Communication Connections

Provide a brief description of the Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative?

Customer had a requirement to become PCI Compliant. They needed to secure their environment and have backup in place to handle failures. The company’s first requirement was to implement a complete MPLS Network over seven sites, which we coordinated and implemented. Next we deployed and implemented the FortiGate Security Appliances at all of their locations to provide encrypting over a Private Network for added security. Next we implemented a High Availability Solution at the organizations consolidated egress and ingress points, providing the client with a backup should the initial appliance fail. Internet Access was consolidated to and fro one location as required but we took things one step further by implementing a VPN backup for the MPLS at all site to ensure backup within the sites. Security for the Mobile Users was achieved through FortiClient. We secured all Web Servers with the FortiWeb appliance (first deployment of the product in Canada) and secured and filtered all Mail Traffic using the FortiMail product. FortiGates were installed at each site to deal with browsing and other internet threats, as well as at the edge to ensure only productive traffic traipses the MPLS Network. Finally. a central management system, using FortiManager, for all of the FortiDevices was designed and implemented.

Describe what makes this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative original or innovative.How is this over and above the accepted norm?

Maxwell Paper Canada was looking for a solution to be ready for PCI Compliance. Goal was to achieve an environment where they could satisfy the PCI Compliance requirements, but also be able to grow and see measurable benefits and return on investment on their investment. When we began speaking to the IT Manager at Maxwell Paper, budgets were drawn up, vendors as well as products selected, however certain features and capabilities were forgone to achieve compliance readiness. Measurable return on investment was put aside, as were many metrics. After fully assessing their requirements, Communication Connections approached their requirements as we would any other, to provide the best solution to address their compliance readiness requirement without forgoing their own requirement to maximize efficiencies and see a measurable return on investment. The solution we provided to the customer was by far the most cost effective versus feature set. Not only was the customer provided a feature rich solution at 50% of the expected budget, almost a year later, they are finding new and innovative ways to use the solution we have provided to them to improve their internal and external security.

Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s sales or revenues. What changed?

All efficiencies and metrics originally abandoned were put back in place. The aim of this project was to increase the customers efficiency while also hardening their network against attack. We achieved this goal in that the customer has reported their efficiency has almost doubled since the implementation. In addition to this. The previous hosted anti-spam solution (initially abandoned, but now brought back into picture, since we provided the savings) in place had a 60% stop rate with 20% inappropriate stoppage. Our new solution with the Fortimail for anti-spam contained within our security solution has improved this to 99% stop rate with less than 1% inappropriate stoppage! This has proven to be a significant time and cost saving for the customer as their spam management has reduced significantly!

Describe the improvement this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative made to the customer’s efficiency. What changed?

Efficiency has almost doubled for the customer. Predominantly due to the implementation of central management of their security devices. This allows their devices to be monitored and managed from one central location. This has allowed for significant network changes to occur within almost 50% less time than previously. Of course, the anti-spam improvements has improved productivity across all aspects of the customers business. They report productivity improvements in excess of 10% across all business units due to the reduction in spam.

How did this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative improve the customer’s ability to serve its internal and/or external clients?

The customer has been able to reduce the number of attacks impacting their network and services and thus increase their server uptime. Previously the customer was able to sustain a 94% uptime (24/7). Since the new solution was implemented they have sustained a 5 9’s uptime for their clients. This is largely due to the innovative technology within the solution we provided and the ability to serve not only security needs but to also work with disaster recovery scenarios. We provided not just the basic needs of the customer, but we also provided a number of other value adds to the solution which has allowed the customer to reduce their spending in other areas which overall provides significant cost efficiencies.

In what ways does this Solution, Service Provided, or Initiative go above and beyond industry norms and expectations?

The solution goes a long way above and beyond because we are not just providing a solution to the customer. We are a partner in the customers success. We work day and night to ensure the customer is provided the most effective, cost effective and time efficient solution and as far as possible we aim to extend the customers dollar as far as we can possibly manage to ensure the customer get’s the RIGHT solution for their business. As partners in our customers business we will continue a sustained effort to ensure our customers success with technology, allowing the customer to concentrate on the important matters of growing their business. We don’t implement what’s easy for us – we implement what’s right for the customer.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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