ITC builds proactive solutions for a reactive marketplace
When a company’s VoIP call quality declines or its video conferencing system experiences a lag, the most common remedy is to install a bigger and more expensive internet connection. But bumping up bandwidth is rarely the fix. The problems persist, and the complaints continue.
MSPs like ITC rely on Bigleaf Networks to solve these and other connectivity problems. In fact, they’ve learned to solve network issues before their customers even realize there’s a problem. That’s a superpower that enables the MSPs to enhance customer value and reduce the cost of internet-related support calls.
SD-WAN changed ITC’s customer interactions
Founded in 1989, ITC provides a broad range of technology solutions including: managed IT, situational awareness, structured cabling, unified communications, video surveillance, wireless networking, voice over IP (VoIP) telephony, and other cloud applications and premises-based, always-on technologies.
“Many companies, even today, approach IT reactively,” said Keith Studt, president of ITC. “They find themselves relocating offices, going through a merger or downsizing. And as the deadlines for those events get closer, they realize they have a need and an opportunity to reassess their IT systems.”
Telephony is at the heart of many of the clients ITC works with. According to Studt, one of the drivers for reassessing their IT platforms is performance — dropped VoIP calls, inconsistent connectivity and, ultimately, lost clients. Clean, reliable connectivity with resiliency or redundancy is paramount for many of ITC’s customers.
So, ITC turned to Bigleaf to make their clients’ networks more reliable and, for some, more affordable.
“We try to educate our customers that internet connectivity is the weakest link that causes a problem with cloud services, whether that’s their voice, email, or CRM. So, if we can enhance that experience, and provide them the connectivity and business continuity, even in the worst of conditions, everybody wins,” Studt said.
No two companies’ problems are the same. So the MSP’s team needs to understand every client’s unique business requirements and design the most effective solutions.
Studt says he has noticed a surprisingly large number of competitors who believe the cloud means simply plugging in a device and expecting it to work.
“We go into client engagements with a primary goal of understanding what it is we’re trying to accomplish, where they make their money, what it is they do well, and how can we complement that or increase that or help them without changing how they do business,” said Studt. “We show our clients trends and things that they can leverage to help them become more profitable and create an all-around mutual relationship that allows both sides to win.”
Better network visibility enables ITC to provide proactive service and higher value
“We were losing clients who were using a particular Internet provider in our territory,” Studt said. “And given the rural area we service, there weren’t a lot of other connectivity options. We were stuck.”
To deliver the reliable connectivity, ITC needed to provide the cloud solutions their clients needed.
ITC turned to Bigleaf to eliminate customers’ routine performance issues. Studt quickly discovered that Bigleaf provided powerful, unanticipated benefits.
“Bigleaf gave us visibility to see when problems were occurring so we could inform the customer and also gave us the quantitative data to be able to point specifically to the carrier causing the issue,” said Studt. “That visibility has been incredibly beneficial to our business and to the service we are able to provide our customers.”
While ITC can’t stop provider outages from happening, Bigleaf keeps the outages from affecting internet performance. It also enables ITC to identify issues quickly and communicate them to customers proactively.
“With Bigleaf, we’re able to call customers before they call us,” said Studt. “It’s definitely put us in a place where we have a more intelligent solution than our competitors.”
Chaos becomes a competitive advantage
Before partnering with Bigleaf, Studt’s team used a chaotic deployment of laptops to track down connectivity issues. Bigleaf’s firewall-friendly, on-site router and dedicated backbone network can control traffic both to and from the cloud, providing ITC with end-to-end visibility and control.
The move to Bigleaf has given ITC an advantage over competitors and opened opportunities to increase revenue with existing clients.
“We had one client whose circuit was consistently causing 3 hours-long service outages outside of normal business hours,” Studt said. “Nobody knew because, obviously, they weren’t there. But then it started to happen during the day when people were working. Because we had visibility and could pinpoint the problem at the source, we were able to upsell that client to a much more powerful and profitable enterprise-grade fiber connection.”
That visibility means ITC doesn’t need to chase after network providers, track outages, or diagnose root causes. Bigleaf saves time and stress for ITC’s small staff and customers.
“It would be great if every site had rich connectivity and redundant connections, but that’s not the reality of today’s internet,” Studt said. “Being able to give customers proactive, quality service because of the visibility Bigleaf provides helps them see the value of what we offer.”