Piper Alderman Case Study

Piper Alderman is a commercial law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. We have 48 partners, around 150 lawyers and close to 300 staff in total. Our firm is committed to continual excellence in the practice of law, having been leading advisers to commercial interests across Australia for over 160 years. We have achieved our impressive growth by listening to our clients, responding to their needs and creating practical legal solutions. Piper Alderman is a single, united partnership dedicated to performing as a team and working together with our clients to achieve their business goals. As a genuinely national firm, we work with clients across all states and territories in Australia, as well as several international organisations.


Before Adaxes, we were managing Active Directory user accounts manually. Human Resources would fill in a form and submit to our Helpdesk area when there was a staff change. For a new user, Helpdesk would then create the user in Active Directory, create their mailbox in Exchange, Enable and configure the user in Lync, as well as working out all the business rules and applying the correct groups and extra fields based on job title, department, state and profit centre. This would leave room for inaccuracies and human error, which would cause rework as well as lessening the new user's experience. We have a lot of requirements and special rules to help the user's experience be as automated as possible from their perspective, while providing a secure environment for them to work in.


The New User process was the first target as it was the cause of some confusion and mistakes. Using Adaxes in a similar way to creating Outlook rules, we built up the required fields and automation of account creation based on our requirements. First, we worked out which fields needed to be manually specified. This included the new user's name, department, job title, office, phone numbers and manager. With just a small amount of information, we could apply a large amount of logic to the specific requirements of each user. Based on the user's Office field, we could perform many automated steps without any extra staff interaction. This included the creation of the user's home drive on their local server, the address fields of the user in Active Directory, the creation of their Exchange mailbox in the correct database and the creation of their Lync account again on the localised server of the user. This turned a 10 - 15 minute process into a 2 minute process. One of the extra benefits for Helpdesk creating a user through this new method was the instant display of the results once the creation was done. This would allow them to see if the user was created successfully on all systems, or if the process ran into any issues. Knowing what the process did and that it happened without error meant Helpdesk was able to confidently advise the company that the new user's account was ready to be used.


The New User process improvement was enough to sell us on the Adaxes solution, but there was a lot more we could use the product for. User deletion was the next logical step, and this was easier to do as we could copy the rules from a new user, and modify them to 'delete' certain things rather than 'create'. This again meant that Helpdesk could perform a complex task that was now automated, by clicking a few buttons. We also realised that we could give limited access to other staff members. We use Active Directory to keep records of details such as our Security Card numbers which tie into our Follow Me printing solution. If a staff member loses or forgets their security card, we used to follow a time consuming process to update the field and run a sync. Adaxes allowed us to create a custom web interface that let certain key users that were involved with Security Cards to both read the values of the field for users, and update them when required. This completely eliminated IT from unnecessarily being involved in the process, and gave instant results to the staff who needed it. Adaxes also keeps a log of all changes that occur which means we can go back and check what user made what change, but also if we want to add in an approval step before a request is actioned, it's an easy extra rule to add into any process.

Adam Fowler
IT Operations Manager

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