CenturyLink Solutions Featuring:CenturyLink IQ™Private Port ServiceCenturyLink™Long Distance Service andCenturyLink™Control Center ApplicationCase Study: Isabella Bank
Customer:Isabella Bankwww.isabellabank.comBusiness Challenge:IT managers resolved to migrate theiraging Frame Relay system over to anIP-base network. The switch would allowthem to implement a cost-saving VoIPproject as well as quality of service (QoS)capabilities. Moreover, by consolidatingonto a single provider, managers wouldreduce the administrative burden ofmanaging 70 monthly phone bills.Solution:Isabella IT staffers worked withCenturyLink specialists to install theCenturyLink IQ Private Port service at 22bank locations. As long-distance contractscame up for renewal, executives migratedto the CenturyLink Long Distance service.Managers use the CenturyLink ControlCenter application to efficiently manageconsolidated phone bills.Benefits and Results:Migration to the CenturyLink IQ Private• Port service cut some location expensesby up to 66 percent over previoussolution with another vendorCut long distance per-minute costs• by transferring to CenturyLink LongDistance serviceReduced phone system help desk calls• to 2 percent of totalCenturyLink IQ Private Port solution• significantly increased the reliability ofthe networkCenturyLink IP-based network allowed• the bank to implement QoS to support acost-saving VoIP deploymentControl Center application consolidated• long distance bills to significantlysimplify administrationIsabella BankWith 1.4 billion in assets , Isabella Bank has become a recognizedfinancial services provider in Michigan. Based in Mount Pleasant, thefirm supports customers through 24 state-wide locations. Theseservices include 24-hour banking locally and nationally via ATMs. Acorporate Website provides customers access to 24-hour on-linebanking applications. On the loan side of the business, employeesoriginate and process residential and commercial real estate loans alongwith student loans and credit card accounts among other offerings.The “always-on” expectations of banking customers today requires ITmanagers to maintain high availability to applications, data and voicecommunications across the firm’s network.FACING THE CHALLENGESManagers recognized that it was time to retire their aging Frame Relaysystem. “We wanted to get away from our fairly risky Frame Relaynetwork,” said Vern Houin, network manager for Isabella Bank.The President of Financial Group Information Services, (a wholly ownedsubsidiary of Isabella Bank Corporation) Jon Wainwright agreed, saying,“We’d taken Frame Relay about as far as we could go with it and wewere concerned about its limitations going forward. That’s when westarted looking seriously at MPLS technologies.”Beyond his concerns, Houin was excited about the opportunities thatMPLS solutions offered. “We were looking to expand into voice over IPservices and to leverage quality of service capabilities along with otherinitiatives. We knew that only new MPLS technology could bring that tous.”Budget considerations also weighed on managers’ minds. “Our long-distance contracts were coming up for renewal, so we used thatopportunity to evaluate alternatives,” said Houin. “We wanted to install*These results are unique to this entity and should not be considered an indication of the amount of savings orimprovements, if any, that may be realized by any other entity subscribing to comparable services.
“The consultation, advice and proactive support we’vereceived from the folks at Qwest have shifted the way wethink about them—to us they’re a partner, not a vendor. Ournetwork is now based on modern MPLS technology whichgives us the flexibility to adapt to future business needs.”— Jon Wainwright, President, Financial Group Information Services,(a wholly owned subsidiary of Isabella Bank Corporation)a contiguous solution from a single provider so that wedidn’t have 70 phone bills to administer every monthfrom different companies.”PROVIDING A SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONManagers worked with CenturyLink specialists toinstall the CenturyLink IQ Private Port service at 22bank locations. Once deployed, Isabella IT managersimplemented a VoIP system at these sites. Thecombined circuits provide employees with voice anddata services to support their customers.Executives have phased in the CenturyLink LongDistance service at sites as their existing contracts withother vendors run out. Employees use the Web-basedCenturyLink Control Center application to effectivelyadminister the bank’s consolidated phone bills.DELIVERING RESULTSTo date, the CenturyLink solutions and account teamhave performed as advertised. “We’re very happy tohave them as our business partner,” said Wainwright.“The migration to the Qwest iQ Private Port and long-distance services have reduced our expenses whilegiving us the reliability that we wanted.”CENTURYLINK SOLUTIONS REDUCED EXPENSESThe migration of Frame Relay contracts to CenturyLinkIQ Private Port circuits have provided significant savingsin some locations. “We’re literally looking at costs thatare one-third the size (66 percent savings) that we hadwith our prior vendor,” said Wainwright.Executives also reached their goal of reducing long-distance expenses. “The Qwest long-distance serviceachieved a lower per-minute rate than what we paidto our previous supplier, so we feel those savings aresomething we can hang our hats on,” said Wainwright.ENHANCED FLEXIBILITY AND PERFORMANCEThe CenturyLink IQ Private Port service delivered thefunctionality managers sought. “The MPLS circuitsallowed us to implement the QoS we needed to roll outvoice over IP service to our employees,” said Houin.“That has made the phone system much more stableand it’s also given us the savings that come with aninternal VoIP system.”Additionally, Control Center delivered the phone billadministrative relief that Houin desired. “The applicationallows us to consolidate our long-distance bills. ControlCenter also gives us the granularity to give different rolesto different people. Those two things have allowed us tohandle electronic billing more efficiently.”HIGH RELIABILITYThe reliability of the CenturyLink IQ Private Port servicehas met managers’ expectations. “We’ve been able todepend on the Qwest network services,” said Houin.“We don’t have the outages that we had previously, andthat gives us peace of mind.”(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.