The legal industry is well known for being reluctant to change and slow adopters of new technology but that’s not the case for Friedman, Framme and Thrush P.A. This law firm strives to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. In fact, they started building an IT system to support a remote workforce years prior to the time when the COVID-19 pandemic came along and forced companies everywhere to send their people home to work.
Bill Thrush is the Managing Partner at the firm, and he’s an attorney who wants to ride the leading edge of technology innovation. In order for Bill to move IT along at a pace that’s acceptable to him, he needs a partner who can help him vet and implement new ideas. That’s where XPERTECHS comes in.
“I’m a tinkerer and I’m always looking at stuff asking, ‘How can that be better? What can we squeeze out of this? What can we add to make us more efficient or more productive?’” said Bill.
Bill’s been looking to XPERTECHS to answer questions like these since he first became Managing Partner in 2012. At that time, the firm had already been working with XPERTECHS for IT improvement projects and they had two internal IT people; one to manage their network and another to take care of help desk requests from employees.
Co-Managed IT from XPERTECHS Fills Capability Gaps
When the person performing network management passed away, Bill decided to not replace her but to see how XPERTECHS could fill in the gaps in their IT capability. Together, they came up with an arrangement that put responsibility for network and cybersecurity management in XPERTECHS’ hands while their internal staff person took care of helping individuals with help desk support.
With all their IT bases covered, Bill started tackling the initiatives that would really help the firm’s operations and profitability. One of the first challenges he wanted to address was downsizing the company’s physical space while upsizing its virtual space, and creating a remote work ecosystem that could keep people working despite the inclement weather that routinely affected travel in the winter.
The IT changes they made with XPERTECHS’ guidance and implementation positioned the firm for as smooth a transition to remote work as they could have hoped to have when the pandemic happened. Today, there are new challenges to tackle, like how to utilize Artificial Intelligence tools and how to move to browser-based applications to simplify the way employees access their programs and files.
Competitive Advantage from Technology Solutions
Friedman, Framme and Thrush now has an internal IT team of two with the addition of a software expert who came onboard through an acquisition. Together, XPERTECHS and the internal IT staff investigate and evaluate technology solutions that will give the firm a competitive advantage.
“I want to be at pace or ahead of the pace of the market in terms of technology,” said Bill. “In order to maintain that, you need somebody like XPERTECHS in your corner because you can’t rely on the knowledge of one or two IT people to keep you up to date.”
The value that the firm receives from IT because they can be innovative might be hard to quantify, but Bill knows that standing still is not an option for a law firm that wants to stay viable in changing times. In addition to staying on top of trends, Bill has other metrics that measure the success of IT and their relationship with XPERTECHS.
“If you don’t see it; if nothing pops up and pokes you; that’s the truest success of an IT infrastructure,” said Bill. “Quite frankly, to have no pain points is an aspirational goal. There are always going to be pain points but they have to be minimal.”
High Expectations for Responsiveness and Collaboration
Having the screen crack on his laptop was a pain point that Bill had to face recently. Little did he know that the problem had already been communicated to XPERTECHS by internal staff and the replacement was in process before Bill even requested it. That’s the kind of responsiveness that Bill has come to expect from XPERTECHS. He also expects a high level of collaboration.
“Sometimes I’ll come up with some crazy IT scheme and I'll call my staff and I'll say, ‘Can you guys get with XPERTECHS, and ask them if we can do X and if we can, what it's going to cost?’ And then they'll get their heads together and come back to me and they'll tell me, ‘Yes, we can. No, we can't, or we can, and this is what it will cost,’” Bill explained.
As he eyes the next round of evolution that will take place in the digital world because of Artificial Intelligence, Bill wants to be a leader, not a follower. He’s already talking with XPERTECHS about using AI to automate tasks and uncover opportunities to create efficiencies in operations.
The last thing Bill wants is for either his internal or outsourced IT team to get comfortable. There’s no room for complacency when you have your eyes on the next big thing. Fortunately, the leading edge is where XPERTECHS likes to ride too, so it’s a win-win for both companies.