Cloud Managed Service Drives
Continuous Improvement of Case Management System
The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) for England and Wales is the independent and impartial body responsible for handling legal complaints received from the general public. The Legal Ombudsman was set up as a result of the Legal Services ACT 2007 and took over from the Legal Complaints Services and other legal complaint-handling bodies.
In early 2016, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO), an agency of the Ministry of Justice, tendered for a dedicated Managed Service to support, maintain and further enhance its existing electronic case management system (CMS) which had been implemented by a third party in 2015.
The Customer's Challenge
LeO provides a national function across the UK under its statutory powers to provide an independent, impartial, ‘single point of entry’ Ombudsman scheme for complaints from consumers of regulated legal services. It is a high profile public body dealing with over 8,000 complex cases per annum and attracting national attention as a result of its responsibilities.
The CMS used by the Legal Ombudsman is the organisation’s core IT system used by all staff, and it based on a number of Microsoft technologies, namely MS CRM and SharePoint, and is hosted on Azure. It underpins the LeO operation and its availability and correct functioning are essential for the everyday running of the LeO statutory function to receive, manage and process complaints and investigations regarding legal service provision.
Smooth Transition Process
The Case Management System was built in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with SharePoint acting as its underlying document repository. 3rd party add-ons provided enhanced functionality in areas such as document templates and document collation. The environment is hosted in Microsoft Azure.
The system uses out of the box functionality from Dynamics CRM and SharePoint, however a significant levels of bespoke code specific to the Ombudsman processes are embedded further extending the functionality and system complexity.
As part of Version 1’s ISO 20000-approved IT Service Management processes, LeO followed the tried-and-tested transition process to ensure smooth handover from the incumbent to our CRM & SharePoint Managed Service team in the space of 10 weeks (from initial engagement to full Version 1 support).
This process included the appointment of a dedicated Transition Manager, creation of transition plan, knowledge sharing sessions, and shadowing before commencement of the Managed Service.
Continual Service Improvement
In parallel to the transition process, the Version 1 team worked to identify recommendations in keeping with our commitment to Continual Service Improvement. A member of its Service Delivery and Consulting team coordinated our Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, SQL Server and Azure resources to provide a comprehensive roadmap setting out a series of recommendations covering:
- Stabilisation measures
- System improvements
- Strategic initiatives
- Critical stabilisation measures were prioritised to mitigate risks identified.
The team also successfully upgraded the solution from CRM Online 2015 to 2016 within a very challenging timeframe. This required comprehensive planning and testing to take into account the system’s many nuances. Version 1 are working with LeO’s infrastructure service provider on an ongoing basis to ensure that their environment fully meets their requirements.
Document Management Capabilities and Infrastructure Improvements
In addition to the CMS, we also support the document management capabilities for LeO. They are currently a paper free organisation. All inbound and outbound documents related to casework are processed and digitised by a third party and integrated into its electronic case management system (Dynamics CRM / SharePoint) and allocated to the appropriate cases and files stores within the system (hosted in Azure). Version 1 is responsible for the support and maintenance of the CMS, including the interfaces to its digitising partner.
Other examples of improvements we have made during successful managed service for LeO include:
- Infrastructure enhancements: from the transition process health checks at LeO we identified changes to the infrastructure configuration improving application performance from the Case Management System
- As evidence of a “fix first, settle later” ethos, we recently resolved a P1 call due to a hardware issue from the Infrastructure supplier, even when the responsibility was diagnosed as the other supplier we worked jointly on the call until it was resolved.
Real Business Benefits Delivered
LeO are benefitting from a proactive Managed Service that is focused on ensuring LeO derive business value from their system and that their systems are robust and suited to their needs to support future growth.
System improvements and strategic initiatives provided LeO with a big picture view of where their solution needs to head in order to continue to meet their business requirements in the coming years.
Successful upgrade to CRM 2016 has resulted in the following benefits:
- Database server drive reconfiguration to improve performance
- SharePoint configuration changes to reduce volume of documents stored
- Proof-of-concept developed to reduce and stabilise size of SharePoint document libraries
- Reduced storage usage on CRM Online thereby preventing further cost increases
This example demonstrates not only our use of Microsoft technologies, including SharePoint, for case management and knowledge management, but also for a high profile, UK Government Ombudsman body.
We continue to provide successful managed service provision today and have recently received a further order from LeO to begin a business process redesign project through early 2017 moving onto a new system implementation planned for late 2017.