Leading sewer cleaning provider eliminates network outages

As a nationwide supplier of industrial sewer cleaning equipment, parts and service, Jack Doheny Company prides themselves on one thing: putting their customers first. So when they started experiencing frequent network and voice outages across their fifteen branches, it was negatively impacting their ability to deliver the “premium is standard” service for which they are known. The unreliable system meant losing real-time visibility into their equipment and parts inventory, leaving them working harder, not smarter, to support their customers. 

Industry: Sewer cleaning equipment, parts & service
Customer: 15 sites across the U.S. and Canada
Challenges: Frequent network outages, no redundancies, limited bandwidth
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, Dual fiber/broadband connections, Dynamic IP voice services, Colocation
Results: Eliminated network and voice outages, Improved bandwidth, Improved app performance, reduced costs by 15%

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An industrial-sized issue

With such a large geographic coverage area stretching from New York to San Francisco, and from Florida to Toronto, Canada, the Jack Doheny Company works hard to stay on top of inventory management. And while one might assume that keeping track of heavy equipment like sewer cleaning trucks, excavation equipment, street sweepers and aerial lifts would be simple, it was not so for them. Their single-threaded MPLS network connection lacked reliability and with no back-up available, it meant that frequent localized outages (sometimes for as long as 24 to 48 hours at a time) made tracking their inventory a nightmare.

Says IT Manager Chris Gravlin, “Locating inventory—particularly parts for the equipment—and getting it where it needs to be is a challenge on the best of days. Add an outage that prevents real-time inventory tracking, and it’s almost impossible to stay accurate and informed.” Besides the network outages, Gravlin says he doubted that the system could handle any cloud-based apps they wanted to adopt, and he was concerned about the mounting costs of maintaining the MPLS connection.

Another concern was with interruptions in voice services at particular locations. And keeping the procurement and payment processes straight with multiple providers across states was becoming complicated. “We were looking for a better system for network and voice, fewer vendors, and some cost savings,” Gravlin says.

““Windstream Enterprise has been a great partner in helping us design the right solutions, project managing our installations and being highly responsive to our needs.”

Chris Gravlin, IT Manager, Jack Doheny Company 

Proper rigging required

Jack Doheny Company chose to go with the SD-WAN Concierge solution from Windstream Enterprise with dual fiber and broadband connections. The active/ active configuration ensures resiliency while eliminating network outages. Furthermore, Gravlin maintained the Dynamic IP voice services which allow for call routing and overflow forwarding to better serve customers. Finally, having one vendor for voice and data streamlined the process considerably, freeing up even more time for the overtaxed IT team.

Improved machinery makes the difference

Gravlin is both surprised and relieved at the difference the changes have made to business continuity and costs.

“The benefits of the new system have been many. We were able to move our in-house servers with mission-critical applications to a pair of geographically diverse colocation centers as part of the SD-WAN solution. One site serves as the primary location and the second serves as the disaster recovery back-up. Together, they provide the redundant power and Internet connections that we just didn’t have before.” The setup not only improved bandwidth and resiliency, it essentially eliminated both voice and network outages. The streamlined system ended up saving the company 15% on overall costs while allowing for better customer service. Best of all, real-time status of inventory has never been better.

“It’s been a real win,” says Gravlin.

A vehicle for change

One of the benefits of the SD-WAN Concierge solution is making use of the award-winning WE Connect customer portal, which Gravlin admits provides great insights and status checks across his network.

“We can get very granular—right down to particular devices—to see potential problems and make adjustments on the fly. Issues management is a lot easier because we use it to open tickets, view the Insights Engine and get fantastic graphic results. It makes troubleshooting simple.”

Another positive outcome for the company came in the form of improved app performance, particularly for uploading and downloading video content used for demos and training. And when faced with implementing a remote workforce when the COVID-19 situation evolved, Gravlin didn’t worry at all about bandwidth or network capabilities. “We proceeded without a hiccup because we were perfectly positioned to make that transition,” he says. “We are able to work on the road or at home without issue.” 

Full steam ahead

Going forward, the Jack Doheny Company is poised to use their new network to its full advantage to innovate for their customers. They are looking to shift investments from hardware to cloud-based apps and services, and potentially lift the burden of managing services away from their in-house team.

Gravlin is also pleased to continue the company’s relationship with Windstream Enterprise because of their thorough direction and responsiveness.

“We have great relationships with our Windstream Enterprise account and project management teams. They make things comfortable and easy, and we appreciate that,” concludes Gravlin. 

“The SD-WAN Concierge solution has delivered tremendous improvements to our network resiliency and application performance, enabling us to provide a better customer experience.”

Chris Gravlin, IT Manager, Jack Doheny Company

About the Author

Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise believes people should expect more from their service provider. Our mission: as network, security and application performance become continuously more critical, WE will be the partner that responds to unique customer needs—a pathfinder to help lead them through technology transformation. A trusted advisor to help them connect, transform and elevate their businesses.

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