Case study: How and why the SRA selected the Toshiba X40

We often steer clear of publishing case studies but this is a useful hardware case study, sent exclusively to Legal IT Insider, detailing why the Solicitors Regulation Authority selected Toshiba X40 laptops as part of an IT upgrade. The study details the review process, requirements and deciding factors, with the end user given the final say.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the regulatory body for solicitors in England and Wales. The company employs around 650 people across its two main sites in London and Birmingham, all working with the common goal of public protection and giving the public confidence in the solicitors’ profession.
The company sets the standards for qualifying and practising as a solicitor, and regulates against these standards to
protect the interests of the public using legal services. In order to provide guidance and maintain standards across the
industry, many of the SRA team spend a lot of time visiting legal practices around England and Wales, helping solicitors maintain a high standard of services. As a result, the company requires a reliable mobile IT strategy that empowers the team to be as productive when they’re on the move, as they are when working from the office. For this, the purchasing team looked to Toshiba.
The requirements
The SRA needed to update the laptops that were used throughout the business. In order to better understand the IT needs of its users, the company developed three personas – desk-based, mobile and flexible. The purchasing team was looking for a cost-effective solution to help the mobile persona workers carry out their role wherever they are working, whether from home, on the train or visiting a practice.
John Graddon, End User Service Manager at the SRA, explains: “When advising the procurement team on purchases, there are a lot of factors that we take into account. In particular, when looking for laptops for the mobile persona group, key considerations were security, mobility, durability, reputation of the vendor and value for money. In addition to this, it’s crucial for us to get feedback from our eventual end-users through proof of concepts. We’ve worked with Toshiba laptops previously and have had a very good experience with the devices and also with our dedicated Toshiba account managers who have a great understanding of our industry, and so it was an obvious choice for us to include Toshiba when considering our IT upgrade.”
The solution
The SRA first spoke with its dedicated Toshiba account manager – Simon Kirkland – in January 2017. Simon comments, “Although the team at the Solicitors Regulation Authority was happy with the Toshiba Z40 devices that were being used by certain team members at the time, I’m always keen to visit customer sites to show them any product updates so they’re aware of what’s coming next and of any upcoming roadmap changes. I like to offer customers a trial of new models so that they can put them through their paces and see if the device might be suitable to for any current or future requirements, and this is how the team initially learnt about the X40, before it was even available to the market.”
The SRA was looking to replace the laptops that its staff in the mobile persona were using in Autumn 2017. Having
been impressed with the X40’s capabilities during the initial demonstration process, the team decided to include the model in the procurement trial. As a result, Simon arranged for a longer than usual trial period so that the team could compare the X40 with a range of other devices from different vendors. In addition to this, Toshiba also arranged for a second loan so that the SRA team could test the image build process to ensure a smooth live launch for all end users.
When making purchasing decisions of this nature, The SRA looks to give the ultimate end-users a say in which device best meets their daily requirements. In order to gather feedback on a shortlist of devices, the team set up a “model office” where staff could try out the various models. The Toshiba X40 received extremely positive feedback across the board and came out top with the 100 voters, with particularly positive comments on the functionality, portability and connection options of the device, as well as thetouch screen capabilities, the screen clarity and the docking station.
John Graddon explains, “In addition to the end-user feedback, the relationship with our account manager and Toshiba’s positive reputation for reliability were crucial in our decision-making process. We have never had any reliability issues with the Z40 devices at all, but we’ve always been really impressed with the Reliability Guarantee offer. During the first year of deployment, if there’s any issues, Toshiba will fix the device and give your money back – even on brand new devices like the X40. This is a true testament to how well the devices are built and we’ve certainly been impressed with the durability and reliability of all of Toshiba’s products that we’ve used. Furthermore, we were really delighted that such reliable devices that came out top with our team during the proof of concept phase were also incredibly cost effective.”
The results
The SRA has rolled out 170 Toshiba X40 laptops to its team of mobile workers. The roll out process took five weeks in total, with all devices built and given to users within the proposed timeframe. In addition to this new X40 models rolled out, the Z40 devices that were previously in use by some of the team have proven to be so reliable that these are now being used as pool laptops across the organisation.
John Graddon concludes, “We’ve been really impressed with the entire process from start to finish with Toshiba. The team is incredibly easy to deal with in terms of levels of communication and support, and as a result, our implementation has been seamless. We’re happy with the X40 devices and feedback from across the organisation has been really positive. As a result, we’d happily consider working with Toshiba again in future when we are next looking to make updates to our IT infrastructure.”
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