Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2014

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 73 of 75

WWW.ILTANET.ORG 75 useful for collaboration, using a single interface across desktops, notebooks, tablets, iOS and Android devices. While the user interface is not always intuitive, it provides a single pane of glass for unified communications, allowing our workers to collaborate with clients and peers from any location with a high-speed Internet connection at a rate of productivity similar to working in the office. A single number to call, internal five-digit dialing outside the office and internal caller name display have been some of the most popular features. Our Latin American offices have integrated our Lync system with consumer platforms such as Skype to meet client demands while keeping the internal network secure. Maintaining ease of use for our users has required some planning. Lync is desktop-centric and can require a password to unlock the computer in order to see who is calling or answer the phone. We avoided this by partnering with a third party to provide a desktop handset and conference phone solution. TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES While a fully deployed Lync system will ultimately provide better functionality than a traditional PBX, being a relatively new adopter has challenges. These are not reasons to avoid moving to Lync but issues to be aware of. Lync: The server infrastructure has been working well. We have some concern that the platform runs on top of Windows Servers, which requires regular patching and updates at a far more frequent pace than traditional PBXs. In addition, our service- level agreements do not have the same standards that were set for our PBX. The lack of feature parity between clients adds an extra level of complexity in communications and training. Also, Lync is an application on mobile devices and not the native phone application. This presents challenges, many of which can be addressed by limiting mobile devices to the current generation — which support voice over the long-term evolution (LTE) network. However, unless you are using a Windows phone, VoIP Lync calls over the data connection are automatically put on hold if calls come in over the cellphone network because the phone application has precedence. In addition, Lync calls made over the data network must be limited to Wi-Fi calling only, forcing Lync calls to connect over the cellular network, which optimizes voice quality. Handsets: For traditional handset users, we implemented Polycom's VVX series of phones. These handsets have a five-year life span, and it is our intent that they be the last handsets purchased for the firm as users transition to the desktop client. We chose Polycom because they have a reputation for working well with Lync, but we see the need for further refinements to provide feature parity and ease of use as compared to our obsolete PBX-based handsets. Feature parity to our old PBX system is on the road map for 2015. CHANGE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES During the request for proposal process, the firm realized the impact a desktop-centric phone system would have on user workflow. A representative cross-section of the firm was The challenge for technologists is not deploying the technology, it's ensuring attorneys are aware of how it will benefit their workflow and helping them integrate the technology into their practice.

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