A quick study on network improvements

Bryant & Stratton College is a collection of 19 higher learning institutions providing on-site classes across four states coupled with an online division that offers programs for students nationwide. With a growing base of more than 10,000 students and a rapidly aging system, they suffered from network outages and downtime that was affecting students, faculty and staff across all of their campuses. Their limited ability to support new cloud-based learning apps for their online users was also an issue. The IT team hoped a new unified communications (UC) solution would help them achieve an A+ on their goal of 100% uptime across their network.

Industry: Higher education
Customer: 19 campuses across 4 states, nationwide online program
Challenges: Frequent network outages, Limited app support, Overrun IT team, Solutions, SD-WAN Concierge™, Dual connectivity in active/active configuration, Automated failover, WE Connect Portal
Results: Zero network outages, Single pane of glass management, Additional bandwidth and reliability, Significantly fewer calls to help desk

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Legacy network gets a failing grade

Founded in 1854, Bryant & Stratton College (BSC) has a rich history of educational excellence. But with a long history and multiple campuses comes the issue of legacy back-end systems that fail to meet changing organizational needs.

BSC had an antiquated MPLS network that simply couldn’t deliver consistent uptime despite having a failover. Along with the constant network outages that were taxing their small IT team, the growing popularity of their online programs (close to 40% of their students are participating as online learners) revealed their limited ability to support high-performing, cloud-based educational apps. The BSC IT leadership team believed that moving to more SaaS apps from multiple cloud service providers would be the most successful and cost-effective option.

Windstream Enterprise accepts the assignment

After doing their homework and assessing all of the available options, BSC decided on SD-WAN Concierge™ from Windstream Enterprise, with dual connectivity (Internet and broadband) for an active/active configuration. Not only would the dual broadband deliver the additional bandwidth and reliability to support cloud-based apps, the automated failover of active/active would prevent the constant network outages that were paining the IT team.

BSC chose Windstream Enterprise because of a strong reputation for excellent support as well as demonstrated leadership with SD-WAN solutions as compared to other service providers.

“We chose Windstream Enterprise because of the excellent support they provide and a demonstrated leadership with their SD-WAN solution as compared to other service providers.”

Don Fisher, Systems Network Administrator, Bryant & Stratton College

Graduating to 100% uptime

Since implementing SD-WAN Concierge, BSC has experienced zero outages across their 19-campus network. Furthermore, the college is able to support high-performing cloud-based apps both for their well-attended online programs and for their on-campus students who are now attending classes at home due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

The trickle effect of fewer network issues means significantly fewer calls to the IT help desk. The team reports that if a circuit fails, they can count on the second circuit to keep a location connected.

Head-of-the-class innovation

The team is particularly pleased with the WE Connect customer portal as the single pane of glass to keep tabs on their expansive network. They log in to the portal daily to check on utilization statistics, troubleshoot with the QoE reporting feature and identify anomalies using the top applications insight tool.

Perhaps most importantly, the new SD-WAN Concierge service has provided the platform to enable Bryant & Stratton College to be an innovator in delivering online higher education to the students they serve. And for that, they deserve to go to the head of the class.

“Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN has provided the platform to enable Bryant & Stratton College to be an innovator in delivering online higher education to the students we serve.”

Mark Morgado, Systems Director, IT Infrastructure, Bryant & Stratton College

Cloud-enabled connectivity, communications and security—guaranteed.

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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