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Customer Stories

Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler LLP launches cloud-first strategy with iManage Work 10

Small but mighty law firm improves performance, security, and accessibility of business-critical data


North Carolina, US




iManage Work 10 in the Cloud


  • Fast, secure, anywhere access
  • Cloud-enabled capabilities 
  • Reduced hardware investment
  • 24/7 security and monitoring 
  • Staff doing higher-value tasks 
  • Future-ready environment 

Based in High Point, North Carolina, Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler LLP has a community-focused team of 17 attorneys. To provide the best legal advice to clients, the firm is organized into practice teams across business law, general litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate law.

The business challenge

Document management is at the heart of everything the firm does, so when they launched their cloud-first strategy, they started with iManage. The IT Manager, Tom Esker, a one-man IT team, presented his business case to the technology and management committees to get the necessary approvals to proceed with the project.

“I explained that adopting iManage in the Cloud was a great opportunity for us,” said Esker. “We’d have access to documents from anywhere, even if the power went down at the office. And with iManage responsible for uptime, security, and maintenance, we’d have a more secure environment. I’d be free to focus on other tasks.”

Esker also performed a cost analysis for the committee. He calculated the cost per user for the firm to upgrade to Work 10 on premises and compared it to iManage Work 10 in the Cloud over a five-year period.

“iManage in the Cloud is more expensive up front but a better long-term investment,” Esker remarked. “Not only would we be getting the benefits I outlined previously, but also the associated cost reductions as well as my time and effort.”


Pretty much everyone thinks iManage Work 10 is better than the previous solution. That’s huge when you consider how much resistance IT teams usually face when they introduce a new system.

Tom Esker, IT manager, Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler 

The solution

A phased integration

The firm recognized that moving to the cloud would unlock the best possible performance, with fewer system issues, less downtime, and automatic updates to the latest version of iManage. All data in the cloud is encrypted, and iManage performs regular third-party penetration tests to assure clients that their data is safe. The cloud environment is also monitored 24/7 to detect threats.

Having convinced the management committee that migrating to cloud was a better strategic decision than remaining on premises, Esker partnered with a systems integrator to kick off the project. To keep integration costs low, he cleaned up their data in-house and ran the training sessions himself.

Together, they migrated the back end from on-prem to iManage Cloud while employees continued to work in FileSite. When everything was working well, they rolled out iManage Work 10 on the client side and switched staff over to the new interface. This worked well in a small firm, but Esker would advise companies with the budget and scale to partner with a systems integrator and complete the migration in one phase with formal staff training.

“It was important to keep my colleagues informed at every step, so they knew when change was coming in the next six months and what it meant for them,” says Esker. “People don’t like change, and they couldn’t understand why they needed to move to something else. I explained they’d not only see increased efficiency but pain points such as lagging in Microsoft Outlook would be eliminated.”


Person IT team


Month phase-in


Security monitoring

Tried and tested by colleagues

To make sure he could support employees throughout the adoption phase, Esker learned the platform inside out. By immersing himself in the latest version of iManage, he was ready to answer any queries that staff had and provide reassurance that he’d tested the
system himself.

“We initially onboarded three tech-savvy paralegals, then gradually rolled iManage out to more people. Peer learning is hugely powerful, and knowing there was someone a few desks down who could provide a quick response if they got stuck was really helpful to streamline user adoption,” Esker revealed.

Business outcomes

As Esker predicted, when employees began using iManage Work 10 they were impressed with the improved performance and consumer-like search capabilities that made finding relevant documents quicker and easier. They also praised the personalization and “favorites” feature, which meant they could carry on working on frequently used files when they logged in.

“Pretty much everyone thinks iManage Work 10 is better than the previous solution. That’s huge when you consider how much resistance IT teams usually face when they introduce a new system,” said Esker. “Our real estate team have their own system so they don’t use iManage much, but even they were blown away by the improvement they saw.”

As for issues around downtime, shortly after moving to the cloud the firm was hit by an outage that took its storage area network (SAN) offline for half a day. Previously, this would have caused a major disruption to the workday, but with iManage Work 10 in the Cloud, employees didn’t miss a beat and carried on working with their documents until the issue was resolved.

Looking ahead

In the future, the firm plans to use iManage Share to simplify collaboration with third parties, but for now, it has secure, accessible document management that is highly available and future-ready.

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