At a Glance

  • Reduced costs
  • Improved customer support
  • Enhanced service and support

Scottish firm delivers professional law services to UK and international businesses through VoIP and telepresence solutions.

Scottish law firm delivers professional services to leading UK and international businesses and financial institutions, through VoIP and telepresence solutions.


As a pre-eminent international law firm based in Scotland, MacRoberts LLP delivers professional services to leading UK and international businesses, financial institutions, public sector organisations and private individuals. The firm is housed in multiple locations, including Edinburgh and a state-of-the-art office in Glasgow to service a globally-dispersed client base.

Recognising the need to establish and maintain comprehensive communication links between locations and remote clients, Robert Crichton, Director of IT Services, petitioned management to switch to a voice over IP (VoIP) network that would enable unified collaboration to fulfill growing communication requirements.

“We had been operating a telephony-only legacy PBX system, but in the process of up scaling our office in Glasgow and recognising our need to deliver state-of-the-art services to our clients, we wanted to move forward with VoIP communication solution that would support a range of telephony and video conferencing solutions,” said Crichton. Crichton evaluated three leading solutions on the market. The Microsoft® and Polycom® based solution presented by Polycom reseller and Microsoft Voice Specialists, Exactive, offered the best combination of capabilities and value. “The Microsoft/Polycom solution ticked all the right boxes,” Crichton continued. “It gave us the confidence and ease-of-use of Microsoft technology supplied by a local service agent, combined with the reassurance of Polycom open standards-based components which would be interoperable with a wide range of client end points.”

First of its kind communications solution in Scotland

Based on Microsoft Office Communications Server, R2 2007, MacRoberts deployed over 150 Polycom CX700 IP Phones, two Polycom CX5000 unified conference stations and two HDX® room telepresence solutions.

This solution, believed to be the first Microsoft OCS-based collaborative communications solution of its kind deployed in Scotland, integrated a range of Microsoft product features, including instant messaging (IM), presence, audio and video conferencing and VoIP. After a successful pilot programme in the Edinburgh office involving approximately 100 users on IM and a Polycom HDX room telepresence solution, MacRoberts switched off the old PBX system for good and converted the whole office to VoIP. The changeover in the Edinburgh office was so seamless the company soon afterward incorporated the solution in the new Glasgow office.

Improving day to day operations

Corporate training is an important part of MacRoberts client service, with structured sessions normally organised at client locations. The Polycom HDX room telepresence solution enables MacRobert legal specialists to reduce travel costs and time while simultaneously delivering a high level of training to HR personnel and company directors requiring regular updating on changes in corporate law and health & safety legislation.

In the future, MacRoberts plans to use the Polycom HDX room telepresence solution to deliver even greater added-value services to its clients by offering the equipment for their own collaboration requirements. “We are offering our clients the opportunity to come in and use our equipment and benefit from travel-free meetings with their own network of offices and suppliers,” Crichton said.

MacRoberts lawyers have improved the quality and immediacy of their meetings, as well as their quality of life, by eliminating the need to fly around the country for meetings.

Solutions for all business needs

Other benefits to the firm have included elimination of maintenance costs for their legacy PBX and operating costs for the CX700 desktop phones.

For internal and external telephony collaboration, the firm utilises the Polycom CX700 desktop phone with embedded Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2. The CX700 is a standalone executive IP phone with a colour touch screen display and high definition audio. For inter-office collaboration, the team leverages the Polycom CX5000 unified conference station. The CX5000 combines voice and video to deliver a 360 degree panoramic view of the conference room, and automatically tracks the flow of conversation from person to person. “For room telepresence, Crichton explained, the Polycom HDX9000 room telepresence solution in our Edinburgh office and the HDX7000 room telepresence solution in Glasgow fulfill all our external collaboration requirements, such as client meetings and training sessions.”

Extending user adoption

With Microsoft and Polycom in place, MacRoberts is promoting video conferencing among its client-base as a much richer collaborative experience, with less travel hassle, improved productivity, and greater environmental responsibility.

“It’s very important for MacRoberts to be at the leading edge of the voice and video conferencing community, in order to promote ourselves as a technology-aware, serviceoriented firm,” concluded Crichton. “We are in the business of servicing our clients the best way we can, and this solution from Microsoft and Polycom is the perfect enabler.”

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