HOMS Solicitors

A growing legal firm with more sophisticated needs, HOMS Solicitors required an IT refresh.

Headquartered in Limerick, HOMS Solicitors provide a wide range of legal services in Ireland. Established in 1970, HOMS Solicitors is currently one the country's top 20 largest law firms. Naoise O'Donnell has been Legal Information Systems Executive since 2011. Naoise's main role is maintaining existing software from a user's point of view, while also looking over the installation of new software and managing quality systems and compliance in the office. “I try to make the user’s life as easy as possible. The servers and backend aren’t of my concern, it’s the user experience I’m most interested in.”

 Profile

  • Client: HOMS Solicitors
  • Size: 130 Staff
  • Client Since: 2013
  • Main Services we provide:
    • Enterprise Support Desk
    • Infrastructure Management
  • Key Projects:
    • IT Audit
    • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
"ActionPoint has been instrumental in keeping our growing firm secure, productive and resilient." Their skilled team listened to our needs and have built a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that keeps us online 24/7 - all year round. In addition, ActionPoint's enterprise support desk service has given us the peace of mind and expertise to futureproof our organisation."

Robert Bourke, Partner HOMS Solicitors

Our Story

The Challenge

As a growing organization with more sophisticated needs, HOMS Solicitors were in need of an IT refresh. ActionPoint were initially brought in to overhaul old servers, while the firm were also looking to modernize the system in place with an eye towards virtualisation.

While overhauling old servers, our team carried out a full IT Audit. This IT audit involved a deep-dive into HOMS Solicitors infrastructure, assessing how effective it was in meeting the firm’s business demands.  It also involved meeting with key business stakeholders to understand how technology would play a part in achieving the firm’s goals. Following this, a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) report was produced to highlight each area that needed addressing.

Along with ageing hardware, the business continuity and disaster recovery process was outdated. While the organisation had some backups in place, a lack of in-house expertise meant that there was not a sufficient DR plan to protect a thriving legal practice.

The Solution

IT Infrastructure Refresh

Following the delivery of the audit and report, ActionPoint recommended a course of action to modernize the IT of the firm. The installation and configuration of market leading Dell power-edge servers on a virtualized platform VMWare was core to this refresh.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

ActionPoint’s IT audit highlighted the need for a formal disaster recovery solution. A plan was needed to get servers back up and running with minimal downtime. Using Dell’s Equalogic technology, they now replicate their data to an offsite, secure location.

Enterprise Support Desk

Following an ongoing relationship, there was a realization from the firm that a managed service was becoming necessary. Naoise O’Donnell, Legal Information Systems Executive, stated

“we were finding that higher end systems were under a huge amount of pressure and somewhat vulnerable. We definitely didn’t have the expertise here to deal with bigger server issues.”

ActionPoint came on board with our Enterprise Support Desk (ESD) service. The ESD service looks after all service issues and acts as an escalation path for HOMS Solicitors’ IT team. This saved the huge capital cost of hiring an in-house highly skilled support team. Instead, with the ESD service, the firm have the skillset they need at a much lower cost. A monthly meeting between the organization and a member of the ESD team enables consultation on any challenges facing the organisation. Projects that could provide future value to the firm are also recommended.

The Result

With a transformed approach to IT, HOMS Solicitors has a much more stable organizational structure. Having ActionPoint on board has positively affected the firm in a number of ways:

Proactively Managed IT has led to a more resilient organisation

Having a proactive partner enabled HOMS Solicitors to have fresher hardware and overall a more trustworthy infrastructure. This has greatly improved the resilience of the organization, with zero downtime since ActionPoint’s engagement with the firm began.

Increased Mobility and Better Work-Life Balance

The virtualization of some of the servers, as well as introducing thin clients and laptops for fee-earning staff has been a hugely beneficial step forward for a dynamic legal practice. The virtualization of the servers has given staff greater mobility, workplace flexibility and a better work-life balance, which has led to massive gains in productivity.

Reassurance and Peace of Mind

As Naoise stated, ActionPoint’s high level of expertise has been of utmost importance in terms of overall reassurance.

“Having someone there to solve difficult problems has been extremely important.”

As a law firm approaching its 50th year, the integration of an experienced IT partner has given the organization a new lease of life. The firm is now more resilient, productive and better supported than ever before.