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Case Study: Blank Rome’s Laptop/Tablet Rollout Boosts Efficiency and Morale

Tracy Kraft

2 min read

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Kraft Kennedy recently assisted Blank Rome, the 1,100-user international law firm, with an innovative rollout that entailed a complete replacement of all desktop and laptops with Surface Pro 3 devices. The results were remarkable. Attorneys and staff have experienced a surge in productivity, mobility, and morale.

Read more about the rollout on blankrome.com.

The Surface Pro is a unique laptop/tablet combination with specifications that make it both powerful and highly mobile. Deployment of the devices led to definite, measurable results for productivity and overall happiness. The firm moved, for example, from 65th to 4th in American Lawyer‘s mid-level associate satisfaction rankings:

Blank Rome credits its improvement to changes the firm made a year ago, including assigning advisers to each class year and upgrading office technology last spring. “Everyone has Microsoft Surface technology, which allows for more creative and flexible work,” says Allison Friend, Blank Rome’s former chief human resources officer.

During the course of the engagement Kraft Kennedy upgraded Blank Rome’s Microsoft Office 2007 to 2013, Office Communications Server to Lync 2013, Exchange Server 2010 to 2013, and iManage to the latest version. Kraft Kennedy also upgraded the firm’s operating system from 32-bit to 64-bit for enhanced performance. All of this was accomplished with the help of Kraft Kennedy’s implementation practices and the use of SCCM to deploy the applications.

Blank Rome runs hundreds of applications on over 500 virtualized servers to support its various practices, and, as is typical for a large law firm, stores millions of documents and emails. The Surface Pro 3 devices allow attorneys and staff access to all the applications and documents they need from any location. The attorneys can access their all of their email and the last 9 months of documents on which they’ve worked, even when not connected to the network or the internet.

One of the Surface Pro’s popular features with attorneys is its ability to take handwritten notes in Microsoft OneNote (written with a stylus) and convert them to typewritten text.

“I get more work done now,” Associate Ariel Glasner told Microsoft.  “I’m able to complete whatever project I’m working on and move to the next one. I used to spend hours transcribing my notes. I have no doubts that Surface helps me save time and be more productive.”

The firm is now able to serve its clients better and more efficiently than ever before, and saves significantly on printing costs. “People have talked about the paperless office for decades. This is really getting us closer,” said partner Samuel Becker.

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