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Blackadder and McMonagle realised that they needed to update their IT software with a more efficient and reliable system. As a firm of solicitors, they wanted a partner with experience of the legal sector to help them upgrade. Brian Welsh, Portal Managing Director, with over 15 years’ experience working in this industry sector, gave Blackadder and McMonagle the confidence to entrust this crucial area of their business to Portal IT Services.

The Organisation

Blackadder and McMonagle Solicitors are based in Falkirk and have been practising law for over one 100 years. John W Blackadder set up the legal practice in premises at Grahamston Station, Falkirk in 1905. Although the practice has seen some changes in management since then, the original name still appears. The firm now has two partners – John Dickie, who has a particular interest in family law and Morgan Wheeler, who takes care of property management. Client satisfaction is very important to Blackadder and McMonagle and, therefore, they develop long-term business relationships with their clients. The practice has 13 members of staff and aims to provide a friendly service, tailored to each client’s individual needs.

The Challenge

As the firm grew, Blackadder and McMonagle felt their technical needs and challenges had also grown. They previously had an ageing 2003 server with Pop3 Mail and felt this did not offer the stability and reliability they needed to run the business on a daily basis. Furthermore, the network did not have enough bandwidth or storage capacity to deal with the amount of data being stored on the server. The firm required a secure and stable IT infrastructure that also provided freedom to work in the office, at home or at court. The previous server was also exceptionally slow, causing staff to waste valuable time completing simple daily tasks. It was vital they were provided with a hassle free solution that would save time and money in order for them to focus on their clients cases.

The Solution

The staff at Portal IT Services have worked with law firms for over 20 years and understand the unique technological needs and challenges facing the legal environment. Portal worked together with Blackadder and McMonagle to discuss how the firm is run and in particular what aspects of their IT solution they believed were most important. Portal then considered the current system and advised Blackadder and McMonagle to replace their old server with the Microsoft Windows Small Businesses Server 2011. This is a complete on-site solution that offers centralised data storage, networking, security and document and printer sharing. This would give the firm freedom to share and store files and documents easily and securely with all members of staff. In addition, this offers the facility to access data remotely.

By installing the Small Business Server, Blackadder and McMonagle now have Microsoft Exchange. This business-smart email software gives secure access to emails, calendars and contacts on PCs, phones and the web. This means staff at Blackadder and McMonagle can work wherever necessary, with a secure connection. Microsoft exchange is also protected by anti-malware and anti-spam filters, giving an efficient and secure mailbox. This feature also helps the firm deliver a fast and professional service to their clients as well as enhancing internal communications. Another important element for Blackadder and McMonagle was to ensure they had business continuity and high level security.

To protect the firm from any unexpected incidents, Portal installed a reliable managed data back up and protection system. This ensures they are covered for any unforeseen circumstances and minimises any downtime, as data can be recovered securely and promptly.

The Benefits

Blackadder and McMonagle’s new IT solution went live in April 2013. They have been delighted with their new IT support and complimented the professionalism of the Portal technical team. They also reported their satisfaction at such a smooth transition to their new system. Since this upgrade to their technical infrastructure Blackadder and McMonagle now have a faster and more effectively secure solution for their business.

Portal say:

Blackadder and McMonagle needed the upgrade to go smoothly and efficiently. We were able to deliver the solution they needed with a minimum of fuss. It’s always easier to do a good job when the client is as cooperative as they were. Together, we delivered a more efficient and robust IT system for the firm.

Craig Millar, Technical Director, Portal Technologies

A word from our client:

“The Portal team were very patient with us. Nothing was too much trouble.”

Gina Aitken, the Practice Manager at Blackadder and McMonagle