SD-WAN Success Story: JCCS
SD-WAN ENABLES CPA FIRM TO PRIORITIZE BUSINESS APPLICATIONS, OPTIMIZE BANDWIDTH AND MANAGE COSTS
JCCS, a leading CPA firm with six locations across Montana, was looking for a cost-effective network solution to meet their demands for bandwidth and reliability. They were in need of added security and redundant circuits to their data center and the public internet.
The firm has a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and they rely on a high-speed data connection for every business function. JCCS had outgrown the capabilities of their existing internet service provider (ISP) and were looking to increase their level of network service reliability utilizing multiple internet connection types. To help solve for these issues, JCCS sent an RFP to four regional and national ISPs.
"The reality is that network downtime impacts on our business could cost tens of thousands of dollars a day."
– Victor Lombardo, IT Manager, JCCS
Blackfoot proposed a managed software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solution to create cost efficiencies, prioritize applications based on company policies and quickly add new sites as needed. This hybrid WAN solution would provide a redundant MPLS circuit for mission-critical traffic and leverage a broadband circuit for non-critical traffic.
For deployment, Blackfoot installed seven SD-WAN devices for JCCS – one at each of their six business locations across Montana and one as a hub site in Missoula. Blackfoot’s MPLS network supports their 120 VDI machines and 50 virtual servers. And as a result of their virtual infrastructure, JCCS doesn’t need a lot of on-premises network equipment. Their few physical servers are housed on a half-rack in Blackfoot’s carrier-grade data center.
Blackfoot’s network engineers worked directly with the JCCS team to develop the managed SD-WAN solution, taking a forward-thinking approach to accommodate future needs. Blackfoot helped JCCS define policies for how network traffic would be routed. Critical traffic, which includes running VDI and deploying VoIP, is routed via Blackfoot MPLS circuits. Meanwhile, traffic that is not latency sensitive, such as print jobs or large scans uploaded to the network, utilizes a local coax cable commodity circuit.
By defining traffic rules, Blackfoot technicians can proactively monitor the performance of the network and modify application flow based on the prioritization rules. This ability to adjust the network to meet business needs in near real-time is a key benefit of the managed SD-WAN solution. In addition, SD-WAN enables a secure connection over the public internet, which is typically achieved via a private MPLS connection. However, SD-WAN technology creates a VPN tunnel between the site devices and the hub device to provide a secure connection over the public internet.
Blackfoot’s managed SD-WAN solution enabled JCCS to prioritize key business applications, optimize bandwidth utilization and manage costs. Latency sensitive traffic uses a high-quality MPLS circuit, while the remaining traffic routes over a commodity circuit.
JCCS also gained insights into their bandwidth usage. The managed SD-WAN solution provides increased visibility into the underlying traffic, which led to identifying VDI as the primary source of bandwidth demand. And as a result, Blackfoot increased the capacity of three MPLS circuits to optimize performance.
“I wish more business partners and solution providers were as transparent and collaborative with their “access” and expertise as Blackfoot Communications.”
Bryan Dady, IT Infrastructure Director, Glacier Bancorp
"Always within reach by phone or email, with great customer service! When I have to call with any questions or support, I know I will get someone who will assist me with the utmost respect, skill, and professionalism. I highly recommend Blackfoot as a partner for any telecommunications needs.”
Sam Perkins, Center Network Engineer | IT Operations, Community Medical Center
“I was sick of dealing with an internet provider, a WiFi provider, and a separate phone provider to figure out one problem. Blackfoot was adaptable and came up with unique solutions for our business. If something goes wrong, it’s so much simpler to troubleshoot by making one call to one vendor. It’s really nice having a company that is willing to work with us.”
Ashley Grassa, Director of Operations PureWest Christie's International Real Estate
“The team over at Blackfoot has been instrumental in the success of our business. Their customer service and dedication to supporting us has been refreshing. It’s nice to be able to reach out to someone and have them genuinely want to help.”
Mike Rogers, Controller, Sleep City / Cranky Sam's Brewery / Smart Rooms
“Dusty St John and the technical support team at Blackfoot have been a pleasure to work with. Their response time when contacted with either a problem or general question is excellent. Blackfoot, especially Dusty, has also been willing to consult and help with questions about products and processes that are not necessarily part of its product suite in order to help solve problems my organization has needed help with.”
Dale Asanovich, IT Director, Hellgate Elementary School
“Blackfoot Communications provides and manages our phone solution at the Sanders County Courthouse. We had an outdated phone system that we needed to replace. The transition was very coordinated and proved to be smoother than we thought. Now we have a modern phone solution with the best tech support ever!”
Kathy A. Conlin, Sanders County Commissioners’ Office
"Blackfoot is our partner. They care as much about our business as they do their own."
Earl Akers, Director of Information Services, Western Montana Mental Health Center
“Customer service is so important in our line of work. That’s why we needed a provider who could deliver reliable voice and data services. Blackfoot has been a great partner since 2015 and truly shares our vision of customer service excellence.”
Quin Williams, Vice President, Williams Plumbing
"It’s a matter of confidence, trust and rapport."
Dan Lee, IT Support Specialist, JCCS
"While cost savings are significant, having a company that can provide timely and superior support is pretty significant, as well."
Matthew Roberts, Systems Administrator, Garlington, Lohn & Robinson Attorneys