MHA Tait Walker provides not-for-profit organizations, large corporates, owner-managed businesses, and individuals with a complete set of accountancy and advisory services. A longstanding on-premises user of iManage Work document and email management system (DMS), the firm has migrated the solution to the cloud with Ascertus as the implementation partner.
Looking toward the cloud
Going back more than three years, all the business applications at MHA Tait Walker were primarily deployed on-premises with servers located in the Newcastle head office. As a firm that grasps the importance of technology for efficient and innovative business operation, MHA Tait Walker wanted to create a more powerful and resilient IT infrastructure, allowing their team to work from anywhere, and as part of that effort, moved the servers offsite and into the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Simon Brown, IT Partner, MHA Tait Walker, explained, “While we ‘lifted and shifted’ our tin boxes offsite to a data center, we also took a strategic decision to embrace the cloud, adopting Azure cloud for as much as possible of our estate. At the same time, we began reviewing all our application vendors to identify those that offered a cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) option. Real-time access to data is a powerful capability and cloud technology provides different ways to retrieve, manage, and search the data that applications stored in siloes in tin boxes of servers simply don’t. Fortunately, iManage Work was already a proven solution in the cloud, and with the DMS being a business-critical application for our firm, we decided to move forward with its transition to the cloud first, using the SaaS version. In fact, iManage Work in the cloud complemented our IT modernization journey.”
Finding the right partner
MHA Tait Walker’s partnership with Ascertus Limited dates back over a decade to when the firm first deployed iManage Work on-premises. Ascertus was an obvious choice as the implementation partner for the firm’s move to the iManage cloud.
Ascertus undertook a thorough review of the firm’s data in iManage Work that comprised 10s of millions of files spanning a number of years. This process included revisiting the data structure in the on-premises application as well as data cleansing to ensure that only the most accurate, current, and relevant data was migrated to the cloud. Key to the data migration process was ensuring that the on- premises and cloud versions of the data were identical and synced, so that on go-live, MHA Tait Walker could confidently turn off the on-premises application.
Safer in the cloud, no matter where you are
Security of MHA Tait Walker’s data is significantly enhanced in the cloud. iManage Cloud has layered on two-factor authentication, in addition to all the intrinsic data security safeguards that the application provides.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, everyone at MHA Tait Walker had secure, 24x7 access to the data in iManage Work. Professionals worked just as efficiently from home during that period as they did prior to it in the office. As a client-centric business, the firm was able to continue to work as normal with clients throughout the various lockdowns without data sensitivity concerns.
Better client service through automation
The ability to drive automation in the business is a key component of MHA Tait Walker’s strategic objectives. Customers are demanding a new way of working from professional services firms and MHA Tait Walker is actively exploring how the organization can better service their clients. iManage Work in the cloud serves as the foundation for a lot of this activity.
The firm is provisioning self-service options for customers. To this end, Ascertus has implemented iManage Share, a solution that facilitates collaboration and content sharing with both internal and external shareholders, at MHA Tait Walker. The firm is now independently building a series of new automations (for internal users and clients) that integrate with iManage Work for data storage, Office 365, and iManage Share so that clients can upload their documents as well as view the status of their projects.
Brown concludes, “iManage Work in the cloud has been revolutionary. It’s driving business efficiency, but also helping us to be at the forefront of business change so that we are able to offer innovative services that meet the continually changing demands of our clients. We have exciting times ahead of us.”