How Navigant Credit Union Banked on Success with SD-WAN Concierge

Throughout their 106-year history, Navigant Credit Union has prioritized their community-driven values, all while expanding to be one of the largest credit unions in Rhode Island and one of the strongest in the country. But when their legacy MPLS network wasn’t delivering the required resiliency and bandwidth to back their business, they partnered with Windstream Enterprise to invest in a robust, cloud-based solution that would keep up with demand and help them grow. 

Industry: Banking
Customer: 21 branch locations across Rhode Island, a 106-year history, $2.7 billion in assets
Challenges: Insufficient bandwidth, inadequate resiliency, frequent network outages, deploying landlines inhibited growth, limited visibility into MPLS network
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, High bandwidth Ethernet, Broadband Cable, WE Connect
Results: Increased scalability and bandwidth, high performance and resiliency, significantly reduced network outages, clear visibility into network, eliminated PBX & PRI costs

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For the people, not the profit

Navigant Credit Union has remained dedicated to the financial wellbeing of the families, businesses and communities they have been serving for over a century. Their pillars are rooted in community and technology, backed by the promise of convenience, responsiveness and a personalized touch to make customers know they belong.

As strong, active community advocates, Navigant Credit Union depended on a high-speed functioning network to keep business confidential and continuously running amongst their bustling 21 branches.

“Our team’s mission is to ensure integrity and availability,” said Scott Hammond, VP of IT at Navigant Credit Union, the leader of a skilled eight-person IT team. “We supply the necessary tools that are the backbone to providing high-caliber service.”

To Scott, this means that a well-running network is a key component for the growing company. If the network stops, business stops.

Navigant Credit Union concluded that their legacy MPLS wasn’t providing the resiliency or bandwidth needed to support day-to-day business operations and continual growth throughout the state of Rhode Island. Although they had a 3G wireless backup in place, they found it to be unreliable and lacked adequate bandwidth.

Because of this, it was not unusual for a branch to experience network outages— resulting in employees struggling to access systems and fully serve their members. “We experienced a fair share of them,” said Scott. “Nobody wants that issue.” 

On top of everything, Scott’s team craved more visibility into their existing network to avoid being blind-sided by network outages and poor application performance.

Along with these pain points, Navigant Credit Union knew that deploying traditional landlines would take too long to support their expansion plans. They needed a solution where locations could be swiftly brought on network.

Cognizant of these challenges, Navigant Credit Union decided it was time to ditch their legacy solutions and invest in modern-day connectivity. Windstream Enterprise answered their call and started putting together a proposal for success.

“Windstream Enterprise has been a great partner and highly responsive to our needs. The transition from MPLS to SD-WAN went much smoother than expected.”

Scott Hammond, VP of IT, Navigant Credit Union

Capitalizing on innovation

After assessing the landscape, Windstream Enterprise advised Navigant Credit Union to deploy SD-WAN Concierge™ with high bandwidth Ethernet and cable broadband in an active/ active configuration. Applying this dual connection would support the company’s rapid growth and the automated failover would prevent paralyzing network outages and ensure that applications would remain high-performing.

SD-WAN Concierge included the SD-WAN portal, part of WE Connect. This single pane of glass provides users more visibility across an SD-WAN network by displaying performance analysis and trends in their applications, network access and devices across all locations.

Up next, Windstream Enterprise addressed the drawn-out issue instigated by the traditional landlines. Provisioning broadband cable allowed networks at new locations to be up-and-running in a matter of days, versus months. 

Equipped for a rich future

Ever since implementing SD-WAN through Windstream Enterprise, Scott and his team remain pleased with the results. A main benefit they recognized were significantly reduced outages. If one circuit fails, the second current of the active/active configuration now keeps the branch running—without employees ever noticing. The dual high bandwidth connective also guarantees all applications run at peak performance.

Navigant Credit Union also replaced an on-premises PBX with an IP voice service that runs over their new SD-WAN. SD-WAN has improved the reliability of the voice service—showing the flexibility of the solution. And while redundancy and speed of deployment were the initial priorities, they also saw cost reductions with the elimination of separate PRI circuits running voice. 

Invested in success

Overall, Scott was delighted with how well the SD-WAN implementation went. “It went was better than expected,” he said. “Typically, a network replacement can be messy and complicated, but Windstream Enterprise project managers did a great job.”

As Navigant Credit Union continues to enjoy their redundant and resilient network, Scott has become an avid user of the SD-WAN portal within WE Connect, using it whenever his team gets notified on apps that are running poorly. It’s helped their team pinpoint when there is an issue with a hosted application and find a quick resolution. 

“The WE Connect portal has been great at providing the visibility to quickly troubleshoot network issues and take corrective actions,” said Scott.

Above all else, Scott and his team found it was the people—the trusted relationships built over time—that kept the partnership alive and vibrant. “It’s why we chose Windstream in the first place,” said Scott.

By investing in their network’s wellness with a resilient and reliable network solution—backed by an expert team to support it— Navigant Credit Union can provide the financial-wellness and superior experience to their members.

"Implementing SD-WAN enabled us to meet our objective to rapidly expand and add new branches.”

Scott Hammond, VP of IT, Navigant Credit Union

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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