After reviewing the competition, Fowler Bell PLLC chooses Intermedia


Fowler Bell PLLC is a law firm based in Lexington, Kentucky, the “horse capital of the world.” In 2009, the firm concluded that their 13 on-premise rack-mounted servers were too many for just 50 people. After moving their documentation management system (DMS) into the cloud, they decided to put even more on-site servers out to pasture—starting with Exchange.

Fowler Bell PLLC

Company Profile:
Fowler Bell PLLC is a law firm based in Lexington, Kentucky, the “horse capital of the world.”

Industry: Legal Services

Headquarters: Lexington, Kentucky

Intermedia’s customer since: 2012

The Challenge

Like all law firms, Fowler Bell prioritizes stability and consistency above all. In order to successfully move Exchange into the cloud, four key requirements had to be met:

  • Seamless integration with NetDocuments for retrieving and archiving documents that pass through email
  • Migration without disruption to their increasingly mobile (and increasingly global) workforce
  • Users kept within their Outlook comfort zone
  • Existing systems, such as their accounting system, could not be disrupted

With those requirements in mind, Fowler Bell’s technology committee began evaluating their options: Google Apps, Office 365, and Intermedia.

The Solution

Fowler Bell was initially impressed with Google’s email management, social collaboration tools and mobility features. But two roadblocks were insurmountable: first, Google Apps couldn’t integrate with their accounting system. And second, Google couldn’t provide transparency as to where their data actually resided—which was unacceptable to a law firm whose very existence depends on data integrity and control.

“Different security clearances exist based on the country or region where that data is stored,” said Steve White, Fowler Bell’s Technical Systems Manager. “We just couldn’t put our clients’ data at risk.”

So they turned to Microsoft’s Office 365. With Office 365, they could continue using familiar applications like Outlook. But NetDocuments integration was spotty, even with many add-ons and third-party apps. What’s more, Office 365 offered very limited migration and support services. And that introduced too many compromises and uncertainties for a firm that places such emphasis on continuity of operations.

Finally, Fowler Bell turned to Intermedia. Intermedia quickly demonstrated that they could meet their four key requirements:

  • Intermedia offered seamless integration with NetDocuments through a partnership with Mimecast
  • Intermedia’s Cloud Concierge team could perform end-to-end migration with no disruption to email continuity
  • Users could continue using Microsoft Outlook
  • None of Fowler Bell’s other systems would be disrupted, including native software applications

With a decade of cloud experience, Intermedia also offered a number of other services that helped make Fowler Bell’s decision easy. These included hosted Microsoft Lync and SharePoint for rich online collaboration, a highly available and secure environment, and—perhaps most importantly—transparency into and control over the location of their data.

“I can safely tell our attorneys our data is stored in a very secure environment,” said Steve White, “and that it’s supported by a technical staff that delivers more on reliability, security and storage than I, by myself, could ever provide.”

I can safely tell our attorneys our data is stored in a very secure environment and that it's supported.

STEVE WHITE, Technical Systems Manager, Fowler Bell PLLC,

Products They Use

The Results

With Intermedia, Fowler Bell kept the costs of change management to a minimum. Steve White outlines a host of other benefits they’ve seen from Intermedia:

White estimates that Fowler Bell has saved between 40%-50% since migrating to Intermedia’s services. “Now I can focus my time and resources on projects and issues that are more core to our business,” says White, “rather than maintaining Exchange servers in a closet.”

So what’s next for Fowler Bell? Well, in their quest to eliminate even more on-premises hardware, they’re targeting their on-site Cisco VoIP system with expensive yearly service contracts—and evaluating Intermedia’s Cloud PBX cloud voice solution. Which means that even more of their on-premises hardware may soon ride off into the sunset.

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