“Windows Vista Remote Desktop Connection gives us the ability to offer out-of-office freedom and flexibility and that is a major advantage in hiring and maintaining talent in a competitive market.”
-Stephen M. Kramarsky, Partner, Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky, LLP
Law firm Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky services a growing number of high-end clients in New York City. This growth put a strain on computer and network resources. The result was increased downtime and lost efficiency. Remote workers similarly had no way to connect to the main office resources. eMazzanti Technologies created a solution with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that dramatically increased productivity while hardening the firm’s network security.
Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky (DPK) had two main technology issues it needed to address: reliability and security. Computer and network unreliability translated into lost efficiency. Lack of robust computer access for remote users dramatically affected productivity as well. When it came to security, the firm was always seeking ways to enhance its capabilities.
“Billable attorney time was being lost to tasks such as system updates, anti-virus and anti-spyware updates, individual e-mail client issues, and other machine-specific problems,” says Stephen M. Kramarsky, partner, Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky.
As the firm continued to grow and problems started to surface on more than one client computer at a time, Kramarsky noticed his own billable time was being affected. In addition, DPK attorneys often work from home or off-site, such as when in trial or deposition. “The lack of any standardized systems made support very difficulty,” Kramarsky recalls. “Users also had little remote-access ability—even to the file server—and were using e-mail to move files to their home computers.”
Kramarsky continued: “Addressing mobile computing with memory sticks and emails forwarded to webmail accounts was an anemic solution to working remotely. All of us wanted a ‘desktop’ experience on our laptops and home computers with no location barriers.”
With the expertise of eMazzanti Technologies, the law firm’s IT expert, DPK’s overall concern with network and computer reliability was addressed with Windows Vista Business and Windows Server 2008. When these two powerful software solutions are deployed together the combined client-server infrastructure provides significant advantages, including more efficient management, greater availability, and faster communication.
Specific features such as Shadow Copy and Security Center within Windows Vista also provide useful safeguards and additional capabilities.
Remote Desktop Connection
The Remote Desktop Connection feature in Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions enables easier remote access to any resource or application that DPK has made available to its users. For example, if an attorney requires remote access to a brief, Windows Vista enables an icon for that resource on the attorney’s desktop. Clicking the icon automatically activates the Terminal Services Remote Program and a connection is made with no need for a virtual private network (VPN). The desktop experience is identical, for the user, to his or her desktop in the office, complete with any desktop customizations.
Windows Security Center helps make DPK PCs more secure by alerting users when security software is out of date or when security settings should be strengthened. The Security Center displays firewall settings and tells users whether their PC is set up to receive automatic software updates from Microsoft. This centralized system greatly reduced security threats within DPK’s computing environment.
This feature automatically creates point-in-time copies of files as users work, so they can quickly and easily retrieve versions of a document that may have accidentally deleted or need to be referred to. Shadow copy is automatically turned on in Windows Vista and creates copies on a scheduled basis of files that have changed.
Remote Access Versatility
“Windows Vista with Remote Desktop Connection is the centerpiece of our remote access solution from the user’s standpoint, and adds improved security that is transparent to the user. We’ve seen a substantial increase in productivity based on user’s ability to work from home and from out of the office,” said Kramarsky. “It’s difficult to quantify the productivity gains from these new capabilities, but it appears to be in the range of 15 percent in terms of billable hours. Given that our practice is entirely based on hourly billing, there’s a huge revenue upside from that kind of increased flexibility and productivity.”
“We have made a conscious decision to hire the most talented professionals in our field and to support them with the best available technology. In our case, that meant finding a solution that permitted our attorneys the flexibility to work from home, when necessary, with exactly the same resources they would have in the office,” said Kramarsky. “Windows Vista Remote Desktop Connection gives us the ability to offer out-of-office freedom and flexibility, and that is a major advantage in hiring and maintaining talent in a competitive market.”
“Windows Vista and our server solutions have had a near perfect uptime record for over half a year,” said Kramarsky. “The system did go down once, but brought itself back up, after sending me an email alert, before I had time to realize there was an issue. We’re very pleased with the reliability.”
“eMazzanti’s eCare program ensures we get all the services we need for a fixed fee,” said Kramarsky. “It means uptime, it means getting us a loaner laptop when we need one and it means increased productivity for our whole staff.”
Efficient Version Control
“We may do dozens of drafts and revisions of a brief, written by different people within and outside the firm, before it gets into its final form. Keeping those all straight is challenging” said Kramarsky. “Shadow Copy provides version control and the ability to revert back or restore a previous iteration of a document.”
“Windows Vista brings heretofore server-level security features down to the desktop,” said Carl Mazzanti, eMazzanti Technologies. “Windows Vista Firewall, Update, User Account Control, Internet Explorer Dynamic Security Protection and Defender with anti-malware capabilities are powerful security capabilities.”