Engineering and architecture firms must continually adapt to evolving conditions in large-scale projects, necessitating seamless communication, collaboration, and uninterrupted connectivity. As an esteemed player in the fields of building and airport design as well as survey work, Passero Associates needed to guarantee uninterrupted and dependable connectivity for its second-largest site’s team and senior executives. They found that using Bigleaf allowed them to minimize outages and downtime that disrupted their business operations and productivity.
Passero Associates, based in Rochester, NY, is a well-established engineering and architecture firm with a sterling reputation for delivering innovative and aesthetic projects. With a team of around 170 employees spread across eight different sites, the company manages a harmonious work-sharing model where tasks are distributed and collaborated upon irrespective of geographic boundaries. Their main office in Rochester houses around 90 of their talented workforce, with the second-largest office situated in St Augustine, FL, where they recently integrated the Bigleaf solution. Their daily operations are heavily reliant on software suites such as AutoCAD for designs and Microsoft Teams for communication and collaboration.
Unreliable internet connectivity with limited ISP options
Passero’s St. Augustine office, uniquely situated on an airport property, faced a perplexing connectivity issue. While they believed they had a direct “Fiber” connection, their connection setup was more intricate. The data link involved an initial journey to a point-to-point antenna before making its way to the fiber network. Due to this indirect route, the connection didn’t regularly perform as needed. On top of that, it was exceptionally sensitive to weather conditions, which was particularly troublesome with Florida’s various weather patterns.
This created productivity disruptions and business-stopping outages caused by jitter-laden public internet connections and adverse weather. More than the hours-long downtimes, the unpredictability of these disruptions was a menace. Imagine the uncertainty and stress of not knowing when or for how long your business-critical tools, like AutoCAD and Microsoft 365, including Teams, might be unavailable. It’s akin to driving on a road with random roadblocks. Such uncertainties can be as disruptive as consistent outages, if not more. The erratic nature of these connectivity issues made it challenging for key team members, including the CEO and CFO, to effectively operate their business. This recurrent and unpredictable problem nudged them to seek a failproof solution that would bring back reliability to their network.
- Eliminate downtime caused by unstable connectivity, which directly affected important members like the CEO and CFO.
- Adopt a quick-to-implement solution that didn’t require a prolonged setup process.
- Find a flexible option since there were ongoing discussions about relocating their site. The company wanted to avoid committing to ISPs that mandated multiple-year contracts.
Bigleaf's network optimization SD-WAN
Understanding their needs, Chad Krout, Passero’s Director of IT, received a recommendation from Paul Miller of Integritas Group, LLC to try out Bigleaf’s network optimization solution. Being familiar with many solutions and their impact on business needs, Paul understood Bigleaf’s ability to quickly drop into a site and immediately resolve connectivity issues that caused outages and downtime. Given the pressing need and Chad’s trust in Paul, Krout decided to try Bigleaf for himself.
Along with the Bigleaf service, Chad added a Verizon 5G device as his second circuit that allowed him to take advantage of Bigleaf’s same-IP address failover, collective circuit monitoring, dynamic QoS, and intelligent load balancing.
In turn, Chad saw a difference almost right away. Within the first week, the airport fiber unexpectedly suffered an outage, but the office operations didn’t skip a beat. Thanks to Bigleaf, the staff in St. Augustine carried on with their work, blissfully unaware of any connectivity hiccup. Krout pointed out, “They were still able to make Teams calls and continue working without disruption. In the past, they would have been completely dead in the water.”
Furthermore, Bigleaf ensures Microsoft Teams and other cloud-based applications run smoothly even during brown-outs, times when the internet connection doesn’t completely drop (so traditional failover doesn’t kick in), but rather performs so poorly that internet-based apps are practically unusable. With Bigleaf, Passero has revamped their connectivity landscape, ensuring a smoother workflow even when facing internet challenges.
Passero's future plans with Bigleaf
Bigleaf’s ease of setup and use was also a notable advantage for Passero Associates. It allowed them to immediately deploy a solution and paid off quickly when the outage hit the week following the installation. Krout emphasizes the straightforward implementation process, noting, “The ease and reliability that Bigleaf offers stand out. After setting it up, the only change we made was to our VPN configuration. It works efficiently right from the start.”
Moreover, the flexibility of Bigleaf’s solution provides Passero with the agility it needs. As the firm considers possible relocations or expansions, they’ll know they’ll be able to bring along and set up their Bigleaf router and Verizon 5G to connect their site to the internet immediately, even if they’ll have to wait for a primary line to be pulled in. Then after a second line is installed, they’ll be able to return to their redundant 2-circuit setup that provides the optimized network connectivity they enjoy today. With Bigleaf, wherever Passero decides to operate, they’ll be assured of a robust and reliable internet connection and optimally performing cloud apps.
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