CenturyLink Solutions Featuring:CenturyLink IQ™Networking Private Port ServiceCase Study: Moneytree, Inc.
Customer:Moneytree, Inc.www.moneytreeinc.comBusiness Challenge:IT managers decided to migrate from aninefficient, distributed to a centralizedprocessing model. That way, 140retail stores could easily access thecentralized point of sale applications andcustomer data at the company’s datacenter.Solution:After evaluating four tier-1 vendors,decision makers selected theCenturyLink IQ™Networking PrivatePort Service. The new multi-protocollabel switching (MPLS) networkconnects 140 stores across fivewestern states to the company’s maindata center. The company also usesCenturyLink™Long Distance and LocalDial Tone services.Benefits and Results:*The MPLS solution delivers greater• value—up to six times morebandwidth at a similar costThe remote manageability of the• CenturyLink IQ Networking servicereduced administration labor hoursThe solution’s higher network• capacity and reliability eliminated slowapplication response times and cuthelp desk labor hoursSavings in troubleshooting labor• hours have been reallocated tobusiness-building projectsThe private, encrypted MPLS• network meets the financial servicescompany’s compliance requirementsCenturyLink technicians delivered• network planning and technicalexpertise to optimize the company’snetwork servicesCenturyLink’s nationwide MPLS• network footprint facilitates thespeedy opening of new storesMoneytree, Inc.For some people, an unexpected auto repair can create an immediateneed for cash. However, banks often refuse to cash their payroll checksif they don’t have an account. Or they hold the funds for lengthy timesuntil they’ve cleared. So rather than writing a bad check, or backdatinga check that a repair shop won’t honor, people seek out a short-termloan to cover unexpected expenses.That’s where Moneytree, Inc. comes in. The company providesretail financial services to customers through 140 branches acrossfive western states. From check cashing services to payday loansto prepaid long distance and prepaid debit cards, the firm meets theneeds of a diverse clientele.Facing the ChallengesThe company’s IT architecture is currently based on a hub-and-spoketopology. All of the firm’s financial transaction processing is completedat the corporate office data center. Moneytree’s 140, and growing,retail stores do not have any processing power, nor back- end point ofsale systems. So they need to access these applications at the datacenter to function as a store.According to Hamilton Dutcher, director of information technologyfor Moneytree, Inc., “The network that we have set up between ourcorporate offices and our branch locations is incredibly important to usbecause without that, the stores would not be in business today.”The company’s previous, distributed processing model causedproblems that led to the new architecture. It was inefficient, and eachstore had its own, independent database. So managers at differentbranches lacked visibility into customer activities at various locations.“This caused confusion, resulted in customer service issues andpotentially cost us revenues to our competitors,” explains Dutcher.*These results are unique to this entity and should notbe considered an indication of the amount of savings orimprovements, if any, that may be realized by any otherentity subscribing to comparable services.
“The Qwest MPLS service delivers significantly greater valueto us in terms of its reliability, manageability, flexibility todeploy to new stores and competitive pricing. All around, it’s afantastic efficiency enabler for our business.”—Hamilton Dutcher, Director of Information Technology, Moneytree, Inc.Providing a Successful SolutionThe company’s legacy frame relay solution wasexpensive for the little bandwidth it provided. Moreover,it wasn’t very flexible in terms of provisioning to meetthe company’s processing needs.In response, managers evaluated solutions from fourtier-one providers. They compared them on a number ofkey criteria, including network reliability and the abilityto conduct remote management by a small IT staff.Decision makers also considered vendors’ customerservice abilities as well as their cost-effectiveness indeploying a network across more than 140 locations.Initially, the company deployed the Private RoutedNetwork service. When that service performed belowexpectations managers considered alternatives.Their analysis led them to choose the CenturyLinkIQ™Networking Private Port Service. The MPLSsolution replaced fractional T-1s with a full T-1 serviceto the company’s branch offices. These stores nowaccess applications and data at the corporate datacenter. Rounding out their services, managers haveimplemented CenturyLink™Long Distance and Local DialTone services.Delivering Results*“We chose Qwest because their service is moreeconomical, it’s more flexible, they have a broad serviceportfolio, and they offer better customer service thanwhat we were getting,” Dutcher said.Low Cost, High Value“For a similar cost, we have certainly seen significantlymore value in what we receive,” Dutcher said. “Wecan measure an actual number of staff employee hoursavings by having our small team affecting large resultsremotely to manage the MPLS network.”ReliabilityThe CenturyLink IQ™Networking Private Port Serviceis significantly more reliable than the company’s legacysolutions. “The measurable impact on our help desk isthat we are able to run it with fewer employees than wehad to use before because there’s simply more uptimeand fewer problems to resolve,” Dutcher said.Previously, when outages or technical issues happened,store personnel had to work with the company’s small ITstaff to resolve them. With those problems no longer anissue, “We can redeploy those folks to have them doingthings that drive revenues versus having them doingthings to keep up the network,” Dutcher said.Scalability and ServiceCenturyLink’s national footprint allows Moneytreemanagers to easily turn up new stores around the nationas the company grows. Moreover, CenturyLink IQ™Networking Private Port Service is scalable to 2.4 Gbpsto allow enough headroom for the company’s mostbandwidth-intensive applications.(continued on back cover)*These results are unique to this entity and should not be considered an indication ofthe amount of savings or improvements, if any, that may be realized by any other entitysubscribing to comparable services.