SINGAPORE - October 19, 2004 - Allen and Gledhill, Singapore's largest law firm with 200 lawyers and 350 support staff, has installed a Cisco Systems® Internet Protocol (IP)-based Communications system that is already helping the firm to reduce its operational and maintenance costs.
With voice communications now operating on the same IP network that is used for video and data, the law firm has been able to consolidate multiple networks into one and utilize workspaces more effectively, reducing infrastructure and staffing requirements.
For example, to help ensure confidentiality, Allen & Gledhill employs information technology (IT) staff that provides the company's application and helpdesk support in-house. The consolidated network has halved the number of end-points the IT department has to support, from more than 1,000 to approximately 500, enabling the firm to provide a backup point for every user and implement a fully redundant network, hence reducing downtime for both voice and data communication to practically zero. In addition, the firm can configure the system without using outside vendors.
"Communicating with clients is an essential function of what our lawyers do and our phone system has to be reliable and yet cost-effective. When the opportunity came up to change our phone system, we looked at the alternatives available and decided that IP telephony was a very attractive option. Not only does it act as a regular telephone but it provides so many other possibilities. For my IT team, it definitely is easier to maintain and will be more cost-effective in the long term. For our lawyers, the full benefits will come when we add more services to the system such as unified messaging," said Vincent Eng, Head of Information Systems, Allen & Gledhill.
The new system is also easy for Allen & Gledhill's employees to use, guiding users as they navigate the various functions, instead of having to memorize function keys and complex codes. When staffers change locations, all they have to do is take their Cisco IP phone with them, plug it in and log on.
As a result, the transition to IP telephony has been transparent for the staff. Communication and collaboration has also improved, using the new conferencing function allows up to six people to conference compared to three using the previous setup.
"The new Cisco® system used by Allen & Gledhill is not just a replacement for the old phone system but a new way of business communications. Having an IP-based infrastructure allows companies to deliver voice, video and data services seamlessly and efficiently, helping them to reduce costs and increase employee productivity. This is the wave of the future," said Craig Gledhill, managing director, Singapore, Cisco Systems. Craig Gledhill is not related to the founders of the law firm.
The Cisco IP telephony solution includes 600 Cisco IP phones, Cisco CallManager for software-based call processing, Cisco UnityTM Unified Messaging, Cisco Catalyst® 4500 Series switches and Cisco 2600 Series multiservice routers with voice gateway modules. Security is provided by Cisco PIX® 515 firewalls and Cisco 3000 Series VPN concentrators.
About Allen & Gledhill
Allen & Gledhill was founded by Rowland Allen and Joseph Gledhill in 1902. Since then the firm has come a long way and it is now the largest law firm in Singapore with close to 200 lawyers. It is the only law firm in Singapore which is consistently ranked at the top of the league tables for every major practice area: Corporate & Commercial, Corporate Real Estate, Financial Services, Intellectual Property & Technology and Litigation & Dispute Resolution. More information available at: http://www.allenandgledhill.com.