Law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, with a history spanning more than 150 years, is focused on the digital future of legal practice. From her office in Melbourne, director of technology Berys Amor manages 50 IT professionals tasked with meeting the increasing demands of more than 1100 lawyers and support staff.
Tell us about a recent project that required an external IT provider?
At the beginning of June we deployed a new cloud document management system and Microsoft Office 2013. It was a massive project. We reimaged 950 laptops nationally over a weekend and on the Monday morning everyone came in to a new document management system and a new version of Office.
We had a number of integrators and resellers that worked with us. NetDocuments is the cloud DMS provider. Feynbrook was the integrator and planned all the migration of our documents from the old on-site DMS.
Then Olikka helped implement and package a lot of our applications in preparation for deploying the new image.
What do service providers do that annoy you?
I’ve received proposals where you can see from the different styles and fonts that people have just grabbed bits off the internet and shoved them into a proposal.
And I’ve received proposals where they have copied it from another proposal – with the other client’s name still in the proposal.
What do you like to see in a proposal?
Any proposal that comes to me that answers not only what we have requested, but provides some additional information or value add, is always impressive.
How important is it for a service provider to have an understanding of your business?
It would be unusual for us to accept a proposal from someone who has not spent the time understanding the business, and our challenges and our strategy. We want them to demonstrate that they understand the business problem and what we are trying to achieve.
Will cloud play a bigger role in your future?
It is already a big part of the way we operate. We have migrated five of our core applications to cloud services and a couple of back-of-house functions like DR and backup.
All of our e-discovery systems are on an AWS platform. Actually, there are only a couple of core applications that we still have on-premise.
How is the evolution of the technical demands in a law firm likely to impact the way you work with service providers?
We now form almost joint ventures with third party providers and we have even invited third party providers into the conversation with our clients – something that would never have happened previously.
It is very powerful and our clients are very open to it. We are part of the client account management team, and that is where we add value – not by being a back-of-house function.
Mar 2012 - present Director of technology, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Jun 2008 - Mar 2012 National infrastructure and application manager, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
2001 - 2008 National IT manager, Deacons Australia
1996 - 2000 Consultant, Interlegal