Technology Pointe Blog

Technology Pointe has been serving the Round Rock area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Running PCLaw for multiple offices and remote users

Running PCLaw for Multiple Offices and Remote Users

We started working with a law firm several years ago who ran PCLaw. They quickly opened a second and then a third office. The biggest problem we were running into was people having PCLaw issues when they were outside the main office. Between multiple offices, attorneys traveling and working from home, this was not going to work. PCLaw also had performance issues running over wireless.  We had to find a solution.

Running PCLaw for Multiple Offices and Remote Users

We started working with a law firm several years ago who ran PCLaw. They quickly opened a second and then a third office. The biggest problem we were running into was people having PCLaw issues when they were outside the main office. Between multiple offices, attorneys traveling and working from home, this was not going to work. PCLaw also had performance issues running over wireless.  We had to find a solution.

After doing research and testing some solutions, we found a great combination of flexibility and affordability. We deployed a Windows terminal server in the Technology Pointe cloud and utilized RemoteApp. A terminal server, at the most basic level, is a server that multiple users can log into and share. You can install a common set of applications, such as Office and PCLaw, and then the users each have their own sessions to work as they normally would. This provides several advantages, such as having one computer/server to manage multiple users.  If you update Office, you only do it once, and everyone has the new version. You also get some efficiency in performance by being able to take advantage of economies of scale – similar to how it is easier to drive around several people in one vehicle versus everybody having their own much smaller car. By locating the server in the cloud, we're able to eliminate big upgrading expenses every couple of years.  In addition, we can ensure extreme high reliability, and avoid having to purchase a big backup system and store those backups off-site.

RemoteApp takes things to the next level. Rather than having a separate computer that you login to, RemoteApp runs a program (PCLaw in this case) on the terminal server and "projects" the program to the user's computer as if they have it installed and running locally. As long as you have a sufficient internet connection, you would never know the program was running in the cloud.  And I truly mean sufficient – we have one user that works from home in an extremely rural area over a Verizon 3g connection and it works great.  Utilizing RemoteApp, we were able to take the firm from PCLaw being unusable for remote users to supporting over 40 simultaneous PCLaw users and 5 remote offices with the ability to add other applications and more users with the flip of a switch. RemoteApp works great for other applications such as Quickbooks as well.

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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