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Dykema tackles external collaboration with LoopUp conferencing SaaS

THIS REPORT IS DEVELOPED AND AS PROVIDED BY 451 RESEARCH, LLC.

We examine how Dykema, a law firm in Detroit, deployed LoopUp for internal and external collaboration and how its differentiated approach makes the conference call and remote meeting SaaS provider a good fit for the firm’s requirements to provide a reliable, positive end-user experience.

Introduction

The business communications and collaboration market has become intensely competitive, with emerging SaaS providers disrupting the space and incumbents taking the offensive, highlighting the benefits of unified product suites. There is also a growing overlap between product categories, including unified communications and audio and video conferencing. This paints a fragmented landscape, making it difficult for vendors to differentiate and for organizations to evaluate technologies. LoopUp, which offers conference call and remote meeting SaaS, aims to differentiate by taking the pain out of conference calls and offering powerful collaborative features while still using traditional telephony. We look at how its differentiated approach helped Dykema, a law firm based in Detroit, to enable a reliable, positive end-user experience for internal and external collaboration.

451 Take

Dykema faced challenges that should be familiar to companies of all sizes across different verticals that rely on conferencing for internal and external collaboration, including service reliability and a cumbersome interface that requires users to dial in using complex access codes. However, professional services organizations have unique requirements that differ from organizations where collaboration technologies are mostly used for internal use cases. Its deployment at Dykema highlights how LoopUp’s approach, which combines security and reliability with an easy-to-use interface, translates into product attributes that can address the specific requirements of organizations where external collaboration is mission-critical.

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Early adopter snapshot

Founded in 1926, Dykema is a law firm headquartered in Detroit, with 13 offices in the US. The firm serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of legal issues. Its workforce comprises approximately 825 employees; of these, 375 are attorneys and the rest are administration staff, including HR, accounting, executive-level management, IT, executive assistants and paralegals. The firm’s IT staff includes 34 employees, with six of them responsible for business applications.

Key challenges

Dissatisfaction with its previous audio conferencing provider led Dykema to deploy LoopUp nearly two years ago. The firm was using GlobalMeet for Legal (formerly Soundpath Legal), a conferencing and billing software targeting law firms. The single most important criterion for Dykema in selecting a new provider was reliability. The firm faced performance issues with its previous provider, and users frequently reported dropped calls, interference and problems connecting to the service.

Dykema relies on audio conferencing for its employees’ day-to-day work activities. It is used primarily for client interactions with the firm’s lawyers, as well as for internal collaboration. Lawyers at Dykema hold regular conversations with their clients, and conferencing is their primary communication tool. As a firm delivering professional services that bills on an hourly rate, users could not afford to waste time on dropped calls and trying to reconnect. Another reported challenge involved a cumbersome user interface that required users to enter a long string of digits for the conference ID and password.

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Deployment summary

Dykema was looking for a reliable audio conferencing solution that provided a better user experience. After a trial to gather feedback from early users, LoopUp was selected. LoopUp differentiates based on its product strategy, which centers on helping users tackle everyday challenges with remote meetings by combining simplicity and audio reliability with powerful collaborative features and a streamlined interface that is easy to use.

The company recently announced a new video conferencing feature that expands and complements its SaaS offering with unique audio-first capabilities. Unlike other video conferencing solutions, LoopUp separates the audio and video media streams to ensure that the quality and reliability of the audio is not compromised by poor web connectivity. LoopUp audio is carried over Tier 1 networks with managed quality of service, while video is streamed over a separate IP path. The service does not require any downloads and is available for regular mainstream PC and tablet browsers via WebRTC technology.

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Outcome

While reliability was a top priority for its evaluation process, a key benefit that Dykema discovered along the way was LoopUp’s streamlined, easy-to-use interface. The platform’s interface provides the ability for users to click a link to join their meetings and have the system call their phone number, which makes joining meetings much easier since it does not require them to remember dial-in numbers and access codes.

LoopUp also aims to enable a smooth transition. Initially Dykema had concerns that the transition could be difficult, getting employees used to the new system. However, rather than managing the implementation, the firm agreed to move forward with LoopUp’s recommended transition plan, and reports that it was up and running within 60 days. The transition plan entails defining the date when the new system goes live and sending an email communication announcing LoopUp as the new provider. This is followed by a welcome email with instructions and an invitation to join an online conference call for a 10-minute orientation session.

LoopUp uses the traditional telephone system for its back end. Meeting participants receive an invitation with a link to dial into the call, which they can open in a web browser using a smartphone, tablet or PC. The web interface invites them to enter their name and telephone number, followed by a phone call that automatically places them in the conference. Unlike other audio conferencing offerings, participants do not have to enter a meeting ID or password or identify themselves upon joining. It also does not require any software download to join a meeting. For meeting hosts, the product is preconfigured with their name and a list of relevant phone numbers (landline, cellphone, meeting rooms) so they pick from a list, rather than having to enter the detailed number each time.

After users join a call, the browser automatically redirects them to a web page that provides features such as screen sharing and automatic identification of the person speaking at the time. It also provides links to LinkedIn or meeting profiles, where the administrator can identify participants’ roles. This results in a user interface that is designed to provide easy access, even for external collaboration use cases where end users might not be familiar with the tool.

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