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plan net logoPlan-Net’s latest contract win with Top 20 law firm DAC Beachcroft sees Plan-Net 24, the UK’s only 24/7 legal-dedicated shared IT Service Desk, now provide support for law firm staff based across thirty countries and five continents.

Besides the UK, additional supported countries include Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Pakistan, Mexico, India, Columbia and Brazil.

The Plan-Net 24 service has grown significantly since its inception 5 years ago. The concept for a shared Service Desk dedicated to law firms that would operate 24 hours day, 365 days year began during a large Service Transformation project that Plan-Net delivered for a top twenty law firm. At the time, the expanding international firm needed to create a world-class IT service platform that was equipped to meet and exceed its future demands on a global, 24/7 scale. The resulting model took the form of a dedicated business hours Service Desk managed by Plan-Net supplemented by what we now call Plan-Net 24 for all other times of the day and night. This enabled the law firm to provide a uniform, technically adept and responsive IT support service to all of its users regardless of location or time zone.

Plan-Net recognised that many firms in the sector were in a similar situation. The constant challenge of maximising chargeable hours and overall Partner profitability was being compounded by increasing competitive pressure from international firms and the impact of Alternative Business Structures. The UK legal market was responding through consolidation activity and by seeking expansion opportunities overseas. Middle and far eastern growth in particular, was transitioning from what were initially smaller offices to a presence demanding the same levels of IT support being delivered to its European based colleagues. Overall, firms were adapting their organisational structures and processes to transition into high performing international commercial entities.

This landscape presented a number of challenges for in-house IT functions. These included how to provide domestic fee earners, working all hours to maximise revenues, with consistently high levels of IT support when needed, and how to cater for a growing international presence demanding the same levels of support but operating in different zones.

All of these issues required a solution that addressed both the cost and efficiency issues of delivery as well as the logistics of complicated shift and overtime payments.

Plan-Net therefore designed a legal dedicated model that would operate 24/7 and deliver consistently high levels of customer service, resolution and knowledge of legal applications around the clock that could either be used as a complete 24/7 solution or combined with in house services covering traditional working periods. The service would integrate with each client’s in-house processes and culture and provide a seamless and secure experience for users.

Since then, the number of leading Law firms utilising the service has grown steadily. They are all benefitting from high levels of availability, customer service and legal-sector capability.

Many of the commercial pressures law firms faced 5 years ago are still present today. As Plan-Net continues to grow the service and drive continual efficiencies and performance improvements, demand from law firms continues. We look forward to adding the next 30 counties to our list!