American Broadcast Employees Federal Credit Union Partners with Lightpath for Network Management Success
Founded in 1967, American Broadcast Employees Federal Credit Union, ABEFCU, serves employees and members of media companies such as ABC, WNET, Marvel, ESPN, and its subsidiaries, as well as some related media properties and consumer groups. The Federal Credit Union has full-service branches throughout the US in 7 locations: NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Burbank, Bristol CT, and Washington DC.
Seasoned Director of Communications & Development at ABEFCU, Anthony Shawy, understands how customer satisfaction is key to retaining today’s business while enabling growth into the future. Although he works with a very lean staff, Shawy prioritizes adopting the best technology to help the credit union stay competitive with the 24/7 reliability, speed, and flexibility needed to provide quality “always connected” services to its members.
With each branch office and full-service ATM supporting customers, it is critical for ABEFCU to have real-time visibility and control over their network to see what is connected and where applications are going, monitor actual traffic, and track everything going through their firewall.
Needing real-time insights to proactively manage all the company’s locations on their network, ABEFCU started their search to replace their VPN
Needing real-time insights to proactively manage all the company’s locations on their network, ABEFCU started their search to replace their VPN and wireless backup with an SD-WAN solution that would serve their needs but not require many changes to their current network and firewall configurations. “We wanted to emulate our current connections to our third parties without having to get any of them involved in the conversion project to SD-WAN,” explains Shawy.
After an unsuccessful attempt to secure a solution from another incumbent provider, Shawy turned to Lightpath. “We chose Lightpath because they offered a cost-effective solution and had provided excellent customer service for the dual Internet access at our Rockville Centre, Long Island headquarters,” states Shawy.
“We chose Lightpath because they offered a cost-effective solution and had provided excellent customer service”
Having maintained a great working relationship with Shawy over the years, Patricia Polenz, Account Executive at Lightpath, was quickly able to assess that an off-the-shelf SD-WAN solution would not work to meet the needs of ABEFCU, but a custom LP FlexNet solution could.
Patricia Polenz assembled a cross-department collaborative Lightpath “dream team,” including Bill Cheslock (Product), Manjinder Singh and Jules DeLeon (Solutions Engineering), and Karen Meyer (Project Management) to develop and implement a winning custom solution for ABEFCU.
The expert Lightpath Solutions Engineering team collaborated with Shawy extensively to understand his vision and the ABEFCU environment
The expert Lightpath Solutions Engineering team collaborated with Shawy extensively to understand his vision and the ABEFCU environment. The exchange of ideas enabled them to best design a new solution that would work with the existing ABEFCU network and meet their visibility and management needs.
“Our Engineering team goes the extra mile and does many things other providers do not do. We researched the customer’s infrastructure and their vendors to get a full picture of what we are dealing with to create the proper solution,” states Polenz.
The Lightpath team successfully worked through complexities such as type 2 (third-party) connectivity and over-the-top (OTT) implementations outside a closed network. In addition, the team had to figure out the best way to integrate with ABEFCU’s local area network (LAN) and also provide Internet redundancy. The ABEFCU solution included type 2 installations for branches with Lightpath connectivity as the hub in Rockville Center, along with new Cisco and Acuative technologies for network visibility and management that were at the core of the LP FlexNet implementation.
“With Lightpath, you get a whole team”
“With Lightpath, you get a whole team. Collaborative Sales, Product, Engineering, and Project Management teams solved issues and got the solution to work in a way that met our needs while minimizing the internal work needed by ABEFCU,” states Shawy. “The deployed solution took work and testing from both sides, but Lightpath wasn’t siloed like other providers. The Engineers and Project Manager even remained involved with the installations and turn-ups to troubleshoot any issues along the way.”
The custom LP FlexNet solution provides ABEFCU with better management and visibility of their network. After implementing the solution, Shawy states that ABEFCU is “seeing more transparency into the network, less downtime, proactive alerts, and quicker repair times.”
“Seeing more transparency into the network, less downtime, proactive alerts, and quicker repair times”
Lightpath not only helped ABEFCU achieve the visibility they needed but also achieved cost savings for the company. The customized solution was more economical as compared to the replaced network while building on to the connectivity Lightpath already had in place.
“Changing companies can be difficult with some short-term overlapping expenses and an investment in time. But this is worth it in the long term to achieve visibility and flexibility to deploy and have backup by dedicated lines, any ISP, and even mobile hotspots, allowing use anywhere with the ability to get back in service even in a temporary or suddenly moved location,” states Shawy.
Today, with Lightpath as ABEFCU’s strategic network partner, they can continue to count on the Lightpath team to provide out-of-the-box thinking, team collaboration, and support to provide more new services to better serve the needs of their customers.
To learn more about how Lightpath can help your company develop customized network management solutions, contact us at 877-544-4872.