After switching their network services over to iTel Networks, Astec Safety enjoys a superior network experience for both staff and customers through enhanced data and voice services with their partnership with iTel.
Industrial Safety Training, Equipment & Mobile ServicesLocation:
Lloydminster, AB CanadaServices:
- 100 Mbps Fibre Internet
- 100 Mbps VPLS
- Managed Voice
- An ailing company with a negative net worth
- Needed to modernize systems, improve vendor relations and cut costs
- Substantial data requirements
- Struggling to find a provider that can meet their needs in a tight timeframe
- Partner with a disruptive innovative company
- Increase the speed of the Internet and implement MPLS to prioritize traffic
- Managed Voice solution with improved VM allocation and ability to configure easily
- Clear accurate billing
- Accountable support team
- Smooth implementation process with an interim solution under very tight timelines
- Huge cost savings over previous supplier contract pricing
- Partnering with a disruptor allows you to develop a disruptive launchpad yourself
In 2016, Jeff Mulligan, COO of Astec Safety Inc., and his partners acquired an ailing company with a negative net worth that was ready to close its doors. However, it had a strong customer base and an excellent suite of products, so they knew there was an opportunity to turn things around if they could modernize their systems, improve vendor relations and cut costs – especially their telecommunication costs. Hosting an e-learning portal and an online booking system meant they had substantial data requirements and reliable internet was crucial to their success. They were struggling to find a provider that could manage their intensive data processing requirements in a cost-effective way and maintaining a large internal team and extensive onsite hardware wasn’t feasible. With current contracts expiring soon, they were in a tight spot.
Jeff has been in business for a long time and knows that even though buying from the “big guys” might keep you from getting fired, just doing what everyone else is doing is not going to set you up for a true partnership, and in many cases does not allow you to meet both the needs of your business and customers at the same time. Working with a disruptive company can create a launchpad for your business far larger than what is possible with the same solution everyone else is getting. With iTel, Astec now gets 10x the speed and throughput they were getting previously. Their internet is delivered via an L2 ethernet connection ensuring they get the stability required to reliably deliver their e-learning courses without any interruptions to the end-user. With MPLS, they can allocate bandwidth to priority functions so delivery is always smooth.
We use the term “disruptive” far too much today, but I do believe that there are companies like iTel that are capable of disrupting the big guys and providing new opportunities and a launchpad greater than you would ever get by doing what everyone else is doing or playing it safe. Through the work I’ve done with iTel, I believe that they are a truly disruptive organization – because every day the people I deal with at iTel are still asking themselves ‘are we making our customers happy?’
Additionally, the VoIP phone system improves their ability to manage schedules and provide customer service – Jeff is particularly fond of a feature that allows employees to transfer voicemails, which has streamlined their ability to respond to inquiries and other issues in a timely and accurate manner. Easily configured hardware means that as they grow and scale, they can reconfigure their office and add users as needed.
Astec was wary of contracts but they found their concerns regarding accountability and clarity quickly assuaged. iTel was able to offer a bill that matched exactly what was outlined in their contract – with no hidden fees.
Astec was impressed by the quality of support they received. They now had access to a Support Team 24/7 and are provided with a dedicated technician to each ticket meaning that troubleshooting and resolving issues is a smooth process with clear communication as the same technician works on an issue. With previous providers they found that they would end up having to restate their problem over and over again as one ticket flowed between multiple support personnel. If required, iTel will loop in end-users and other vendors as each situation might dictate.
Similarly, iTel’s implementation process surprised Astec. Jeff was used to having to shoulder a lot more of the implementation burden with previous vendors, and with iTel it felt like things were almost too good to be true. iTel implemented an interim solution that bonded five ADSL connections to ensure bandwidth requirements were met and services were still being delivered while iTel got all the permanent solutions in place.
The cost-savings they receive have helped Astec stay competitive – while phone and internet connectivity are considered table stakes, they estimate that with iTel they’ll save roughly $300,000 over the course of their contract.
Astec can use some of the money they used to spend on these services and apply them to developing new products for their customers. “$300,000 goes a long way as a springboard for future success,” Jeff says.
Partnership in Growth
With VR technology evolving rapidly, Jeff is planning ahead for the future of e-learning. The bandwidth required to deliver an immersive, hands-on course will be considerable, but Jeff is optimistic – “iTel has upward growth capability and is interested in our success so we’ll do this together.”
The telecom company we were with previously was not interested in a company our size… in coming alongside us and being in a relationship. We needed to be in a relationship with professionals that knew the IT business and understood enough about our business so they could position us to win – iTel has positioned us so that we can win. If they went away, it would be catastrophic for us.