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Providing Critical Post-Implementation Support for a Law Firm’s Citrix Migration

Support Services |

Following a system-wide Citrix upgrade at a global law firm, TEKsystems provided critical post-implementation support for over 5,500 end users.

The client, a global law firm, specialises in transactional, regulatory and risk services. With more than 25 offices, as well as the ability to partner with local law firms, the client provides coverage across borders and in jurisdictions around the globe. TEKsystems has worked with the client since 2012.

As technology continues to evolve, every organization will need to upgrade an application or system to preserve or increase functionality and drive efficiencies. Migrations are challenging, and an implementation must be done strategically to mitigate the risk of system downtime, lost productivity, reputational damage, end-user dissatisfaction and cost to rebuild or repair. Adding to the complexity are the more recent trends of remote workforces, cloud-based platforms and reliance on mobile devices—all of which introduce greater opportunity for error or data compromise. As a result, some companies may choose to remain on an outdated program instead of upgrading, sacrificing potential benefits, including improved processes and streamlined efficiencies. However, with the right IT services partner and a solid implementation and post-implementation plan, a successful migration can be achieved within the desired timeline and budget.

Citrix, Windows 8, WinTel hardware, Apple hardware

The client previously migrated from traditional desktops to an early Citrix environment several years prior. In the current environment, each application was handled by Citrix individually. This led to inefficiencies and delays and caused significant problems. For example, the end users couldn’t move attachments from email to a filing system, nor could they use cut-and-paste functionality. With end users unable to perform basic everyday tasks, the client determined an entire upgrade was necessary. Since the client had a failed implementation in its past, they engaged a vendor to assist with the upgrade. The client set an aggressive five-month deadline for the migration and implementation across the organization.

Given the high stakes of the migration and the importance of end-user satisfaction and a successful implementation to the client’s business, the client also chose to engage a post-implementation support partner. This partner would be required to provide on-site support in 13 countries for more than 5,500 users, with a focus on identifying issues, reporting concerns to the upgrade vendor and providing end-user customer support. 

TEKsystems proposed a flexible solution, led by a dedicated delivery manager, to include out of hours and weekend support in order to accommodate the client’s schedule. Our team would work with the client’s upgrade vendor on the rollout strategy; some markets would undergo a group migration while some would receive a phased approach. Throughout the engagement, the TEKsystems support team would provide on-site, tailored support for each end user to ensure that the upgrade was effective.
TEKsystems was chosen to support the engagement due to our realistic proposal and adaptable approach.

We recruited and hired a team of 16 early life support engineers to conduct the post-implementation support assessments. TEKsystems’ consultants created tailored job descriptions and conducted thorough interviews to carefully screen candidates for the roles. Unique attributes of the candidate profile included:
  • The engineers had to have a customer service mentality and be able to accommodate end users’ varying technical backgrounds. Technical expertise was secondary to their interpersonal skills and cultural fit. 
  • Due to the nature of the client’s business, end-user schedules could change frequently and with little notice. The candidates needed to have great flexibility in their availability.
  • The engineers needed to be adaptable and able to work unconventional hours if needed, as after-hours support was a key component of the contract.
  • Many of the engineers had to be able to travel extensively; most were based in London but would be required to fly to client sites throughout EMEA or Asia-Pacific for on-site support. 
  • Per the terms of the agreement, the engineers supporting the client’s Germany offices had to be based in Germany and be fluent in German. These candidates were recruited directly by TEKsystems’ Frankfurt office.

Once the engineers were hired and onboarded, TEKsystems’ delivery manager soon realized that another role was needed to properly manage the scope of this assignment. We developed a job description and appointed a travel coordinator to oversee the logistics of this 13-country implementation, absolving the client of this cumbersome responsibility. In addition to handling the last-minute schedule changes, this role tracked and managed the engineers’ expenses, which ranged from high-dollar hotel costs to incidental parking meter fares. These expenses needed to be logged individually, and this dedicated resource kept the budget in order and the client’s auditor satisfied.    

While the initial project scope was based on core working hours, the team knew flexibility was important to the client. TEKsystems managed the engineers’ workload and expectations around the client’s availability. The upgrade partner scheduled group migrations for some markets, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, around Chinese New Year for minimal disruption, bringing all engineers in while the office was closed. Other offices adopted a phased migration, where the engineers met with each end user directly. TEKsystems remained in regular communication with the upgrade partner to proactively manage and resolve issues.

The result was an end-user approval rating of the new Citrix migration of 98 per cent. The migration completion milestone of more than 5,500 employees was achieved. The project was delivered on budget and all travel expenses were within 80 per cent of the original estimates. In addition, several commendations were issued to TEKsystems’ staff for their proactive and customer-focused support efforts.
  • Communication

Given the unique requirements of this project—travel, after-hours support, frequent schedule changes—TEKsystems’ team kept in regular, proactive communication with both the engineers and the client. We set expectations with the engineers on availability as often and as soon as possible, granting flex time and balancing workloads when possible to accommodate for the last-minute adjustments when we could. And since end-user adoption was important for project success, we stayed in continuous communication with the upgrade vendor to stay apprised of the rollout schedule, end-user availability and client viewpoint. We relied on strong relationships to share information across the project, mitigate roadblocks and focus on end-user satisfaction.

  • Travel coordinator

Between the client’s global footprint and the nature of the legal business, schedule changes were inevitable, and managing the travel budget was historically an area of frustration for both the client and its auditors. TEKsystems’ solution to hire a travel coordinator saved the client time and money, easing the administrative burden of a stressful process. As the client could identify areas of delay or potential overruns early, the travel coordinator also gave the client greater insight into the project’s progress and risk.

  • Engineer skill

Initially, the engineers were required to walk the floor post-migration and ensure that each end user understood the upgrade had occurred. In the event that the upgrade was not successful, the engineer would then report back that the upgrade needed to be reversed. However, once the TEKsystems engineers were in place, their expertise was such that they could provide additional value to the client. The engineers were able to identify errors in the rollout and propose fixes. This saved time and added extra value to the process, as an engineer was able to report the issue in a more sophisticated, accurate manner than the end user.

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals - while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.