When you're a one-person IT department responsible for supporting the office technology for 70-employees, you can use all help you can get. Wayne Myers learned that quickly when he was hired as the IT manager for Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, Inc., a Los Angeles, Calif.- based law firm specializing in representing health care providers.
Hooper, Lundy & Bookman is comprised of three offices Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego and serves clients in 46 states. When Myers came on board three years ago, his mandate was to ensure computer and network continuity. With some 39 lawyers working at any given time of the day or night, remote access, wireless capability and document management were three of the key areas Myers needed to address.
When he arrived, the company's technology was in transition. The firm had recently introduced a document management system that needed fine tuning, the document libraries needed to be connected to the L.A. and San Francisco offices (they've since added a San Diego office) and rolling out a remote access system was vital. "Basically, the company needed a reliable, secure network with remote access so that the employees could work anytime, from anywhere," said Myers.
Integrating A Reseller
Myers continued to develop the already strong relationship Hooper, Lundy and Bookman had with Afinety, Inc, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based integrator and HP reseller. Together, Myers and Afinety set out to create the secure network that would provide the firm's lawyers the flexibility they needed to work in a secure environment from the home or office.
"We started by upgrading the servers from NT 4.0 to server 2000 and the desktops from Windows 98 to XP Pro," said Myers. "Rich Frediani from Afinety I can't say enough good things about him helped us select the systems we needed," he said. "Plus, Afinety's partnership with HP lets us save money by buying our equipment from HP's Business to Business site. It lets us make the most of our IT budget and that's a real advantage."
Myers and company set up a wireless network with 128-bit encryption in all three offices so that employees can stay connected as they move between offices and conference rooms. He also installed a remote access VPN system using a Citrix server. "Now the lawyers can work remotely, and I can access anyone's computer from my office or home computer," said Myers.
With the able assistance of Glendale, Calif.-based GBH Communications, Myers also set up IP-based video conferencing for all three offices over a full T1 line. "The lawyers are always in client meetings," he said. "And the clients and lawyers are often spread out around the country. The video conferencing helps them communicate better."
It Takes A Lot Of IT
Here's a look at the hardware and software Myers purchased for his firm. Keeping the company online, secure and productive takes a concerted effort from Myers, Afinity and HP. It also shows why having partners you can trust for advice, service and equipment is crucial for any small business especially when it comes to technology.
- 15 HP Compaq business desktop d530 computers
- 58 HP Compaq Evo D510 convertible computers
- 9 servers, including the HP ProLiant ML310, ML330 and ML350
- 15 HP notebooks with docking stations
- 20 printers, including HP OfficeJet 7140xi; HP OfficeJet G85; HP OfficeJet D55xi; and HP LaserJet printers
- HP Remote Insight Boards in each server
- HP Insight Manager the software monitors the server and desktop hardware and alerts Myers if something's about to go wrong
- Microsoft Windows Server 2000
- Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite
- Microsoft XP Professional with Office Pro
- Hummingbird PowerDOCS and DOCSOpen document management
Hooper, Lundy and Bookman now has a secure, reliable network, video conferencing, remote VPN access and full document management for all the employees in all three of its offices.
For Myers who is always on call 24 x 7 that reliability means a lot less work for him. "Our network environment is very stable," he said. "I don't have many problems at all. And thanks to the remote access, I can manage any desktop or server no matter where I am." Myers notes that the remote access also gives the firm's lawyers the flexibility to work from home. "They've been able to increase the number of billable hours outside the traditional working hours by nearly seven percent and still spend time with their families."
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com
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