Peer to Peer Magazine

March 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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We're seeing more firms expand their presence across international borders, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there will be local IT support staff in each office location. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for innovation for those in a position to provide training and support to their firm's broad range of office locations and cultures. Several ILTA members from around the globe recently sat down at a virtual roundtable to discuss their firms' approaches to providing support. Each person's interview can be heard in its entirety on the accompanying podcasts. range of applications, maintaining current processes and support documentation can be difficult. Heather: Approximately 70 percent of the organization is in Central and Western Europe, with 39 offices in 27 countries. We recently opened new offices in Australia, Africa, Indonesia and Qatar. We also have a network of relationship lawyers in other countries, giving us a truly global reach. Lee: Mallesons currently has nine offices — five in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra), three in Asia (Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai) and one office in Europe (London). La'Tresha: We have 10 offices — six in the U.S., one in London, one in Germany and two in Asia (Hong Kong and Shanghai) _________________________________________________________ Heather: Our number one challenge is trying to keep changes such as system downtimes and application changes minimal and outside of normal working hours. In IT training, it is important to understand that everyone is different and will have different requirements, so we try to offer opportunities that meet all needs. In doing so, we have identified three major challenges: • Coverage/Availability: Some of our trainers have dual roles and occasionally experience conflicts with business responsibilities. • Attendance: Fee earners are under constant pressure to meet deadlines; getting them into a training room engaged and ready to learn is trying. We have found attendance is more of an issue in the larger offices, but meals — and especially chocolates — are always good enticements. Lee: Our biggest challenge is the time differences. There is a three-hour time difference between the Eastern Australian cities and Perth and Hong Kong, a 10-hour difference between London and Sydney, and seven hours between Hong Kong and London. However, that can have its advantages in that we are able to use those differences to provide great support coverage within the firm. La'Tresha: I find it difficult to find, develop and retain the IT support professional that's a good fit for the type of dynamic environment that we currently work in. And once a strong team has been built, it's often logistically difficult to arrange training on new technologies. In our environment, there are approximately 330 applications/ services that we're tasked with supporting. With such a wide • Timing: It can be difficult to find the appropriate time to provide training for lawyers, practicing attorneys (PAs) and support staff. This occasionally means the trainers have to work different hours. We have two big challenges in our IT support department: • Communication: We need to ensure that our analysts are kept up to date with planned changes to technology, both from an operational and project perspective. We do this via knowledgebase articles, weekly calls in a cascade method and drop-in sessions. • Managing Workloads: We try to provide support remotely wherever we can, and we utilize agreed-upon policies and office/regional/global contractual arrangements to help take Peer to Peer 83 Ho and which regions do the y of fic w man Wo y haviding local suppor t are the bigg prour global r ang est chalfic e of of t and tr leng es in es? aining t o es does y our fir y c o m suppor er? v t,

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