OneUP Technology

Case Study on Small Business Server increasing Productivity and Efficiency:

Turning the Unmanageable Network Around


Business Challenge: Limitations on the network causing a significant business impact

The network addressed is for a law firm; they had an ad-hoc network setup, sharing their data between workstations. The firm was attempting to save money using a break-fix mentality and minimalist approach. Some of the problems encountered were error messages due to the maximum shares allowed per PC, trouble organizing emails between multiple users, tracking status of work, and the inability to recover work from backups due to unreliable backup methodology when deletions were made. The network that had grown over time became more of a liability than a benefit and was simply unmanageable, stunting the growth of the firm and affecting their bottom line.

One instance of a critical business impact was after reaching the limit on the number of shares a workstation could have open allowing access for other machines. Users found that they were unable to access mapped drives to conduct their work until other users had logged off, severely hampering their productivity and efficiency.

Implementation: Overcoming the obstacles for implementing IT change to resolve the problem

One of the concerns that the Partner/Owner of the firm had was about buying technology that would soon be outdated and he wanted to hold off on its purchase. He was worried he would not get a significant return on investment.

IT budgeting and planning requires that you not only plan for company growth but in changes in the technological atmosphere, and also within the industry. To allay the fears of the owner, specifications for a robust machine were planned that would accommodate changes that would inevitably be made in the future.

Another concern was the ease of use and training that would be required from the point of view of the end user. To address this problem, thorough documentation was authored displaying step by step procedures for use and accessibility as well as one-on-one training for the users as it was needed.

Results: What were the benefits?

Installing a Small Business Server has greatly increased productivity. As a result of acquiring the server, their annual revenue increased by $100,000. Return on investment was achieved within less than half a year.

ROI was seen with increased efficiency and access to data on the network, and they were also able to implement additional features, such as: converting the office to paperless, implementing a customized database application, and enabling remote access. Each of these features, including the server, allowed the office to increase efficiency per end user by approximately 400% (based on work accomplished per person and cases filed), increasing their client base through the application and integration with their website, and productivity due to the associate attorneys and managers’ ability to work from remote locations while traveling or from home. According to the office manager, “The major benefit has been time savings which has directly influenced productivity, efficiency, and costs savings. I can say with absolute certainty that we would not have been able to accommodate that growth without the server and database.”

In addition to ROI, the growth of the firm has increased to an additional physical site and the number of employees by 500%. This would not have been possible using the previous network infrastructure. Clearly, a Small Business Server was the right choice for this firm, enabling them to grow and reap increased profits from their labor.

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