Last year, Adept Technologies, a provider of intelligent, vision-guided robots for the manufacturing industry, was operating its seven global locations across three continents on a peer-to-peer virtual private network, while juggling three domestic and four international Internet service providers.
Adept’s older, less expensive VPN lacked the redundancy, scalability and reliable bandwidth that a global company like Adept needed to run voice, video and conferencing applications and keep its geographically dispersed employees dependably connected. The old network was cost-effective, but the company was losing out on productivity and other soft costs.
“Adding new locations was challenging, trying to share information, and maintaining that network with a small IT staff was becoming more and more of a burden, said Adept’s IT director Patrick O’Sullivan.
Adept needed to eliminate the headaches of managing multiple ISPs and network down time, and find a reliable, redundant and scalable network solution from a single global service provider, so O’Sullivan reached out to Bridgepointe Technologies, a communications reseller that had provided voice and internet solutions for Adept in the past.
Bridgepointe co-founder Brian Miller was intimately
familiar with Adept’s network needs. An MPLS upgrade had been a subject of conversation with the robotics manufacturer for years, but it had been difficult to justify financially. But as more applications -- like voice and videoconferencing -- were straining the network, the impact to performance was affecting remote employees, who felt more and more isolated.
“Trying to put a dollar value on that unhappy employee, that was tough to do,” said Miller. “But those employees in those smaller remote offices, by being better connected network-wise, they are better connected on a personal side. They aren’t wondering if the company really cares about them. It’s a better overall experience.”
Miller called in a local sales team from global network service provider, Masergy, who put together a ROI analysis of replacing the old VPN with their virtual private LAN service, or VPLS, and factored the impact the upgraded network would have on services like voice and videoconferencing. Miller also referred Adept to other satisfied enterprise customers who had employed Masergy’s network solutions.
O’Sullivan considered a pair of other carriers, but said he was impressed with Masergy’s knowledge of networking and attention to detail. They took all the needs and concerns of a global company into account, he said.
Masergy also had some unique offerings that set it apart from the competition. The Masergy Intelligent Brige, or MIB, would give remote offices the speed and efficiency of Ethernet, even where Ethernet was not locally available. Adept also had the option to subscribe to bandwidth-on-demand. With intelligent network monitoring available through Masergy, Adept’s IT staff would get e-mail alerts when a site was nearing its bandwidth capacity. The monitoring would allow them to view network forensics, prioritize applications, and order more bandwidth in 24-hour increments as needed.
“Customers are told that they are given performance guarantees and class of service, but how do you know that you’re getting it? With Masergy you can see it,” said Masergy vice president of sales, Mel Melara. “We are like a five-star dining experience and the other guys are fast food. We are regarded as a premium network. Our customers can really leverage the power of what the network was meant to do.”
Bridgepointe’s Miller said that Masergy differentiates its network not only by the range of tools and flexibility it offers it offers its end user customers, but by the level of detail, planning, and customer care that goes into each install.
“It’s a different MPLS offering than anyone else in the marketplace. All the other service providers talk about is speeds and feeds. They talk about their network and how it differentiates, but they’re not asking the customer about what they’re trying to accomplish. They don’t get into the nuts and bolts of what they are trying to transmit over the network,” said Miller. “Masergy provides such good insights, whether it’s about videoconferencing gear, or some other service. It’s just a level of knowledge of other things that differentiates Masergy.”
Adept’s O’Sullivan said that from a soft cost perspective -- being able to reach information quickly, not suffering down time, and the overall sense of reliability -- its new VPLS network has saved his company a lot in terms of being able to do business.
“I think the one thing about a managed network like this is it really is a set-and-forget, you don’t have to worry about that aspect of your organization failing. A company like ours, we don’t have the resources to spend hours thinking about getting our network working,” he said. “I think folks feel a sense of reliability when it comes to the network. From my perspective from my job, they feel like the network is more reliable, and it really puts me in better position to deliver other solutions to the user community.”