As leaders in the green industry, The Davey Tree Expert Company are both first responders for clearing fallen trees after catastrophic weather events, and a robust arboriculture team servicing clients like university campuses, utility companies, government offices, golf courses, large and small businesses and of course, individual homeowners. With 170 offices across 46 U.S. states and 7 Canadian provinces and more than 10,000 employees, business is brisk. But with limited bandwidth, Davey was finding it difficult to keep their internet, CRM and data apps running at the speed of their business. Add in a less-than-helpful network service provider, and it was a recipe for interrupted disaster relief efforts and stifled business growth.
Branching out to cloud-based applications
Davey’s chain of North American offices relied on a single-threaded MPLS T1 network with no failover or backup network in place. Their limited bandwidth wasn’t able to support their application requirements fully—in fact, when several people at a single location attempted to simultaneously update Microsoft programs, the network would become congested and slow. And although outages weren’t a frequent problem, they realized that their bandwidth wouldn’t support their vision to enable more cloud-based applications in the future.
Planting the seeds of progress
Tom Countryman, Chief Information Officer at Davey, knew that increasing bandwidth would be a costly but necessary venture to ensure network stability. The issue was that he doubted the abilities of their incumbent network provider. “They provided a powerful network, but their customer service and responsiveness were sorely lacking,” he says.
Countryman decided to turn to other providers to find more collaborative and cost-effective solutions to upgrade their network. He hoped to find next-generation connectivity at a price that suited their budget, and a service provider with expertise in helping them design a solution.
“We needed more bandwidth to support internet, CRM and data application traffic across our large network. And, we needed a provider who could recommend cost-effective solutions.”
- Tom Countryman, Chief Information Officer
A new relationship blooms
Davey considered multiple service providers for the job, but Windstream Enterprise demonstrated their willingness to help design the right solutions from the get-go.
“The Windstream Enterprise system engineers jumped right in and worked closely with my team to create the ideal design,” says Countryman. “The other service providers fell short on bringing solutions.”
Getting into the weeds
Windstream Enterprise recommended an SD-WAN solution incorporating MPLS and Broadband cable in an active/active configuration to deliver the higher bandwidth and resiliency required.
As part of the total solution, Windstream Enterprise also suggested moving the company’s SIP voice service to Dynamic IP, which required re-configuration of their on-premises routers. Since there were customer-owned SIP routers at every location, Windstream Enterprise Professional Services took on the task of being on-location “smart hands” to reconfigure routers and provide cabling modifications when required. This removed the burden of Davey’s time-strapped IT team traveling to every location.
Overall, Countryman is pleased with the business results of the solutions. Davey reports significantly more bandwidth at a much lower cost, which has enabled them to introduce new cloud-based apps with confidence. They no longer fear there isn’t enough bandwidth and resiliency to keep them running.
From a collaboration perspective, Davey is especially impressed with the seamless network migration, efficient installation and nimble ability to accommodate what the Windstream Enterprise team has been able to provide.
“They managed all details of the project, which was an enormous benefit to Davey,” says Countryman. “They’ve been very responsive to our needs and the collaboration has been great. It allowed our in-house team to focus our IT resources on business innovations.”
As an added benefit, when the recent COVID-19 restrictions forced their employees to work from home, Windstream Enterprise was able to quickly scale the connection to Davey headquarters and double the bandwidth to support their new requirements.
“Had we been on our old MPLS network, we would have been in serious trouble,” relays Countryman.
But for now, the future looks like blue skies and green trees for the Davey Tree team.
“Windstream Enterprise has been a great partner in helping us implement our vision of a next-gen connectivity solution while significantly increasing our bandwidth and lowering overall costs.”
- Tom Countryman, Chief Information Officer
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