Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2014

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 46 of 75

PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA improve upon (not replace) the current communication system. "Users have embraced presence and click-to-call whole-heartedly," Rajendran maintains, "because we offered it as an optional feature set and didn't force them to change." Once users adopt the optional tools, it is much easier to complete the migration from a traditional videoconferencing or phone system to a full UC solution. Rather than forcing a phone system change immediately on his users, Andrew Pritchett, CIO at Griffith Hack, began with an overlay. "I was not certain our staff would like desktop telephony or find unified communications easy to use, but with Lync we could avoid having to commit," says Pritchett. "If the staff liked the basic Lync application, we could expand the platform. Because Lync is modular and integrates with traditional PBX systems, we could adopt a gradual, low-risk approach." Figure Out IP and IT If your IP network is taxed or unequipped to provide the quality of service needed for UC, user satisfaction will suffer. A solid network, continuous monitoring and occasional traffic testing can root out glitches before users notice them. Pay close attention to Voice over Wi- Fi from softphones at home offices and hotspots, as these can present special challenges. Unified communications solutions have multiple moving parts, often from multiple vendors. Since the management of the system can be a challenge, proper standard operating procedures and teamwork are invaluable. To ensure customer service and system performance, put processes in place to help dictate how your people will work together to solve any issues. Motivate and Train Users While the benefits of collaborative tools can be substantial, users must be motivated and trained to use them. At Epstein Becker Green and Whiteford Taylor Preston, success was born from initially offering the tools as an option, not as a replacement. "We see attorneys using simultaneous, multiparty IMs while on calls for behind-the-scenes strategy," notes Epstein Becker Green's Rajendran. "When traveling between offices, presence is important because assistants can see whether a partner is available so they can transfer calls," instead of having calls roll to voicemail. At Whiteford Taylor Preston, Rous similarly sees organic adoption at her firm. "Our executive board meetings have been able to accommodate remote partners who can join via Lync from wherever they are and conference with other members in a board room on a Polycom room system. This has been very helpful." A best practice is to offer semiformal training periodically, where users can ask questions and learn more subtle or advanced features of the system. This will also regularly remind people to use the tools, which helps maximize your return on investment. Remember, unless you are replacing the phone system, users do not have to use unified communications tools, so motivating them by explaining how the tools can help them is just as important as acing the deployment. Collaboration at Its Best Following these principles will help your users adapt to changing communication tools and make UC a successful initiative. 48 FEATURES Subject: Access to External Email and Chat We are trying to determine how other firms are handling access to external email and chat clients, such as Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, etc. Do you prohibit access from firm computers? Teresa Laird Wyatt Tarrant & Combs We prohibit the use of external email and chat by policy from firm computers, and with some technical restrictions using standard Web proxy filters. We also provide a "personal use" network that doesn't have access to internal resources and is unfiltered, so people can use personal phones or tablets on Wi-Fi to check external email and social media. Matt Beland Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Prohibiting the use of external email is a best practice across all industries. It should always be blocked, unless otherwise needed. Exceptions should be as specific as possible. External IM clients should always be blocked or controlled via proxy servers, etc. If a machine were to get compromised, you want to be sure your network safeguards can help prevent or limit exposure. Jason Kopacko Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz OVERHEARD ON E-GROUPS Do you have a legal IT-related question that you'd like to ask your ILTA peers? With over 50 different e-groups sharing knowledge, you can find a network of members to provide feedback on your specific area of interest. You may also search past e-group threads, and don't forget to provide input if you have expertise in a topic of discussion. To log on and participate, visit ILTA's website and click on E-Groups.

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