Project Description

EXTREME NETWORKS & AEROHIVE

Clarke Willmott Simplifies and Secures Their Network and Gains Valuable Insights

26 February 2019

The Organisation

Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with seven offices around the UK. Known for its genuine client relationships and detailed industry knowledge, the firm has seen significant growth over recent years, employing over 650 staff. Clarke Willmott offers expert advice and support on a broad range of legal services to individuals and businesses, with a focus on the most involved and complex matters. This encompasses a variety of sectors, from Agriculture, Education and Public Sector through to Banking, Nuclear Energy and Technology.

The Challenge

The challenges facing Clarke Willmott LLP and its wireless infrastructure were split into a few key areas, namely meeting the high standards required of a respected law firm and ensuring that a system meeting these requirements was easy to manage.

Security was a central concern, due to the confidential nature of the work which Clarke Willmott carries out. This meant ensuring that all network traffic was secured, easily segregated and managed from a centralised point.

It was vitally important that clients visiting Clarke Willmott’s offices be able to gain access to guest wireless internet, in a simple and professional manner. However, this guest traffic needed to be kept secure and segregated to ensure the highest security standards. Network administrators needed to be able to set clear policies for different user profiles.

“Our clients expect a high standard of professionalism and customer service at all times, and that extends to their experience of internet access on-site too. We needed to introduce a Wi-Fi system that made that as easy as possible while giving us the tools to ensure the highest standards of network security.”

 

Jon Whiteman, IT Infrastructure and Applications Manager, Clarke Willmott

The Solution

Extreme’s deployment partner Appurity began the initial work by making a proposal to Clarke Willmott LLP, which promised a swift and simple deployment. “We knew that minimising disruption and ensuring there was no downtime was an essential part of the proposal, and we were confident we could do it without much cost to the firm,” commented Steve Whiter, Director, Appurity.

After undertaking site surveys and building up a detailed plan of the hardware requirements of the offices, the first step of the deployment was a proof of concept, with 10 AP250 access points installed in one of the offices. This was soon expanded to over 30 access points across all seven offices. Once the planning, configuration, initial policies and SSIDs were set up, deployment partner Appurity was able to complete the integration and rollout in a short period of time, keeping office disruption to a minimum and ensuring a clean handover to the new system.

The quality of Extreme’s devices ensures consistent coverage in the building and fewer APs required for the same number of devices. This creates a better user experience for Clarke Willmott’s staff as they take their laptops to different parts of the building to work.

“After a trial of the technology, and learning more about Extreme’s full networking offering, Clarke Willmott LLP  chose Extreme because of the insight it gave us into the network, the ease of deployment, and its compatibility with every part of our network,” said Whiteman.

The introduction of a VPN Gateway Virtual Appliance (VGVA) simplified remote access and network routing. This opened up previously inaccessible parts of the network to remote workers, ensuring that employees could remain connected wherever they decided to work from.

The Result

With the new network in place, Clarke Willmott LLP enjoys persistent, secure Wi-Fi which is easily managed from a centralised cloud platform. Guests can be segmented differently on the network, assigned specific policies, and are able to access the sites and documents they need, using the applications they need to work efficiently.

Security is greatly improved, highlighting Clarke Willmott’s commitment to high standards of confidentiality and compliance. WPA2 enterprise-grade Wi-Fi security ensures the encryption of all data being exchanged on the network, whether guest or corporate traffic. Guest traffic is now easily segmented, with visitors to any of the Clarke Willmott offices able to easily gain network access through a captive portal.

Reflecting Appurity’s specialism in mobile application integrations with Wi-Fi, key pieces of software used by Clarke Willmott, such as Blackberry UEM and iManage, were integrated and compatible with the deployed Extreme solution. Management and maintenance of the system has also been simplified and strengthened. In contrast to the previous issues with downtime and inflexibility, the new system is easy to manage, always on, and provides insight into the health of the network across all offices.

Supporting the evolution in the ways employees work, the new access points provided stronger Wi-Fi signal in every part of the office, cutting out coverage dead zones and enabling more agile collaborative ways of working.

All of this made for enthusiastic feedback within the business from staff and senior management alike. “It’s been great discussing the ease of deployment and the results internally,” commented Jon Whiteman. “Senior management wants the IT in the business to be consistent and reliable, so we know what we are going to get every time and find it easy to maintain. That’s exactly what we got.”

“Since we started working with Extreme, we have seen a marked improvement in network stability and the system is considerably easier to manage. In short, it’s a simple to use system which enhances our professional reputation among our clients.”

Jon Whiteman, IT Infrastructure and Applications Manager, Clarke Willmott

Technologies used

Since 1996, Extreme has been pushing the boundaries of networking technology, driven by a vision of making it simpler and faster as well as more agile and secure. Their higher purpose has always been helping our customers connect beyond the network… strengthening their relationships with those they serve.

Aerohive helps IT radically simplify wireless and wired access with Cloud Networking. Their technology is sophisticated yet straightforward, and offers unrivalled choice and flexibility, and continually solves real world problems with continuous innovations.

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Clarke Willmott Simplifies and Secures Their Network

With the new network in place, Clarke Willmott LLP enjoys persistent, secure Wi-Fi which is easily managed from a centralised cloud platform.

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Appurity are BlackBerry Platinum Partners, specialising in cross-platform mobility. As an iManage Technology Partner, Appurity Connect have developed two applications that integrate the iManage Work when on mobile – Rubus is the only app that supports iManage on Android.

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