Business Challenge

The law firm needed to overcome the challenges of collecting and sharing large volumes of sensitive files stored around the world. Existing tools proved to be slow and unreliable when transferring data across geographies, resulting in missed deadlines for eDiscovery and litigation support.

Transformation

The law firm deployed IBM Aspera High-speed Transfer Server and IBM Aspera Shares to provide secure, high-speed file sending and sharing across the firms 1,000+ global employees. Case teams can now easily collect gigabytes of files from anywhere in the world and securely share with team members at high-speed.

Results

Over 140x faster transfer speeds

Reduced global file transfers from days or hours to minutes, making it possible to meet strict eDiscovery deadlines

Strong security and compliance

Aspera’s native integration with their existing system protects highly sensitive client data while helping to meet strict compliance requirements

Robust management capabilities

Real time transfer controls and reporting from within the software allowing teams to maximize transfer speed without impeding the network

Business Challenge Story

Overcoming data transfer delays to meet all mandated timelines

For each client the firm assembles a core case team consisting of paralegals, legal associates, technology advisors and attorneys. These global teams work together to collect, process, review and preserve electronically stored information (ESI) pertinent to the client’s case.

ESI is collected at any one of the firm’s 12 offices depending on the location of the client and uploaded to their central Dell EMC Isilon storage in New York. Case teams need to frequently access these files to make progress on time sensitive matters. Individual data sets can reach three to four gigabytes in size with most teams collecting and reviewing multiple sets of data for each case. Data volumes for an individual client matter can quickly add up.

Historically, the firm utilized Robocopy and native Windows File Sharing over a VPN internet connection to share case data between offices and central data storage in New York. Teams accessing multi-gigabyte files over high latency global networks experienced long delays. At the worst, it could take an entire week to move critical ESI from a client site to a local office and finally, to a reviewing associate in another time zone. Court related matters follow strict mandated timelines. Waiting a week for critical ESI to arrive was simply not an option.

Transformation Story

The only solution that met all its data transfer requirements

After considering a number of solutions, the firm determined IBM Aspera was the only offering capable of meeting all of its needs. IBM Aspera High-speed Transfer Server with IBM Aspera Shares software were deployed on an existing Windows host in the New York datacentre with a connection to the Isilon storage. Aspera High-speed Transfer Server enables high-speed global data transfers in and out of the central datacentre with Aspera Shares providing a user-friendly web client for teams to quickly and securely share files. All of this was achieved without additional hardware.

The firm also chose to deploy IBM Aspera Console for full transfer logging, reporting and control. Not only does this help administrators manage the full transfer environment, but it also provides detailed logging needed for compliance reporting. 

IBM Aspera’s native integration with Microsoft Active Directory enabled the firm to retain its existing user management platform making it easy to securely onboard, credential and manage large groups of users. New associates are added to case team groups through Active Directory. Aspera Shares then grants or removes access to case team files automatically, without any administrative effort. Coupled with robust data encryption in transit and at rest, Aspera provided the firm with an all-in-one security offering, a standout among the competition.

Rounding out the solution was Aspera’s built-in Virtual Link (Vlink) bandwidth management capability. Bandwidth across the offices varied between 10Mbps to 1Gbps. The Vlink feature enabled IT to easily create office specific bandwidth policies from within the software. Seven Aspera Vlinks were deployed with IP-based bandwidth rules across 18 managed subnets allowing each office to maximize their transfer speeds without congesting the network. This granular control was key to preserving network performance.

Results Story

Remarkable turnaround times in collecting & processing ESI

With IBM Aspera high-speed transfer software, the firm can now move a 3GB file from the US to Japan in under 15 minutes compared to previous tools that took up to 36 hours. This represents a 144% improvement in transfer speeds over global internet connections. Additionally, software defined bandwidth controls using Aspera’s Vlink technology ensures the fastest possible transfer speeds while protecting the network from saturation. The Aspera solution has significantly reduced turnaround times for collecting and processing large amounts of ESI. 

From a user experience perspective, Aspera Shares provides case teams with an intuitive and easy-to-use web-based file sharing experience. This is important given the diverse range of technical expertise among the end users. Automated email notifications alert teams when new files have arrived further streamlining collaboration.

Aspera’s software-based solution was easy for IT to deploy and integrate with existing platforms including Active Directory. The integrated user management saves IT and users the time and effort associated with managing a separate set of credentials. The combination of Aspera’s robust encryption, transfer reporting and integration with existing user management platforms, helps protect the firm’s sensitive client data and ensures compliance requirements are met.

About A Global Law Firm

A large multinational legal organization.

Solution Components

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