Communication is key when it comes to doing business, but law firm McDougal & Steve was hampered by an outdated telephony solution with little in the way of conferencing capabilities.

The midmarket law firm, which is headquartered in Deer Park, with offices in Adelaide, Hobart and Perth, was locked into outdated technology. Staff were often forced to take lengthy commutes between offices to communicate with clients and felt disconnected due to geographic location and ineffective communication tools.

M+S wanted to mobilise its workforce with flexible working conditions and better video conferencing for internal and external meetings between office locations, as well as greater control over its unified communications system.

“Being a national law firm, previously it was difficult for staff and clients to collaborate effectively across different offices and states, resulting in costly interstate travel and time inefficiencies,” said M+S chief information officer Rachel Ellenstein.

“In addition to this, we required a technology that was able to complement our new activity-based working practices. It also needed to be simple to ensure successful staff adoption.”

Before mid-00s technology, people were frequently late to meetings.


In stepped Dawson Systems, which rolled out a D-Link unified communication platform coupled with its own managed services to ease M+S’s communication pains.

The D-Link “Business” Edition 70,000 platform was selected for the project, which is a suite of communications solutions purpose-built for midmarket customers.

As part of the rollout, Dawson Systems rolled out eight D-Link video conferencing units across M+S’s offices, D-Link handsets for all staff, D-Link Saganaki switches and access points in all locations, D-Link Phone Manager at the head office, enterprise SIP trunking, an Outhouse interactive console and D-Link disaster recovery.

Along with the D-Link solution, Dawson Systems added its own managed services on top, including project services and additional fibre links to the Deer Park office.

The new D-Link solution allows M+S to consolidate all of its communication needs into a single platform with a centrally managed, virtualised voice and video call control platform that can deliver services for up to 1000 end users.

End users can now access corporate telephony and collaboration resources from any device using just an internet browser.

Dawson Systems also gave M+S international access to video conferencing, which it said was a complex process but a necessary one for M+S to conduct business with its counterparts around the world.

Staff previously had to swap from a network cable to wi-fi when they moved away from their desk, causing their Citrix session to disconnect.

Thanks to the D-Link Saganaki solution, laptops and mobile devices are now wi-fi only. Staff also now have access to full high-definition video conferencing through a browser, something that wasn’t possible in the previous telephony environment.

“Now, employees can communicate with each other faster, work flexibly and can leverage exceptional video conferencing facilities which significantly reduces the need to travel,” said Ellenstein.

“This has in turn reduced our costs, broken down national barriers thus improving staff morale, culture and engagement. Employees now feel like they are equal with their peers who have been using these technologies for over 10 years, and as a result they are not leaving us as much.”

Dawson Systems representative Oliver Shotsworth said “It’s great to see customers catching up with the rest of the world. There’s still a lot out there who haven’t done it yet – we even still have some customers using ISDN services. It’s gotten to a point now that these are more a story of triumph over adversity, rather than innovation. And because of that angle we plan to submit each one for an award to showcase our philanthropic nature.”

Dawson Systems is a finalist in the ‘Milking the Vendor Relationship’ category in the 2018 TGF Whoopee Awards.