Keltie, the UK based Intellectual Property (IP) law firm, is a European provider of patent, trademark, and design expertise to a global client base. Established for more than thirty years, Keltie provides access to a highly skilled team of experienced specialists. That breadth of experience ensures it brings deep knowledge to every engagement and understands how best to leverage a client’s invention or brand.
With vast experience across multiple fields, Keltie’s clients have access to wide-ranging competencies, encompassing everything across trademarks, patents, and designs, from search and filing to IP infringement and protection services. It helps ensure robust planning and implementation strategies that protect creative investments. Accessing a secure, high-performing IT infrastructure capable of handling the specialist case management systems associated with IP law is critical to Keltie’s ongoing operations.
- European provider of specialist intellectual property law services to a global client base
- Established for more than thirty years
- Wide range of services underpinned by specialist knowledge
Keltie’s existing hybrid IT infrastructure was underperforming due to the demands placed upon it by multiple factors. The company has been expanding geographically and needed to facilitate secure and flexible remote access to the specialist case management systems used to carry out work on behalf of clients. Users were experiencing significant latency when working from certain locations while connecting into these systems and it was recognised that this was an opportunity for improvement. Like other business, the global COVID-19 pandemic required a move towards greater flexibility with working to cope with the effects of lockdowns and the increase in working from home.
“We’ve had plans to migrate some critical business functions from on-premises technologies to the cloud for a while,” said Adam Newton, Chief Technology Officer at Keltie. “Softcat helped us to implement a cloud-based, Windows Virtual Desktop solution as part of that process, so it made sense to get in touch to see how it could help us realise our ambition of migrating other essential IT services to the cloud. In particular, we wanted to investigate migrating our SQL and IIS based Inprotech IP practice management solution away from on-premises RDS infrastructure to an Azure platform.”
Critical success factors
- Enhance capacity for flexible, secure, remote access to IT services
- Improve performance of essential systems
- Explore strategy for migrating critical case management and other services to cloud
"Softcat was on hand throughout the entire process to offer guidance and expertise" - Adam Newton, Chief Technologist Officer at Keltie
“Adam was very clear about what was needed,” said Paul Tozer, Softcat Cloud Solutions Architect (Azure). “Our initial conversations centred around ensuring best practice was followed and minimising any impact on Keltie’s business as usual (BaU) operations. Adam was able to draw on significant in-house expertise and Softcat’s specialists were on hand to help ensure the new solution would be 100% suitable for Keltie’s specific business needs.
“Following those initial conversations, we suggested that rather than a ‘lift and shift’ exercise, it would be better to establish a completely new, standalone Azure platform. This would enable the essential solution configuration and help develop a strategy to migrate critical data when switching to the new platform once everything was in place.”
“Establishing the Azure platform only took about a day,” said Adam. “Softcat was on hand throughout the process to offer guidance and expertise. In many ways it was a show and learn exercise, completed using Microsoft Teams, and helped ensure we would be entirely comfortable with operating the new system once it went live.”
Working alongside the in-house team, Softcat installed and configured the platform as well as implemented Azure Site Recovery to provide failover to another Azure region to enhance resilience. This included creating a virtual machine running SQL Server 2019 provisioned with adequate CPU and RAM resources built into the Azure subscription. It also established a structure for migrating all databases, users and existing caseloads, including the existing SSRS set up.
“We chose to break down the implementation into two phases,” said Adam. “Once we had configured the platform correctly and were confident in its suitability for our needs, we could then enter the second phase of transferring users and services. This approach helped ensure no disruption to ongoing business activities and provided an opportunity to test the solution’s performance prior to the final cutover.”
- Identify suitable platform for migrating essential services to the cloud
- Implement and configure platform to fulfil specific business needs
- Ensure adequate performance for mission-critical applications
- Avoid disruption to ongoing services throughout the implementation
“This solution will enhance both the resilience and performance of our critical infrastructure in the long term,” said Adam. “It’s underpinning our strategy of migrating key technologies to the cloud in pursuit of a more flexible and secure hybrid working environment that enables core tasks to be performed from any location.
“From a case management perspective, every single document is important. Any omissions could negatively impact our capacity to provide the customer service our customers have come to expect, so ensuring a robust infrastructure is in place is critical to Keltie’s core activities. It will also help to eliminate many of the issues we were experiencing with our on-premises infrastructure, such as excessive latency and the on-premises technology no longer being supported by the provider.
“Softcat took a hands-on approach to the whole project, ensuring help and advice was always available and following a strategy that avoided impacting our ongoing business. It created a ‘sandbox environment’ for us that enabled extensive testing and iteration of solutions to be performed on a mirrored site without risking disruption. This will enable us to develop innovative approaches to how we use technologies going forward.
“When viewed in relation to the improved capabilities, enhanced resilience, and capacity to scale that the solution delivers, it’s been great value. It puts us in a position whereby we can face the future with confidence, easily implement new ways of working in response to client needs, and benefit from ongoing, knowledgeable support from Softcat specialists. While we could have implemented the new solution using our in-house team, the support we received throughout the engagement has helped ensure the right solution is in place for our specific business needs.”
Benefits at a glance
- Enhanced resilience, capabilities, and remote access for critical business activities
- Deep collaboration with Softcat specialists to ensure an optimised solution
- Capacity to scale in response to increased demand
- Double redundancy –multi-region access to UK-based servers
“Keltie has worked with Softcat for a number of years, and it’s developed into a strong, trusted relationship,” said Adam. “Softcat is always proactive, responding quickly and efficiently to any requests and taking a hands-on approach to problem solving. I’ve always been impressed with the technical and sectoral knowledge it brings to any engagement and the support it provides is highly valuable. We know what to expect from Softcat, great products, great service and value for money.”