Prominent banking institution advances innovation + service

As one of the first banking institutions for public servants in Wayne County, Michigan, the Public Service Credit Union made it their mission to assist hard-working members in reaching their financial goals. More than 65 years later, that mission has expanded statewide across 15 branches with 170 employees and more than 33,000 members. With increased membership and new service offerings like online and phone banking, Person-to-Person payments and remote deposit capture, Chief Information Officer Angelo Fanaras knew it was time to prepare the organization for the future. When their single-threaded MPLS network lacked the resiliency and bandwidth to support their innovation plans, the search was on to find a cost-effective solution. 

Industry: Banking
Customer: 15 branches across Michigan
Challenges: Lack of resiliency, limited bandwidth, multi-vendor management
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, Dual fiber & broadband connections, MNS Cloud solution
Results: Reduced network outages, enhanced application performance, single point of contact, remote access for work from home employees

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Ensuring seamless transactions

Like other financial institutions, PSCU counts on 100% network uptime to serve their customers in an efficient, alwayson manner. So, when their network was down, they were effectively out of business at the affected locations. And although complete outages didn’t happen often, the prospect of keeping their customers waiting for a fix— especially when finances are involved— was a major concern to Fanaras.

“The risk of outages and the corresponding security issues for our customers isn’t something we take lightly,” he says.

What’s more, the organization had multiple IT and network vendors that made managing and fixing issues a real struggle for their small, six-member IT team.

“We were really looking for a strong vendor to be our single point of contact, so we could streamline issues management,” continues Fanaras. Finally, the high-performing team had plans to introduce innovative new solutions, but knew they lacked the bandwidth to implement them. 

Says Fanaras, “We always want to be on the cutting edge of technology and really push the envelope, so we can offer the best services.”

“We were looking for a single point of contact for proven, cutting-edge technology. Windstream Enterprise fit the bill.”

Angelo Fanaras, Chief Information Officer, Public Service Credit Union

Calculating dividends

After careful consideration of their options, the PSCU team decided to go with SD-WAN Concierge solution from Windstream Enterprise in an active/active configuration, thanks to new dual fiber and broadband connections. Not only would the system reduce outages, but it would provide the bandwidth needed to support cloud-based applications and other new innovations the team had in the works.

Besides having access to the WE Connect customer portal to monitor network performance, reporting and trouble ticketing, PSCU also opted to deploy the Windstream Enterprise Cloud MNS (Managed Network Security), which includes a remote access solution.

Checks and balances

The team reports that the SD-WAN solution has been extremely flexible and easy to deploy across their 15-location network. Furthermore, Fanaras is pleased that it enables them to get newly acquired branches up and running very quickly.

“We recently had a branch shut down, and Windstream Enterprise was able to move the SD-WAN device to another branch and have it up and running in less than 24 hours,” Fanaras reports.

Giving credit where it's due

Fanaras credits the new solution with not only improving bandwidth and connectivity, but also with being the single point of contact the organization needed to streamline issues management.

“I deal with one person, and it’s much more efficient,” he says. “And the WE Connect portal allows my team to monitor and manage our network easily. Even better, the MNS Cloud helped us move the security of the network to the Windstream Enterprise security experts, so my team can focus on other projects designed to improve customer experience.” 

An added payoff

As an added benefit, the Windstream Enterprise solution performed well when the recent COVID-19 pandemic forced many members of the PSCU to work from home.

“SD-WAN helped our four open branches stay connected while the others worked remotely. Plus, we were able to add video meetings to the mix without affecting bandwidth. We were especially pleased with the security of our VPN connection, thanks to the MNS Cloud firewall protection,” Fanaras says.

“This relationship with Windstream Enterprise has been seven years in the making, and it’s been good so far,” he concludes. “We’re up and running and looking forward to the next phase.”

“The Windstream Enterprise SD-WAN Concierge solution provided the resiliency and bandwidth we needed to deliver a better customer experience.”

Angelo Fanaras, Chief Information Officer, Public Service 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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