Hafez Avocats, based in Cairo and Paris, uses Rendezvous desktop and mobile scheduling solutions to manage internal and client meetings.

Hafez Avocats is recognised as a premier trial law firm in the Middle East whose lawyers, based in Egypt and France, are reputed for their prowess. The firm handles more, larger and higher-profile business disputes than any other firm in the region. Hafez has the technical and financial resources to prosecute and defend against almost any case, employing 100 staff in its Cairo office and 5 in Paris.

Hafez are an expanding firm who deal with a lot of complex litigation, and recent changes in Egypt have created new opportunities for the company. To better cope with expansion and development of their business, Hafez sought a new booking system for internal and client meetings. Their search led them to Rendezvous Workspace, the leading scheduling software developed by NFS.

What prompted implementation of Rendezvous Workspace?

Hafez was previously using a legal practice software solution and one of the biggest challenges they faced was the issue of cost recovery and chargeback for meeting rooms and other services. In general this software doesn’t handle costs surrounding room, resources and hospitality.

The firm also wanted to give staff better access to room availability and other things like catering and AV. They knew that by having accurate information about availability of rooms, staff could be more productive and improve their meeting plans. With the help of Rendezvous Workspace, Hafez employees can now allocate client meetings and events more effectively than before, which was on a rather ad-hoc basis.

How Has the Software Benefitted the Firm?

Motaz Hassan, Applications Support Specialist of Hafez Avocats, says, “We wanted a browser-based application to centralise Cairo technology, and the deployment of Rendezvous Workspace has made it possible to roll out IT across multiple sites.”

“By having the software deployed on iPads, we could quickly move to a room-based booking module,” continues Hassan. “Staff can book and check for rooms available now and in the future without having to go back and forth. Everything is accessible on the iPad, with a very simple user interface.”

In addition, all service providers at Hafez can now be given very low-cost iPad touch devices, which means that those who are not at their desks can still access the most up-to-date meeting requests, including real-time, interactive functionality. In this way, status of deliveries and issues with service providers can be quickly sent to the relevant people. With better communications, any problems – such as changes to meeting times – can be addressed immediately.

“Rendezvous Workspace has provided us with a dynamic communication experience between service provider and meeting organiser,” Hassan comments.

Active Directory Integration

Now that installation is complete, Hafez have the ability to profile their clients from anywhere they have an Internet connection, and control user access. Rendezvous Workspace integrates seamlessly with Active Directory integration, meaning that Hafez can now allow different user groups to be given different levels of access. In this way certain people can only enter certain buildings, or book certain meeting rooms.

Remote Implementation and Training via Video Conference Technology

Software implementation dates for Hafez were planned many weeks ahead but as it happened, coincided with The Arab Spring in Egypt, so a decision was made to implement and train Rendezvous Workspace via Video Conference, given that both companies had already invested in this technology.

“A winning combination of Video Conferencing, flexible working and real commitment from the two teams made the implementation a resounding success,” says Luis Desouza, Managing Director of NFS. “As a company we were able to respond flexibly to the integration of Rendezvous Workspace with other business applications, such as Accounting and Practice Management, and as a result a solution has been created with great potential to make operations more efficient, ensure costs are correctly captured and charged, and ultimately deliver better customer service.”

“We look forward to extending our use of the software into more management functions, such as utilisation reporting, and gaining a better understanding of profiling at all our facilities in order to make more learned decisions when it comes to real estate and other resource requirements, such as AV,” concludes Hassan.

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