, Jan 20, 2014

SNAAC Calls on Logicalis for a Total Network, Call Center and DR Solution

Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC) was established in 1986 as a specialty finance company that purchases and services retail sales finance contracts acquired from auto dealers in the sale of new and used automobiles to military personnel. Today, the company operates in 30 states and employs more than 150 people at their Mason, Ohio facility.  Communication is a key component of SNAAC’s interaction with its military customers and its auto dealers throughout the country.

“Time to move on”
Although it had been dependable, the Nortel system that supported SNAAC’s call center was extremely outdated. Some components were more than ten years old. The auto dialer that SNAAC used wasn’t efficient and required its own separate system.

“Everything worked, but we had to support two separate systems and force them to talk to each other,” says SNAAC Director of IT Carter Varn. “It was time to move on.”

In preparation of a major refresh of technology, Varn had begun researching his options. Top on his list were Avaya (which had acquired Nortel), ShorTel, and Cisco. He attended demos with each vendor.

Total Solution
More than just newer technology, Varn wanted a total solution that would integrate an auto dialer and the underlying network infrastructure that would provide a technical foundation SNAAC could scale up, and allow it to adopt new call center capabilities such as remote call center employees. 

Varn says he was already leaning toward Cisco when he contacted Logicalis account exec Scott Meyer. Logicalis cinched the sale by matching the strength of Cisco’s technology with its ability to design and implement a solution that not only replaced SNAAC’s two phone systems with one, but also integrated a new auto dialer that would boost its call center capabilities with the latest innovations.

Just to be sure, Varn decided to upgrade the switches on the network backbone with Cisco switches before replacing the Nortel phones with Cisco phones in the call center. Logicalis planned and facilitated the whole project—including training and the implementation of the new auto dialer.

Time is Money
Precise planning was critical. Unlike  traditional companies that work five days a week from 9 am to 5 pm, Varn says SNAAC’s call center is operational from 7 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday, and three quarters of the day on Saturday.

That left Sunday to do it all. On the designated Sunday, Logicalis engineers swept in, removed all the old switches, and re-racked and tested the new switches.

“Everything went very smoothly. We didn’t miss a beat,” Varn says. When call center agents arrived for work early Monday they were greeted with a fully functional, state of the art call center. “We are very, very happy with the whole project.”

In the end, proceeding from one successful project to the next, Logicalis implemented a complete network infrastructure refresh, including new Cisco switches and firewalls, facilitated the implementation of a new, full-featured call center grade phone system with an integrated auto dialer, and upgraded SNAAC’s wireless network with Cisco equipment.

Disaster Recovery Imperative
During the course of the development and implementation of the call center upgrade, SNAAC needed to implement disaster recovery capabilities at a remote site.

Logicalis again was able to facilitate a solution in an extremely short timeframe, Varn says. “We had what seemed like a very tight deadline to meet but through the interaction of SNAAC’s and Logicalis’ teams we were able to successfully complete the project on time.”

Within six weeks from start to finish, Logicalis was able to spec, order and install a secondary base phone system at a remote data center. The secondary system was then linked to the base system at headquarters so they could see each other, set up call routing and do incoming and outgoing calls. This functionality would enable SNAAC to resume normal business activities in a matter of hours if a disaster struck the corporate office.

Solid Foundation
Through the entire series of projects, Varn says, “Logicalis has been extremely attentive. Project management has been responsive and the documentation Logicalis provided is outstanding. The Cisco technology has been great,” he notes, “but it was Logicalis that got us going, designed the proper solutions all the way around and put all the pieces together.”

“It’s been very positive for the company,” Varn adds. “We have such a solid foundation today that we are set at this point well into the future. It will be five to seven years before it’s time to do another refresh or make other changes; and, based on our experience to date, I will want to work with Logicalis when we’re ready to do the next upgrade.”

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