Compuware Corporation announced that Dickinson Wright, PLLC, implemented Compuware Vantage to ensure that the organization's most important technology assets perform well for its attorneys. Dickinson Wright, founded in 1878 in Detroit, employs more than 200 lawyers and offers comprehensive legal services to a broad range of clients.

Issues that impact the productivity of legal staff have a direct effect on any law firm's bottom line, especially when the issue involves a lawyer's most essential communication tools such as the telephone, e-mail or BlackBerry servers. Dickinson Wright implemented Compuware Vantage after encountering problems with a VoIP phone system upgrade. The firm was experiencing frequent outages of long distance and voicemail services, cutting vital lines of communication between lawyers and their clients.

"The first two months after we rolled the phones out were a very difficult, trying time," said Michael Kolb, CIO at Dickinson Wright. "We had nothing but trouble. I was getting 25-30 calls a day. Lawyers work all hours of the night. I was getting calls from all six of our offices late at night from the lawyers explaining that they couldn't make long distance calls."

Kolb and his staff discovered that the VoIP services were being stopped at the Dickinson Wright servers, causing long-distance and voicemail outages until the servers were restarted. Resolving the outages became a time-consuming, manual and overwhelming process for the IT organization.

In evaluating a solution, Kolb was impressed with the Compuware Vantage application service management suite. Once implemented, Compuware Vantage configured the system to reset phone services automatically after the detection of a service interruption.

"It's not a hunt-and-fix anymore," said Kolb. "Now we are notified when Compuware Vantage has made a proactive response to what needs to be done. It's like adding a full-time employee."

Compuware Vantage also made an immediate impact on Dickinson Wright's bottom line. Kolb estimates that the company realized a six-figure ROI by solving the VoIP problems and by allowing the lawyers to do their jobs without facing technology performance issues. Kolb says many of his IT colleagues in the legal profession face similar phone and communications issues that could be solved using Compuware Vantage. "If you talk to a lot of the law firms that are running VoIP phones, a lot of them aren't happy because they haven't identified the problem like we have with Compuware Vantage," he explained.

Dickinson Wright built on its success with Compuware Vantage by expanding the use of the suite to the pre-production environment. The firm uses Compuware Vantage's service assurance capabilities for performance testing on its document management system to ensure that new versions of the application meet service levels before they go live. Kolb and his staff also use Compuware Vantage to monitor the flow of data between the company's six offices, giving them the ability to see where bottlenecks are occurring and how they can be fixed. By giving Dickinson Wright's IT staff the visibility into where in the network problems take place, Compuware Vantage makes it easier and quicker to fix those problems.

Compuware Vantage also frees Kolb's staff from many mundane monitoring tasks, allowing his team to instead work on creating applications--like the 250 Lotus Notes applications they have written--that will help the company's lawyers be more productive and generate more revenue. "If we were monitoring things all the time, we would never have the time to grow the business from the technical side," Kolb said. "If you're in a fairly technical environment and you don't have any notification of the issues you potentially have, you're asking for trouble. Compuware Vantage allows us to do wonderful things in terms of monitoring business-critical applications."

Compuware Vantage is an application service management solution that helps IT organizations manage application performance from the perspective that matters most: that of the end-user. Vantage delivers the most robust end-user monitoring solution in the industry with integrated, end-to-end performance analysis. Its unique network insight from the application's view enables the deepest understanding of a transaction's performance for accurate, root-cause analysis. With Compuware Vantage, IT professionals can react proactively to changes in the production environment and resolve problems quickly before service levels degrade and the business is affected.

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