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Founded in Perry Hall, MD in 1955, Baltimore County Savings Bank has grown from a single office only open two days a week to a dozen and a half full-service branch offices located across three counties. Today the bank has more than $800 million in assets and it's still growing. To support and enhance continued growth, the bank's IT department wanted to upgrade the existing PBX phone system to IP Telephony, and eventually upgrade the entire network infrastructure. They knew they needed help with a project of this scale, but, like many mid-sized businesses, they weren't sure who to turn to for support.
IT support technician Matthew Loraditch made the first search on the Internet for resellers and consultants and asked for quotes from several likely candidates. Things happened fast after that.
“Logicalis was the first to get back to me,” he recalls. “I had quotes from them within days after I'd been authorized to proceed with the upgrades. It made me look good,” he says. None of the proposals from other firms came close to matching the combination of products, pricing, services and training that Logicalis provided. One reseller could match Logicalis on the price of hardware, but it didn't provide training and, on further scrutiny, its own financial condition fell short of the bank's standards. “Logicalis had it all,” Loraditch says.
Two sales in one
Logicalis Director of Business Development, Mid-Atlantic, Al Lepeau understands that a customer's concerns often extend beyond the life of any single project. “Customers want to know that they can count on us for the long term. Whenever I'm called about IP Telephony,” he says, “I have to make two sales: one for Cisco for the best products, and one for Logicalis for the best services. Beyond that,” he adds, “Logicalis' own robust financial condition is very re-assuring to customers. They know we'll be around for a long time.”
The proof of Cisco's superiority as the vendor of choice for IP Telephony is in the track record of its hardware and software. The proof of the superiority of Logicalis' services was in its timely and thoughtful response to the first cold call from Loraditch. Pre-sales Technical Consultant Charles Lan was able to get an initial quote to Loraditch in under three days.
It also helped that Logicalis not only was able to get the best price for the IP Telephony gear that BCSB needed, but also was able to extend the discount to other Cisco equipment that BCSB already knew it needed.
“When we open doors with our customers for deep discounts we often provide them with guidance on how to optimize the value of the opportunity,” remarks Lepeau. “It's like a one-day sale. At BCSB they knew they were going to upgrade switches in their branches, so they loaded up their cart with all the switch upgrades they needed. The deal size jumped dramatically. On the customer side they were grinning ear to ear over the savings.”
Loraditch would agree with that characterization. He also feels the same way about the post-sales installation and follow-up. Installation was expected to take two weeks at BCSB headquarters. Through the combined efforts of Logicalis Project Manager Lara Constantino and Logicalis delivery consultant Pard Mahatthanatrakul, the job was complete in one week.
“This is cool!”
Besides being happy with the price, because of the training Logicalis provided, the users were equally happy with the new equipment. The receptionist, whose previous phone wouldn't let her transfer calls to branch offices, testified to the dramatic increase in functionality made possible by VoIP when she observed on the first day with her new phone, “Wow. This is cool!” Customers of BCSB might not attribute the improvement to the new IP Telephony infrastructure but they also like the faster response time that the new technology makes possible for BCSB.
“The great price and superior services that Logicalis provided not only made our department look good,” Loraditch says. “but the resulting upgrade also makes the bank look good. It was a win/win situation all the way from the IT department to our customers. Logicalis did an excellent job all around.”
Logicalis also helped BCSB with an APC rack for the phone system and will help with the eventual extension of the IPT system to all bank branches.
“I think of Logicalis like a true partner,” Loraditch says. “They have the comfortable feel of a local company, but they also have all the resources of a national company. It's a good combination. I've recommended them already to other banks in the area ones we don't compete against,” he adds.