Global law firm partners with Equinix to build out digital edge

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Global law firm, HFW, has collaborated with Equinix to build out its digital edge in key markets including Dubai, London, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Paris. As a critical element of their digital transformation journey, HFW has distributed its IT to be closer to customers and employees, which has enabled the firm to increase the overall quality of experience for these end users. Additionally, by leveraging Equinix for its data centre needs, HFW has been able to free up valuable internal resources and redirect those resources to the development of value-added services on top of its platform which directly impact the customer experience and the firm’s bottom line.

HFW is a 136-year-old law firm that is undergoing IT transformation to prepare for the next wave of growth. As one of the first UK-based law firms to expand internationally, HFW now generates more than 60% of its revenue outside the UK and has seen its international revenue triple in the past seven years.  As a result, the company needed a global interconnection platform like Platform Equinix that provides the scale and reach to keep up with the pace of change and get the firm digital ready.

According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) volume 2, global Interconnection Bandwidth is expected to grow at nearly 10x the volume of internet traffic by 2021, as enterprises adopt interconnection for direct, secure data exchange. This compounding growth creates an opportunity for legal services firms to build exchange points near consumers, technology partners and service providers. The result is a digital platform of interconnected business and technology ecosystems that integrates AI, analytics and cloud capabilities for efficient delivery of legal services.

As a key piece of its digital edge strategy, HFW has deployed Equinix Performance Hubs in select geographic markets. Equinix Performance Hub implementations leverage WAN optimisation and peering technologies to eliminate inefficient, costly WAN routes and network choke points. Equinix’s direct and secure connections avoid the public internet and its inherent congestion and risks. This is especially important given the large file sizes that legal firms like HFW transfer between offices and the associated bandwidth required on their network.

By adopting a distributed architecture, HFW also addresses increasing data privacy and other regulatory requirements and general data sovereignty concerns. As compliance rules such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require that organisations understand and control where their data resides, distributing applications through an interconnected network can support data residency and the data governance requirements.

Today, the legal industry largely leverages private cloud, but it is expected that the industry will shift to hybrid cloud as the technology matures and the industry accepts these practices. Equinix Performance Hubs provide an easy on-ramp to hybrid cloud with integration to Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric technology. This solution allows customers to access major cloud service providers such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, and Oracle Cloud, regardless of physical location, by leveraging software-enabled virtual interconnection. By leveraging Equinix Performance Hubs, HFW protects its IT investment and ensures that it is cloud-ready.

Gabriele Roberti, Research Manager, EMEA, IDC Customer Insights & Analysis Edge Computing Launchpad Lead, commented: “An edge strategy is now crucial in every digital transformation project. IDC’s surveys reveal that delivering a better customer experience at the customer location and enabling new digital services, with faster response time and real-time analytics, are among the main drivers for moving intelligence towards the edge of the networks.

“Dealing with multiple edges is not an easy task, and platforms like Equinix’s are crucial to mitigate the network complexity and optimise the cost of content delivery in multiple locations and geographies. In a highly regulated industry like Legal, edge not only opens the way to new outcome-based business models, enabled by distributed AI capabilities, but also guarantees the highest level of privacy, security and regulatory compliancy without requiring the data to be transferred outside virtual or geographical boundaries.”

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