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CITY firm Hobson Audley has invested u200,000 in replacing its existing Wang OIS word-processing system with a PC networking system from supplier Pilgrim.
The firm opted for a network system based on Novell Netware with 40 Digital PCs running Microsoft Windows, Word and Laserforms. This system is based on two identical, mirrored servers, allowing multi-user access and resilience.
Users of the network can also access a scanner, printers and send faxes directly from their work-stations.
Senior corporate partner Max Audley says they were looking for a system compatible with their existing set-up and which was simple enough for all their lawyers to use. David Sanders of Pilgrim says: "The advantage for fee-earners is its simplicity and functionality, with its graphical user interface and the ability to mix and match applications on the screen, such as word-processing and spreadsheets."
The result is that every fee-earner at Hobson Audley has a PC and, says Audley, is encouraged to use it. The firm's system was converted to the network system from a central mini-computer system because they were attracted by the ease of access to the network, and the advantages of increased efficiency, productivity and shorter staff learning times.
Audley is enthusiastic about facilities such as document management and the capability of working from home using fast modems. "It was clear to us that PC networking was the way of the future."
He says the transition was eased by the training provided by the supplier and confirms the firm is considering expanding the network system to encompass other areas of the firm's practice.