A Single Technology Solution for a Global Competitive Edge

Company Overview

This international law firm is the largest in Europe and among the top 10 global law firms, with 78 offices worldwide that work for clients in 73 cities in 43 countries and in all major national courts. The firm’s 5,000 lawyers provide tailored, business-focused services in local markets or across multiple jurisdictions.

Solution:

HSO is implementing legal360 on Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide visibility across the firm’s global footprint.

Results

With legal360, the firm can now:

  • Identify and pursue whitespace across a global footprint
  • Deliver a superior level of client service
  • Define and execute global client strategies

A Single Technology Solution for a Global Competitive Edge: A Law Firm Brings 78 Offices Together with Microsoft and legal360

THE CHALLENGE: Siloed data that kept everyone in the dark

Like any industry, law firms face tough competition and must differentiate by capitalizing on their strengths. For example, one global law firm is “future-facing” and has found success through deep local market knowledge paired with a global perspective. This unique approach affords them the ability “not only to see what’s coming, but to shape it.”

The firm’s clear, business-focused guidance helps clients of every size and nearly anywhere in the world face the future with confidence. With expertise in their respective fields and experience across multiple geographies, the firm’s lawyers can anticipate hurdles and deliver innovative solutions to their clients’ legal and business challenges.

Regardless of industry or go-to-market strategy, it is critical to understand existing, as well as prospective, clients to grow revenue and increase
profitability. This is especially true if your reputation is built on anticipating issues—and opportunities—so they can be proactively addressed. Capturing and organizing the data needed for this level of detail is a challenge, and, like most businesses, this firm’s data was spread across an array of legacy and proprietary systems and housed in multiple formats.

Without a way to pull all this data together, it was impossible to answer important questions that could mean the difference between winning or losing an opportunity:

  • Which office, if any, has worked with a prospect or client? What was the location, who was involved, what relationships exist, what work was done, and what were the outcomes?
  • Has any office performed a conflict-of-interest check on a prospect or client, and can that check be leveraged to enable work to begin as quickly as possible on a new matter in another office or jurisdiction?
  • Is there an existing fee arrangement in place? If so, what are the details, and does it conflict with – or support – our current proposal?

Without these insights and visibility, the firm was losing valuable time and placed their client relationships and ongoing growth at risk.

THE CHALLENGE: Siloed data that kept everyone in the dark

Each of the firm’s offices used its own CRM system, due to privacy and security requirements, to prevent sharing confidential information.

Several of the firm’s offices have been using legal360 by HSO for many years. A comprehensive marketing, business development, ERM, and relationship intelligence suite for law firms, legal360 helps them leverage their relationships and experience to generate more new business and meet growth objectives.

However, the firm’s UK office, which had been implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365, was engaged with another Microsoft partner who had not been successful. This prompted the firm to reach out to Microsoft for a cloud-based system that would connect to every siloed system in each of the 78 offices around the globe, harvest core data from these systems, and consolidate it into a single, normalized, cloud-based database.

This new solution would provide every user in the firm with the ability to search all data gathered by all offices around the world on whatever filter they required. For example:

  • ABC Automotive Company is a client of the firm’s Berlin office, whose systems contain key information about the client, including a conflict-of interest check and results, who from that office worked with the client, other relationships, the fact that they did litigation work, the hourly rates charged, how much was billed, the outcomes, and ongoing communications with the client.
  • The firm’s office in Barcelona learns of an opportunity with ABC Automotive in their geographic area, so before the first phone call or meeting, the Barcelona office can perform a search in the firm’s global system, learning all this information about ABC and connect with the relevant people from the Berlin office to follow up on the opportunity effectively, efficiently, and by showing a cohesive and organized approach to the existing client.

Microsoft recommended HSO, the architects of legal360, for the job. HSO built a database on a global tenant using the legal360 framework and connected it to each office’s CRM and time & billing system through Microsoft Power Apps.

Other aspects of the engagement included:

  • Harvesting data electronically, including navigating cross-border data privacy (GDPR) complexities.
  • Normalizing the data for use in a centralized database. This is a significant effort which required the standardization and alignment of the different data structures in the systems in use across the firm. For example, one of the offices was using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance for time & billing, while others were using systems from Elite or Aderant. HSO seamlessly integrated data from across these systems.
  • Enabling currency conversion on the fly so any user can take financial data that was originally entered in one currency and view it in another. For example, a user who wants to see how much a German client was billed, but in American dollars, can make the conversion from Euros to US dollars with a simple click.
  • Designing a user interface that allows for easy consumption of critical information by key stakeholders across the firm.

legal360 integrates with time & billing, marketing automation, expense management, case management, HR, the firm’s website, and other software systems to consolidate and analyze client, matter, experience, and relationship data. legal360’s unique strength is its ability to integrate data from these sources and then normalize and store it in a way that makes it incredibly easy to access, manage, and use.

THE RESULTS: The very definition of “business intelligence”

The new, multilingual, multicurrency solution is helping each of the firm’s offices identify and leverage relationships, manage and win new business, maintain a centralized library of attorney experience, matter details, pitches, and proposals, and view client relationships from multiple perspectives, including industry/sector, contacts, revenue, office(s), practice area(s), matters, and more. However, it provides access only to the data allowed to be transferred from the offices to the centralized database, thus ensuring data is protected according to laws and regulations.

The firm anticipates onboarding 20,000 users over the next 36 months and has only scratched the surface of the benefits they’ll realize.

The concept of a cloud-based database and how it can be used represents, in a sense, the very definition of “business intelligence.” With the new system in place, the firm can identify where white space exists and gain competitive advantage in a pitch for new business—or business with an existing client. With data from the entire firm in one place, combined with the ability to filter it in virtually any way, they can reach out to an internal contact for an introduction, and the business development team at any office in any country can walk into an opportunity armed with information that can make the difference between winning and losing the business.

To take it one step further, the cloud-based database will also enable the firm to retain valuable clients, beginning with a streamlined onboarding process with a client who has already been working with the firm in another country. This “client passporting” ensures current clients can work with the firm in other countries because they are “known” by the system, since the conflict-ofinterest check has already been performed, the rates have been agreed upon, and there is already a basic understanding of the way the client operates as well as their challenges. This enables that piece of work to be mattered quickly so the work can begin.

The combination of technology and industry expertise gave this international firm the much-needed visibility to do business competitively all over the world. As for the future, the firm will continue to bring other offices under one umbrella until data from each of these offices is captured and visible through a single source, where true, global collaboration can help them take and maintain the lead.

Michael D’Alesio is VP, Customer Care at HSO ProServ | Michael has served in many roles during his tenure in the Microsoft Partner Channel for the past 25-years.  Michael currently is responsible for supporting, enabling and strategically leading the HSO ProServ Team responsible for HSO ProServ D365 installed based customers to accept, adopt the Microsoft platforms to ensure they attain business value and user adoption.

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into sa.global, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of sa.global’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

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In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.