Imagine my happiness when I saw a press release issued about local dealer, Riverbank Volkswagen deploying leading edge IP communications solutions. The news brought back fond memories because in the mid-nineties I made a decision to give away a brand new yellow Volkswagen Beetle at a TMC trade show because I happened to see one at this dealer. Moreover the press release reminded me of my recent trip to Northern California where I visited with Megapath the company who supplied the dealer with their voice-optimized, private IP-based Duet service, which is designed to increase productivity and customer service levels.
According to Andrew Goldstein, President of Riverbank Volkswagen,"MegaPath's cost-effective, fully-managed Duet service
gives the entire team from sales to technicians to office personnel a reliable voice and data service that translates into superior customer service and improved interaction with corporate headquarters." He continued, "While we've had other providers in the past, there was an issue of reliability and excessive downtime in the service. Time is money and when the system is down, it has a trickledown effect from sales to the service department. In just four months as a MegaPath Duet customer, we've experienced no downtime, so we are always able to communicate with customers, vendors and corporate."
At MegaPath corporate HQ I got to meet with Rich Sabin Director. Marketing and Dan Foster, SVP Sales and hear how the economy has been their friend so to speak - referring to how saving their customers money has resulted in a 20% increase in business year-over-year.
I'm told much of the company's business has been growth and replacement of WANs with MPLS-based services. MegaPath sells broadband connections from 384 kbps on up and there are solutions for teleworkers, small businesses and enterprise customers with an emphasis on vertical markets such as retail, hospitality, restaurant, healthcare, legal and insurance/finance.
Another area of growth has been SSL where the company has a Java-based client which is downloaded on the web allowing secure connectivity to a corporate network. This works similar to a Remote Desktop or a Citrix solution and similarly the benefit of this approach over a traditional VPN is reduced complexity, no need for a standalone VPN client and few if any thorny firewall issues.
The company is replacing IPSEC with SSL in many cases but they wanted to make sure you knew they support IPSEC as well. Speaking of security, MegaPath also provides intrusion protection, DPI and unified threat management products.
The service provider owns its own network (including DSL.NET) and has agreements in place allowing for QoS to be delivered virtually anywhere in the country. This is opposed to best effort service which could have variable quality levels based on Internet congestion at an ISP or anywhere else.
As companies look for ways to save money it thrills me to see technology and in this case IP communications being one of the major ways for them to achieve their cost-cutting goals while simultaneously boosting productivity through a variety of teleworking and remote access solutions.