Fastcase provides industry-leading tools for online legal research. Based in Washington, D.C., and with an office in China, Fastcase provides research software to help lawyers, law firms and bar associations across the United States access the entire American law library online. Millions of cases, legal briefs and regulations are made available at a fraction of the cost of other legal resources.
The company, which was founded by lawyers in 1999, helps guide law professionals with legal research, real-time assistance from reference attorneys and training resources.
Although in business since 1999, Fastcase’s quick, organic growth left the company still operating under its start-up structure 18 years later in 2017. As employees focused on building Fastcase’s stellar reputation as the cutting-edge leader in online legal research, its infrastructure suffered from neglect and needed improvement to keep up with its growing staff and client demand.
When Tenzing Bhutia came on board as Fastcase’s controller in July 2017, he was surprised when it took a week to get a functional computer with all the requisite software, licenses and credentials necessary to do his job. With a degree in information technology and over nine years’ experience as the Controller at managed services provider Nortec Communications, Bhutia saw this as a by-product of Fastcase not having a dedicated IT support team – something that they desperately needed to support their continued growth.
Bhutia discovered Fastcase’s IT infrastructure was a hodge-podge of solutions cobbled together to get the company by, rather than an efficient IT network designed to maximize the company’s efficiency and productivity. System components were non-standard and out-of-date. Employees were working on a variety of different computers – Dells, HPs, Microsoft Surfaces – whatever they personally chose when they were hired. When IT problems occurred, employees sometimes waited for days before the problem was fixed. To fix IT problems, Fastcase’s software developers were pulled away from revenue-generating development projects to solve printer problems, malfunctioning software and forgotten passwords.
It was natural for Bhutia to turn to his former employer, Nortec Communications, to help bring Fastcase’s IT environment up to industry standards and, most importantly, to facilitate the company’s highly productive employees to navigate its current and future growth with secure effective apps, devices and IT practices. He knew firsthand that Nortec’s commitment to staying up-to-date on the latest technology solutions and their passion for customer service and satisfaction would be a great match with Fastcase’s culture.
To meet Fastcase’s needs, Nortec used scalable, cost-effective solutions like:
- Nortec systematically audited Fastcase’s entire network, documenting Fastcase’s infrastructure, including a complete inventory of equipment and IT solutions, along with information about who has access to what and security measures in place.
- Fastcase employees, in D.C. and in China, have access to Nortec’s complete managed desktop support. Nortec responds within one to two hours, keeping employees productive and reducing downtime. And, with one price per user per month, Fastcase no longer has surprises with their IT costs.
- Fastcase’s existing security solutions weren’t configured correctly to accommodate their employees’ need to work globally and remotely. Nortec configured secure VPN solutions that resolved the company’s need to have it’s 100 China-based workers securely share files without worrying about data loss.
Together, Bhutia and Nortec have mapped out an IT plan for phasing in solutions that will continue to help Fastcase meet its rapidly increasing demand and its need for lower overhead. The plan includes:
- Migrating to Office 365 to ensure licensing, support and upgrades are always current.
- Optimizing One Drive use and training all employees to save there instead of to local computer hard drives.
- Implementing “corporate golden imaging” so all machines are uniformly configured according to job role. This means new employees will receive a fully functional workstation on Day 1, instead of waiting a week to get started.
Since Nortec started supporting Fastcase, Fastcase’s software development team has regained the 25% of their time that was being spent on in-house IT issues. They now use that time to focus on developing products and meeting client needs.
In the first six months of working together, help desk calls dropped dramatically by around 90% as Nortec quickly resolves problems and educates users to manage minor IT snags. The overall effect for Fastcase is a happier, more productive team.
As for Bhutia, when he first started at Fastcase, he was elbow deep in Controller duties and sorting out the company’s immediate IT concerns. Now? He’s recently returned from a worry-free two-week vacation out of the country, knowing Fastcase’s IT was in safe hands with Nortec.
“Employee satisfaction and retention are high, and, we feel information is more secure. With Nortec, we know we have a long-term relationship. They continue to work with us to identify technology priorities and help us make the right decisions to sustain our rapid growth.” – Tenzing Bhutia