Powering Growth Through Tech: The Harbert Management Case Study

Harbert Management Corporation is an investment strategy firm with a confidence-inspiring approach: They are investors in their own strategies. That approach, combined with their investment philosophy and core tenets, has fueled their growth. When the limitations of their network were holding them back, they turned to Windstream Enterprise for modern solutions, including high-availability SD-WAN, to position them for even greater success.

Industry: Financial Services
Customer: Headquarters: Birmingham, AL with 12 locations
Challenges: Inadequate resiliency, insufficient bandwidth, limited visibility, difficult to maintain, lack of reliable voice platform, non-uniform guest WiFi
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: SD-WAN, Managed Network Security (MNS), Dynamic IP, Secure WiFi, WE Connect portal
Results: Increased resiliency and bandwidth, eliminated network outages, clear network visibility, improved voice service reliability

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Maximizing confidence, minimizing risk

Throughout the financial services industry, companies proclaim their values and customer-commitment in countless ways, sometimes veering towards inflated promises. Yet Harbert Management Corporation (HMC) stands out in the crowd, expressing their commitment to their co-investors with a straight-forward premise—they only suggest an investment if their own or their affiliates’ capital is also committed. In an industry where confidence, integrity and trust are everything, this seemingly understated approach speaks volumes about the company’s confidence in their ability to source, close, develop and exit transactions profitably.

Decision-making is equally strategic, based on methodical assessment and tempering bold moves with common sense, experience, and, most importantly, discipline. The result is a portfolio HMC believes balances risk and return.

The firm’s philosophy has proven to be a formula for success, fueling growth by adding more fund teams across their 12 locations. But to continue scaling up, they needed to invest in modern technology to support their employees and serve their customers, now and in the future. Together, HMC Chief Information Officer Jeff Liles and Senior Network Engineer Justin Ellison found a partner equally customer-focused, strategic and growth-oriented: Windstream Enterprise.

Built to scale

To sustain their growth, HMC required network and voice applications with 100% uptime and flawless performance. The single-threaded MPLS network lacked the resiliency, bandwidth and visibility to meet their needs, particularly evident as more fund teams came on and more files were shared—the MPLS network was simply slowing them down.

To help HMC continue to grow without growing pains, Windstream Enterprise implemented a high-availability SD-WAN solution at all 12 locations, supplying dual access (fiber ethernet and cable broadband) deployed in an active/active configuration.

The change has given HMC 100% uptime and high performance, and outages have been eliminated. Additionally, SD-WAN and Managed Network Services (MNS) has enabled them to move businesscritical applications to the cloud with the same assurance of uptime and performance as well as security.

Justin noted the confidence instilled by the new solutions, saying, “The Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN and Managed Network Security has enabled us to confidently move our applications to the cloud.”

The WE Connect customer portal has been what Jeff and Justin consider a “tremendous value-add”, freeing them from dependency on a carrier to identify and fix issues. They both use the portal daily to manage and monitor network and applications, run reports and troubleshoot.

HMC implemented MNS shortly before the pandemic and the Virtual Private Network (VPN) feature supported the shift to employees working from home without missing a beat.

“We highly value the Windstream Enterprise Managed Network Security service and security expertise from their Cyber Security Operations Center, as it has allowed us to fully outsource our security needs.”

Jeff Liles, Chief Information Officer 

Taking stock of security

Another challenge was the toll the on-premises firewalls took on the company’s small IT team, which was responsible for maintenance and security patching—a time-consuming process. The Windstream Enterprise fully managed security solution, MNS, relieves the IT staff from these tasks, through the security expertise and support of the Windstream Enterprise Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC). 

HMC implemented MNS shortly before the pandemic and the Virtual Private Network (VPN) feature supported the shift to employees working from home without missing a beat.

Investing in communication

Additional needs were a voice platform with high resiliency, and secure WiFi that separated guest and employee access.

Windstream Enterprise implemented SIP Trunking with Dynamic IP, giving the company an extremely reliable voice solution, with two sites functioning as primary and backup to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery. HMC created an SD-WAN policy to prioritize the voice traffic and send it down the best performing connection—which is typically the fiber connection.

Windstream Enterprise Secure WiFi has improved business operations by enabling guests to access the internet for on-site presentations. Even more importantly, internal communications are kept secure by the segregation of guest WiFi and employee WiFi.

““The WE Connect portal creates tremendous value for us as it provides complete visibility and the ability to monitor everything and take corrective action to resolve our issues.”

Justin Ellison, Senior Network Engineer 

Forecast for growth

With Windstream Enterprise at their side, the outlook for HMC’s growth looks better than ever. Confident in their technology solutions, HMC can remain true to their distinctive commitment and philosophy while expanding their business.

Jeff’s assessment of the partnership says it all. “Windstream Enterprise is the best service provider I’ve ever worked with— their team is highly responsive to our needs and swift to resolve issues.”

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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