“The combination of our local backup drives, cloud technology and SADA’s expertise allowed our business to be up and running in a short time.”
Nancy Rench, Paralegal, Acker & Whipple
Founded in 1979 in Los Angeles, Acker & Whipple Trial Lawyers provides high-quality, full-service legal representation in civil tort litigation. With deep expertise in the defense of liability claims, Acker & Whipple specializes in product liability, construction accident claims, trucking claims and other personal injury and property damage claims. It serves clients across the U.S. as well as Canada.
On the evening of August 20th, the Acker & Whipple office experienced an explosion in the basement of its high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles’ Financial District. Employees received a notification early the next morning that the building was inaccessible and any work would have to be completed remotely.
Acker & Whipple attorneys and secretaries, upon learning that their case files were unavailable due to the explosion, were very concerned with their ability to complete current cases and serve their clients without the data they had been collecting and analyzing. The business was currently leveraging Microsoft Exchange Online for email, with an on-premise file server and rotating pair of backup drives, which contained most of the files. However, Acker & Whipple needed a way to quickly make case files and online tools accessible to its attorneys and secretaries so that they could continue to work remotely on cases and move business forward.
Acker & Whipple, a longtime SADA Systems managed services customer, reached out to the SADA team that morning for strategic guidance on pursuing the best option for recovering the case files and making them accessible to their employees from anywhere. Acker & Whipple had been working with SADA for the past eight years, so SADA understood their environment and had long been its trusted IT consultant.
“We asked SADA how to proceed so that we could move forward with our cases,” said Nancy Rench, Paralegal at Acker & Whipple. SADA’s IT experts recommended that they bring the drive to SADA headquarters and quickly drafted a project agreement leveraging Microsoft’s cloud solution, Azure, to build an emergency Disaster Recovery solution for Acker & Whipple. The SADA team opted for Azure servers and remote desktop services to create the most user-friendly temporary environment possible so that Acker & Whipple employees could continue to access and work on their cases right away.
SADA Systems’ infrastructure team was able to quickly configure the backup environment and begin the process of uploading the case files from Acker & Whipple’s backup drive. The same day they were notified of the explosion, in just a couple of hours, SADA had built the entire framework which would allow Acker & Whipple to continue business as usual working from home. The infrastructure team created an Azure tenancy, established a virtual network, built two Azure servers, created user accounts, installed Microsoft Office so that Acker & Whipple employees would be able to access files, and began uploading all the working case data to Microsoft Azure.
By Monday morning, all the data was uploaded and accessible remotely so that Acker & Whipple’s attorneys could continue their cases working from home. “By Monday, SADA had given us our login credentials, and we were able to access our files in the cloud,” said Rench.
Results and Benefits
“Without SADA we would have had to reach out to someone who could do this for us,” added Rench, “Especially considering the chaos our environment was in, we were glad to have an established relationship with SADA – they were familiar with our environment and got us up and running in just one weekend.” The fast turnaround is a tribute to the value of cloud technology combined with the importance of setting up a strong business continuity framework with Disaster Recovery measures to ensure that organizations are always prepared for the unexpected. “The combination of our local backup drives, cloud technology, and SADA’s expertise allowed our business to be up and running in a short time,” said Rench.
For Acker & Whipple’s attorneys, it was vitally important to have access to the case files so that they could move forward with their cases. In the same way, secretaries had access to the cases so that they could provide the legal assistance necessary to support current projects. Rench added, “SADA had the skill and expertise to know what to do to enable our team to move forward with cases and continue serving our clients.” Both SADA’s infrastructure and Enterprise Support Services teams continued to work with Acker & Whipple to provide ongoing support and establish a new working environment.