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Creating a Platform for Innovation


Bingham Greenebaum Doll is a 100-year old, mid-size regional law firm, with offices in the Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Lexington areas. BGD clients range from small and medium-size businesses to some of the largest companies in the world.

The Challenge

Bingham Greenebaum Doll was looking to expand its business and needed a cutting-edge IT platform that would help its lawyers provide world class services to its clients.

The phrase “world class services” means something very different today than in days gone by.

“The practice of law has evolved especially as it relates to technology,” says David Otte, the Chief Information Officer at Bingham Greenebaum Doll. “Back in the day, lawyers practiced with lots of paper. Now, that paper has transcended into electronic format, whether it be media, whether it be millions of paper documents, and whether it be in the courtroom when you are presenting to juries, you are using technology. It’s no longer using paper or the old days of Perry Mason.”

That’s why the technology and infrastructure that’s used to support the lawyers and their clients need to be progressive and leading edge, so that it can not only support the practice behind the scenes, but also in front of the all important juries. In other words, the need for law firms to evolve today is more critical than ever.

“Law firms have always had to evolve but I think the ability to evolve now is truly the thing that will define the winners and separate the winners from the non-winners,” says Jim Turner, the Chief Operating Officer at BGD. He says, “ I think that being flexible, being adaptable, being ready to invest in technology solutions, is absolutely critical, not just to the success of a law firm, but in many instances to the survival of the law firm.”

However, BGD doesn’t have an excessive amount of IT staff to maintain its infrastructure and networking data server environment. That’s why it partnered with AHEAD, an award-winning strategic IT services company that was named VCE’s Global Partner of the Year in 2015, to partner with and to craft a solution that fit their needs.

One of the reasons that we turned to AHEAD to work with us is, not that we were trying to solve a problem, but that we were trying to stay out on the cutting edge of a solution. AHEAD really helped bring us to a solution that fit our needs.

Jim Turner, Chief Operating Officer

Partnering with AHEAD

The already rock solid partnership between BGD and AHEAD has grown to new heights, thanks to the experience that both sides enjoyed from start to finish on this project.

Otte says, “One of the best benefits of working with AHEAD is I felt like we had someone that truly we could partner with. The AHEAD technology staff, from the President of the company all the way to the consultants that helped us implement the technology, really listened and understood us. It was clear to them that we were not just a buyer of technology. It was obvious that they wanted a long-term relationship with us, so they wanted to make sure that they were designing solutions for us and giving us options that will allow us not only to meet our immediate needs, but our future needs from a business and technology perspective.”

He adds, “Something very unique about BGD is its innovation. We pride ourselves on providing innovative solutions to our clients. Therefore, we needed to find a partner, such as AHEAD, that could provide innovative solutions for us. They did that and that has allowed our lawyers to do their jobs better.”

The Solution

When it came to which solution would best fit BGD’s needs, the decision makers at the law firm didn’t know exactly what they wanted, but they knew for sure what they didn’t want.

“We did not want to look for a one size fit all solution,” says Otte, “and that’s where AHEAD really came in. They brought options to us. They did not have a one size fit all portfolio. AHEAD has some of the best strategists, as well as engineers, and their deep experience and intellect was just amazing.” He adds, “Not only do they have people that can actually implement the technology, but those same engineers are with you hand-in-hand defining your project plans, making sure that they have the right people at the right time on the project to deliver your projects seamlessly and on-time and on cost. AHEAD truly partnered with us and outlined several different technologies for us so that we were able to pick what was right for us.”

After numerous, detailed strategy consulting engagements, some of which that took place at the AHEAD Lab and Briefing Center in Chicago, both sides agreed that the “right fit” for BGD was Vblock from VCE.

The law firm purchased two Vblocks, one for production and for back up. Otte says, “Vblock allows us to converge and manage networking, storage, and compute power all in one frame, or as one entity, versus a distributed system.” He adds, “Vblock works for a midsize organization such as ourselves because it doesn’t require a large station to maintain all of these very niche players in networking, storage, servers, and the virtual environment.”

Vblocks come pre-tested and pre-configured based on an organization’s needs. For BGD, that meant that when the technology showed up at their facility, it was ready to go.

“The integrators took it of the pallet, they helped bring it online, test it, and it was ready to use within 30-45 days of our original order, says Otte. He says, “In the traditional environment, we would have to order, compute computer power, servers, storage, and networking gear separately and then configure all of it in-house. To have that type of expertise in-house to make it all happen would take months, if not a year, to get up and running in a production environment. With our current VCE Vblock environment, we spent more time actually using the system than configuring the system, and we were able to do that with fewer resources to maximize our ROI.”

The Results

The results of the strategy session, innovation, and expertise of AHEAD’s strategy engagements, and the Vblock implementation have been numerous, and nothing short of transformative for the entire law firm and its clients.

Otte says, “VCE Vblock has allowed our organization to completely upgrade our entire back office systems while being able to support a growing organization with new applications and new services being added daily. He says, “I could not be happier with the results of our implementation of VBlock, via the services from AHEAD. We not only implemented the solution on time, on schedule, but we also did it on budget, and we were able to then provide immediate solutions and services to our lawyers.”

Turner agrees, saying, “I think it’s very clear from the feedback I’ve been getting inside our firm that the attorneys are very happy with what they are seeing on the technology side and the instant impact that it’s having on their profession and the way they deliver service to their clients. Our clients can now take advantage of the fact that we are using this best in class technology on their behalf.” He adds, “We think this technology gives us the ability to compete with anyone in the marketplace and compete very effectively.”

He goes on to say, “One of the benefits of having AHEAD work with us on our technology solution, is that we have a system now that can scale to the size that we need it to scale to. It’s not a, we’ve now implemented it and it’s all done. We look at this is as very much a dynamic, almost living organism, that we continue to use to compete for clients and to provide the best service to clients that we can. We are very excited about where this technology will take Bingham Greenebaum Doll in the future.”

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