Heavy-duty commitment, powered by SD-WAN

Scott Equipment sells, rents/leases and services heavy-duty equipment with a focus on construction and the petrochemical industry. Privately-owned since 1939, Scott Equipment prides themselves on making people the most important part of their business. From negotiating a sale to providing parts from their vast parts inventory, Scott Equipment stands by the customer until the job is done. When core business applications became unstable due to the network, it was time to bring in a heavy-duty solution that would support their customer service reputation.

Industry: Equipment retail sales/service
Customer: Headquarters- Monroe, LA; 15 retail locations across 5 states
Challenges: Significant network downtime, insufficient bandwidth, IT staff constantly fixing issues
Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, Fiber replacing T1s, Active/active configuration
Results: Zero network outages, improved application performance, troubleshooting visibility and control

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Underpowered for the job

Unlike many companies in their industry that are centrally managed, Scott Equipment’s business model is based on having each store run like a self-managed business. The local manager has full authority to make decisions regarding matters that affect their business. That local presence has helped immensely with the customer experience, but a shared network able to support core applications and voice services is mission critical in term of enabling employees to be productive and to serve their customers.

Donnie Williams is Scott Equipment’s IT Director and is responsible for anything technology related. He is a firm believer in the power of technology as an advantage for businesses—and especially in the heavy-duty equipment industry—and focuses on ensuring that Scott’s technology supports the goals of the business, and especially that of providing the best experience for the customer.

Avoiding downtime was the greatest challenge. Their retail locations were dependent on network for business applications and voice services, yet they experienced frequent outages that impacted employee productivity and ability to provide excellent customer experience. Their MPLS network with T1s was not providing enough bandwidth, and back-up broadband connections required a manual failover. The broadband bandwidth was idle unless deployed for a failover so that bandwidth was essentially wasted when not in use.

In addition, the phone system was SIP and went over the MPLS network. Outages were a weekly occurrence, and a certainty every time it rained. These network failures were a drain on the IT team who spent too much time fixing problems with zero visibility to troubleshoot network issues.

“Even though we didn’t need 100% uptime, every outage impacts our stores when they don’t have access to our core systems. It reduces employee productivity and affects the customer experience.”

Donnie Williams, IT Director, Scott Equipment

Heavy-duty solution

The desire to reduce downtime prompted them to transition from a legacy MPLS to an SD-WAN Concierge in an active/active configuration. They replaced the skinny T1s with high bandwidth fiber: 50 Mbps at remote locations and 250 Mbps at the headquarters and integrated the existing broadband cable into the SD-WAN edge devices. By combining fiber and cable in an active/active configuration the always available bandwidth for critical applications was significantly increased. Scott was also pleased that their existing voice services benefited from the SD-WAN solution.

An added advantage of the SD-WAN solution was the WE Connect customer portal which gave Williams and his team full visibility into the network’s performance, reducing the amount of time spent troubleshooting the cause of issues.

Power to move forward

SD-WAN’s active/active failover configuration has significantly reduced the time the IT team spends on firefighting outages and issues. Previous complaints about slow speeds and response times for core business applications have disappeared with the higher bandwidth speeds.

In addition, Williams found tremendous value in the WE Connect portal, which he describes as “very intuitive and easy to use.” It has freed him and his team to focus on projects that increase business value and considers Windstream Enterprise a partner in that pursuit— knowledgeable about their business, accessible and a single provider that can take care of any issues they may have.

“We’ve had no outages related to SD-WAN since implementation. Today, our users don’t even know when a connection is down.”

Donnie Williams, IT Director, Scott Equipment

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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