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CenturyLink MPLS Case Study featuring Scottrade
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CenturyLink MPLS Case Study featuring Scottrade



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  • 1. CenturyLink Solutions Featuring:CenturyLink IQ™Private PortCase Study: Scottrade
  • 2. Customer:Scottradewww.scottrade.comBusiness Challenge:Online brokerage firm Scottrade neededa secure, scalable solution to meet therapidly expanding and very diverse voiceand data needs of its more than 290branches.Solution:CenturyLink IQ™Private Port linksScottrade headquarters with itsbranches via a flexible, scalable andreliable MPLS-based private VPNservice that combines voice and dataapplications onto a single cost-effectivenetwork.Benefits and Results:Scottrade predicts an 18-24 month• return on investment (ROI) withCenturyLink IQ™Private PortScottrade customers have reliable• access to branch managers andbrokersTo support Scottrade’s plans to reach• 500 branch offices by 2010, thenetwork can easily expandWith security a vital issue in the• financial services arena, CenturyLinkworked in close partnership withScottrade to build security andregulatory compliance into thenetworkNext-generation CenturyLink• network paves the way for expandedapplications and capabilities, includinga more reliable backup strategyCapacity of three to five times normal• volume for potential customer servicespikes is available with CenturyLinkburstable circuitsScottradeScottrade has been a leader in the brokerage industry for more than25 years. A pillar of the company’s success is Scottrade’s adoption ofadvanced technologies to optimize the online trading experience andenhance its customer service.While the bulk of the trading occurs online, the Scottrade network ofnearly 300 branch locations is key to the company from a customerservice perspective. “When you call Scottrade, you are routed fromour central location to your local branch. Right away you’re talking tothe broker or branch manager you’ve been working with for years.It’s not a centralized call center operation,” said Ian Patterson, CIO,Scottrade. “We make sure we have the capabilities and connectivity tosupport very personal service at every one of our branches,” explainedPatterson.FACING THE CHALLENGESTo enhance its excellent service for its customers’ 1.6 million accounts,the company plans to expand its branches to 500 locations by 2010. In2005, Scottrade began planning for that growth, recognizing that if thecompany did nothing, it would be over-subscribed in the near-term onthe existing private network serving its branches. “We began to lookfor a new way to securely, reliably handle this traffic today and in thefuture,” said Patterson.One of the challenges that Scottrade faced was that these brancheswere located across the U.S., and calls needed to be routed rapidlybetween each branch and the corporate location in St. Louis, Missouri.As a financial services firm, Scottrade needed to meet stringentsecurity requirements.“The connectivity varies, with fractal T-1 in some branches and full T-1in others, and that was another challenge. Also, we do workflow andscanning operations from our branches, not just voice, and we’re tryingto be paperless,” explained Patterson.*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.
  • 3. “Our total cost-of-ownership models look at an 18-to24-month payback, and that was one reason to choose QwestiQ Private Port. But our customer commitment was anotherimportant reason: our branches are our customer lifelines, andiQ Networking is our lifeline to our branches. Today, Qwestcontinues to deliver from the cost, capabilities, service andsupport perspectives.”—Ian Patterson, CIOPROVIDING A SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONScottrade selected CenturyLink IQ™Private Port basedon the service capabilities, cost efficiency, and thecompany’s existing relationship with CenturyLink. “Wedid due diligence for about three months and looked atall the key vendors. We saw that Qwest could deliverthe right resources and the right products. For example,Qwest has been doing multi-protocol label switching(MPLS) longer than any other provider in the U.S. Theyare already a strong partner with us on the Cisco® side,and we knew that Qwest would work with us as wegrow,” said Patterson.The CenturyLink IQ™Private Port MPLS-based networkconnects the nearly 300 Scottrade branches with thecompany headquarters in Missouri. Voice and data areconverged for cost efficiency and the Cisco switches,firewalls, security devices and other hardware arelocated at each individual branch.DELIVERING RESULTS“People often think of CIOs as technology guys, butI really consider myself a businessman first,” saidPatterson. “It was vital to me to ensure that the newnetwork could support a growing and changing groupof new applications and capabilities for our branches. Ididn’t want just a bigger pipe, but a network with theflexibility and scalability to help us serve our clients evenbetter in new ways. Qwest worked diligently with us tocome up with exactly the right solution for Scottrade,”Patterson added.CenturyLink IQ™Private Port is delivering a wide rangeof benefits to Scottrade, including the following:LOW COST, HIGH VALUE“We saw the total value of Qwest MPLS in terms ofimpact, cost over time, and also for cost mitigation.As on online financial services company, there is highpotential to lose customers if we have an Internetoutage, so the one-on-one interaction betweenbranches and customers that we have with Private Portis even more critical to keep the customer experienceseamless,” said Patterson.SECURITY“Security is key, plus I’ve got regulatory needs as afinancial services business. Qwest worked closely withus to make sure that we’re covered,” Patterson noted.RELIABILITYCenturyLink’s state-of-the-art Internet protocol (IP)backbone eliminates congestion, and Scottrade’sdedicated CenturyLink IQ™Private Port is backed by aservice level agreement (SLA).(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.
  • 4. SCALABILITYBased on CenturyLink’s OC-192 IP network, CenturyLink IQ™Private Port is an ideal environment for Voice over InternetProtocol (VoIP) and other new applications and capabilities atScottrade branches in the future.SERVICE EXCELLENCE“Working with the people in the Qwest Network OperationsCenter (NOC) has been wonderful. They are not just looking atour SLA; they know the criticality of Scottrade’s branches to us,”said Patterson.1801 California StreetDenver, CO 802021 10/07(continued from inside page)©2012 CenturyLink, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Not to be distributed or reproduced by anyone other than CenturyLink entities and CenturyLink Channel Alliance members.Services not available everywhere. Business customers only. CenturyLink may change or cancel services or substitute similar services at its sole discretion without notice.