Our Services

Leadership & Management

Leadership & Management

Our clients are divided into two groups: those with an internal IT Director or CTO, and those without. We offer a subtly different service for each group, with an emphasis on providing leadership for the former and adopting a more peer-oriented approach to the latter.

For both though, we provide independence and expertise which means that IT decisions are subject to rigorous evaluation and oversight, resulting in better decisions and more reliable outcomes.

Outsourced IT Director

For firms without this internal resource we act as your head of IT.

IT choices can be overwhelming and the number of variables to be considered often leads to firms doing nothing at all. With our support, decisions become much less daunting and can be approached with confidence. We help our clients realise commercial advantage by supplying valuable knowledge, expertise and experience – free from vendor bias.

We work with your senior management team to prioritise activity, determine and resolve issues, set strategy and ensure works are executed by the appropriate blend of internal resource and external providers in a timely and cost-effective manner.

For more information please contact Helen Daly.

Non-executive IT advisor

For firms who have senior IT leadership in place, our role is one of non-executive advisor. Our unbiased and independent evaluation of decisions helps firms make the right IT decisions; and our presence provides a reliable and experienced sounding-board for both IT specialist staff and the wider management board.

From the formulation and delivery of a robust strategy to the ultimate achievement of business goals, we bring true innovation, de-risk the implementation of new ideas and enable the confident deployment of successful solutions.

For more information please contact Jeremy Hyman.

Data & Process

Data & Process

High confidence in data has a strong correlation with high-achieving progressive firms. Data ought to be well organised, easy to access and presented in a relevant form to inform business decisions. Data so arranged is at the heart of smooth processes, driving high client satisfaction and operating efficiency.

However, more often data is a squandered asset. It lives in silos across systems and is spread between corporate and personal storage. Excel becomes one of the biggest databases in the firm, and data, far from being an asset, becomes a liability.

We offer three services to improve this situation.

Data Architecture

An ideal data architecture matches as closely as possibly the physical world to the electronic one. This reduces the duplication of data and allows users to access the information they need quickly with a high confidence in its accuracy.

We define this data architecture for your firm, and then compare it to the actual data structures in place, to show you where data is currently, where it is duplicated, the quality of that data and its availability to users. We provide you with a plan to relocate this data and improve it, both in an initial exercise and then on an on-going basis.

The benefit is that users can rely on data and put their energies into manipulating and benefitting from that data without continually having to validate its veracity.

For more information please contact Charles Verrier.

Data Analytics

With good data in place it is time to make it work for you. This is the process of changing data into information, and information into insight.

Our expertise in data analytics ranges from building complex data warehouse designs through to eliminating traditional reporting and replacing it with live drill-down dashboards driven by exceptions. We harness a broad range of industry-leading technologies including PowerBI and related Azure big-data services.

For more information please contact Isi Schnitzer, our data architecture lead.

Process Review & Automation

Many firms have processes that have evolved organically, to reflect the best technical capabilities available at the time. They are often internal only, missing the opportunity to automate through working with external providers, and also missing the opportunity to involve the client to an appropriate level.

Our process reviews identify existing best practice and help the firm shake itself lose from the constraints of layers of restrictions, of repeatedly doing what they’ve always done. Our external experience provides a clarity and honest perspective that is hard to achieve internally.

We are not just technologists and so our process improvements usually encompass changes to people as well as processes. At the same time, we fully embrace what technology can do, boosting efficiency through automation and improving client service through transparency and collaboration.

For more information, please contact David Rosenthal.

Procurement & Delivery

Procurement & Delivery

How can a firm be confident it is making the right choice when buying a new system or service? How can they know they are paying the right price? How do they assure themselves of on-going good service delivery from providers?

We are experts in choosing the most appropriate technology, software and services for your needs. Here, perhaps more than in any of our services, our independent expertise is of unique value.

For more information on the services below please contact Helen Daly.

Procurement

The four biggest and most pervasive purchases a firm makes are:

  • DMS (Document Management System)
  • PMS (Practice Management System)
  • CRM (Client Relationship Management)
  • MSP (Managed Service Provider)

The infrequency of these purchases means that the chances of having internal resource able to expertly assess the market and make procurement recommendations based on recent experience is minimal. On the other hand, we assist firms with these selections on a monthly basis. We have excellent up-to-date market knowledge, and more importantly we know which combinations of systems work well together, and which are suited to the needs of each type of firm.

Our procurement process is rigorous, transparent and wholly independent.

Service Delivery Management

A number of service providers will be engaged by firms for lengthy contract periods and managing service delivery through the lifecycle of these contracts is critical to extracting ongoing value and service from the contract. Firms need expert advice through the life of the contract to ensure the service provider is being held to account.

Our industry and technical knowledge ensures you have a knowledgeable and independent advocate on your team, working solely in your best interests. Adopting an uncompromising stance on this actually helps most service providers, who prefer having a clear set of objectives and goals, and technically-informed oversight to reach reasonable solutions to issues that can occur from time to time.

Implementation & Training

Implementation & Training

Making the fullest use of complex systems is one of the biggest technology challenges for almost every firm. Buying a system is relatively easy: in fact the prevalence of low-cost cloud systems makes this easier than ever before. But using the systems properly, adopting uniform best practice, and really extracting value from them it a different and much harder proposition.

We offer two services to help with this, that go hand-in-hand with one another.

Implementation

We are experts in implementing systems, taking into account project management, system design (including custom settings and integration with other systems), user needs and any process changes. We carefully review (or write) a statement of work to ensure both the firm and the supplier are clear on what will be delivered, when, and by whom.

We then add more detail to mature this statement of work into a project plan which we host and manage.

We interview users to determine and confirm their precise needs and make any further project or software changes as needed. New systems should reflect users, not the other way around.

Next, we work with the supplier to customise the software or change and settings as needed, using our resources and theirs, and then orchestrate individual experts or multiple third parties to achieve the remaining project items.

At the end of the implementation we review the work, check that the aims have been achieved and that users are satisfied, and look for any lessons that need to be learned for future projects.

For more information please contact Charles Verrier.

Training

As software and systems change, and generally become more complicated, one thing that doesn’t change is the user. Users are short on time and have to prioritise competing demands, both internal and from clients.

This means that the training they receive has to be carefully constructed to be highly relevant to not only the software they use, but the way they use it to deliver the work their job demands. Our trainers are familiar in both general and specialist software, in the vocabulary and terminology of professional practice, and the particular foibles of professional staff and the pressures they face.

The net result is that we deliver training that is highly relevant, useful, beneficial and even enjoyable. Our approach includes detailed training needs analysis, the preparation of customised materials that reflect firm policies and procedures, and the delivery of those materials individually or in groups suited to need, temperament and available time.

For more information please contact Len Hackenbroch.