When one of the world’s largest law firms decided that their in-house legacy system could not cope with expanded meeting room and conference management, they switched to Rendezvous meeting room booking software.
Clifford Chance operates offices in most major cities. In 2004 the New York office moved 77 partners, 300 lawyers and hundreds of associates and support staff into new state-of-the-art office space, complete with its own in-house conference center. That was when it was decided that a new meeting room booking software system was needed to match the sophistication of their new space.
“We looked at several conference room scheduling software systems, including other browser-based software, but our head office in London used a system from NFS and we were soon convinced,” says Conference Services Assistant, Heidi Hodges. “Rendezvous is a robust system that meets all our needs.
“We were looking for a system with all the functionalities that a law firm of our size and caliber requires. This included a search function and the ability to input new bookings with ease. It also included an efficient confirmation procedure and the ability to specify times of service for catering.”
The team also required a meeting room booking software system that enabled input of set-up and breakdown times, and that could specify status, such as confirmed or pending.
“We wanted to attach our contacts and track other properties, such as off-site offices or meeting rooms,” comments Heidi. “We all knew we needed an integrated system.”
Edward Ryaboy, IT Liaison at Clifford Chance, said that other browser-based meeting room booking software systems still required local installation or new PC components. “We aimed for zero client installation – and we got it,” he says. “In a big firm like this, everyone needs access and we wanted as little disruption as possible. With Rendezvous, we needed no local installation at all and no new hardware. We had great support from NFS so the installation went very smoothly.”
Eight to ten people have full access, with Heidi and Cynthia Jacquet, Assistant Manager of Conference/Concierge Services, having exclusive administrative rights. A number of others have read-only access.
In the new premises Clifford Chance has 20 meeting rooms, with another 20 in a fourth-floor conference center. The rooms accommodate from four to 50 people and can open up to seat 120 for a meeting. For receptions the capacity is about 200. The firm has its own in-house catering staff.
At present attorneys still use email or telephone to request meeting rooms but the firm is looking forward to implementing Rendezvous’ Self Service Interface (EUI) to make booking easier.
Clifford Chance also enjoys the linkage provided in Rendezvous. For enhanced user convenience, the meeting room booking software permits integration with Microsoft Outlook and Active Directory. Billing is exported to the firm’s accounting system.
“For a busy place like this, with so many people and visitors, this system has made every aspect of booking much easier and enabled us to manage the entire meeting room process much more efficiently,” Heidi says. “We look forward to using even more Rendezvous functionality in the future.“
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