Perhaps ‘We won’t make a drama out of a crisis’ should be the slogan of Cornerstone Business Solutions. Such has been their success in helping clients’ smooth transitions to a ‘new normal’ since the pandemic first hit back in March.
A perfect example is Jacksons Law Firm.
Cornerstone has provided a detailed IT service to Jacksons for four years…however, it was the hectic few weeks of the first lockdown that truly cemented their relationship.
Toby Joel, Jacksons’ partner and head of dispute resolution and debt recovery, is also the firm’s IT partner. He has nothing but praise for Cornerstone’s handling of their call to action when the government announced that people should work from home if possible.
“We knew in advance that the lockdown was coming and that we would have to close the office doors and work from home,” recalls Toby. “However, it was essential we continued to provide our clients with the high standard of service they are used to, pandemic or no pandemic.
“It was key that we retained the same connectivity and full functionality of our IT systems. Our staff had to be set up to work from home remotely and continue to work in the same way they do when working in the office.
“The week before the first lockdown, Cornerstone’s engineers were in our office working on our laptops and PCs to prepare them for homeworking. Once they set everything up from the homes of our staff, we were good to go.”
Cornerstone’s engineers were available remotely to help with day-to-day IT issues.
“I have to admit, before lockdown, I wasn’t confident it would all work out,” he adds. “However, the team at Cornerstone guided us through the whole process – and it worked much better than I anticipated.
“Of course, we had some technical issues during lockdown, but they were resolved quickly and efficiently.
“I’ve dealt with Cornerstone for the past four years and they’re a professional, forward thinking business.
“We are lawyers, not IT technicians, but with Cornerstone on hand, we can concentrate on what we do best, with the reassurance that their IT experts are on hand whenever we need them.”
In preparation for homeworking, for around 80 Jacksons staff who are usually based either at the firm’s Teesside or Newcastle offices, Jacksons purchased the required hardware, including new laptops, monitors and wi-fi dongles from Cornerstone.
All staff also needed remote access software to enable them to log onto Jacksons’ network, retrieve files and utilise case management systems. Cornerstone’s solution was to provide remote desktop protocol (RDP), an office-based server that acts like a second desktop when staff log in.
Cornerstone director Chris Bibby recalls: “When lockdown became inevitable, Jacksons was the first client to get in touch and ask us to prepare them for working from home. They were the first of many in what was one of the busiest periods in our history.
“They wanted to leave their busy offices and switch to working from home within a very short space of time, naturally with the minimum of interruption to their business.
“They ordered laptops en masse and we had to get them configured and ready to use urgently. We pride ourselves on being able to meet customer demand and that’s what we did.
“It has worked brilliantly. They can do everything from home now so I imagine they’ll adapt elements of what we’ve put in place going forward, regardless of lockdowns and restrictions.”
In a further demonstration of the strong relationship between the two firms, Cornerstone Marketing Solutions, sister firm to Cornerstone Business Solutions, is developing a cyber security video to guide and inform all staff, particularly new staff, about the dangers of cyber-crime. It’s an idea Cornerstone plans to roll out to other clients.
Chris adds “We have worked with Jacksons as they’ve grown, recruited, moved offices, upgraded case management systems and moved to a home working situation. I think the key is that they really get what we do.”