Faced with a legacy practice management system coming towards end of support, Auckland city firm TBB tested the market and decided on partnering with Kinetics for the delivery of a replacement. Through the engagement, Kinetics has not only successfully migrated TBB to an improved solution, but it has also introduced multiple cloud and mobile technologies, enhancing the firm’s way of working. The introduction of solutions including Microsoft 365 and OneLaw have created efficiencies, help limit paperwork, and improved collaboration, and equipped the company’s people for seamless ‘work anywhere’ flexibility.
Established in 2012, TBB is New Zealand’s pre-eminent specialist commercial property law firm based in central Auckland and offering expertise and guidance for commercial property investment, developments, acquisitions, disposals, leasing and more. The firm employs 18 people with 12 of the team being qualified legal professionals.
With the end of a support contract with an existing technology service provider approaching, TBB’s Practice Manager Amanda Sagrillo recalled conversations years prior with Kinetics. “Back then, Kinetics had recommended a move into the cloud, but there wasn’t any appetite at the time”, explains Sagrillo. “While we evaluated various IT providers, Kinetics already knew a bit about our business, and we had some dealings with them pre-Covid. That helped make the decision to work with them.”
Not only was the contract ending, but end-of-support for TBB’s Infinitylaw practice management software (PMS) was looming. “We looked at several alternative solutions before settling on OneLaw. And then, just because moving from one service provider to another, and moving from one PMS to another wasn’t enough, we decided to eliminate our remote desktop and thin client infrastructure and move into the cloud,” Sagrillo says.
It was, she admits, a huge ask, but thanks to the advice provided by Kinetics, TBB could see the benefits of eliminating legacy technology and moving forward with new solutions. Simple tasks like using Zoom or Teams were made complex, requiring external webcams and other equipment, giving rise to inevitable technical struggles interfering with effective communication. “We still had desktop phones which weren’t being used,” adds Sagrillo. “We knew a move to laptops and the Microsoft cloud could deliver considerable benefits, but we also knew we needed the help and support of people we could trust and who knew what they were doing.”
Kinetics recommended a pure cloud environment giving TBB flexibility to match IT requirements to operations as required, with a PMS and Microsoft applications seamlessly accessible from anywhere. TBB selected OneLaw, a solution with which Kinetics was already familiar. The planning phase of what had become a considerable project was crucial to the eventual success, says Sagrillo, noting that Kinetics’ Cloud Transition Advisory service provided the necessary insights and guidance.
The planning phase took several months and was handled as a Kinetics Engineering Project during which a Microsoft tenant, Azure workspace and cloud user identities were created, laptops built and imaged to a secure standard and loaded with Microsoft 365, a local network reconfigured, and emails and files migrated to Microsoft 365.
Thanks to this approach, Sagrillo says the impact on office staff was minimised, and the introduction of the new systems and laptops replacing legacy devices happened over the weekend. “It was pretty smooth. The Kinetics team set out what was going to happen and what everyone could expect. The result was good and staff were able to kick off their work on Monday without significant disruption. There were naturally a few things to iron out but given the size of the task we were impressed by the fluidity of the transition.”
One of the remarkable benefits of moving into the Microsoft 365 cloud is the low change impact, as the applications and services are generally familiar. Nevertheless, Sagrillo says change management is important – even for the little things. “We had to remind people to take their laptops with them,” she laughs. “When they have their device, getting into work is a seamless experience wherever they are. That’s a huge advantage.”
With laptops, she says TBB’s lawyers are becoming less reliant on taking notes on paper, using their devices to work more flexibly and more effectively. “It makes people more efficient and eliminates double handling,” she says.
But the biggest benefit is having a trusted advisor available when any issues are encountered. “With Kinetics, there’s someone on the other side you can talk to. You can log a ticket or just pick up the phone and get action and response.”
Her final appraisal is that Kinetics has handled a challenging brief with aplomb. “Things have gone well and with a trusted relationship, if we aren’t happy at any point, they will hear from us. Having open communications like that is very important.”