at LOGICFORCE, responsible for business development in the Southeast. His areas of expertise include electronic discovery, digital forensics, IT optimization, cybersecurity, new business development, client development, and case research. He is a trusted advisor to some of the largest firms in the region.

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