Customer Success Stories
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Covenant Health Improves Communication with Cisco and WGTECH
Advances in communication technology have made it easier for organizations to connect people and departments, with one caveat: the technology needs to be the right fit. For Covenant Health, partnering with WGTECH has been the key to success for implementing Cisco gear across three of its large health organizations.
Covenant Health is a regional health delivery network with hospitals, nursing centers, assisted living residencies, and community-based health programs throughout New England. Rich Chapman, System Director, Network Operations chose WGTECH to select and deploy the Cisco Unified Communications platform at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, NH and St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, ME. It also helped to convert Nashua’s St. Joseph Healthcare from an end-of-life Siemens system to Cisco. Together, these three locations have more than 450 beds, numerous physician practices, and community and specialty services.
“We are a Cisco shop – it is a leading enterprise system, and we have decided to convert across the board. WGTECH has a lot of experience with Cisco and with our hospitals,” says Chapman, noting that WGTECH served the hospitals individually before they became part of the Covenant network.
Cisco’s Unified Communications platform brings people together anytime, anywhere, and on any device using integrated collaboration infrastructure for voice and video calling, messaging, and mobility. For Covenant, the call center capabilities presented significant efficiencies.
“We do 90 percent of our business over the phone,” says Chapman. “Our demographic is aging, and they are more comfortable talking over the phone than going online. With Cisco CCX, we are able to get the calls where they need to be quicker.”
With programmable call trees, staff is freed from answering and transferring routine calls. Before, they had to wait for someone to answer the phone and get transferred to the right person. With the Cisco system, patients can get right to a person who can help them renew a prescription, make an appointment, or check on billing. “Patients are happy – they can get where they want to go much quicker,” he says.
The technology also benefits Covenant. Not only does it free staff from managing initial call screening, the Cisco system also delivers useful data such as number of calls to each provider, call type, and length of call. “This helps us staff our sites because we can track stats across sites,” says Chapman. “When you see documentation of when calls come in, how long people are on the phone, and how long they have to wait on hold, it’s much easier to staff appropriately. We are saving money and the patients are happier.”
WGTECH also has helped Covenant deploy Jabber, a Cisco mobility platform that enables staff to use one extension no matter where they happen to be, including at home, a different location on campus, or even at a different Covenant hospital.
Combined with Cisco Active Directory integration, Covenant staff can quickly and easily find other people within the system. “You find someone in the directory and can click to dial from any Cisco phone,” says Chapman.
The partnership with WGTECH has enabled Covenant to stay on top of what could be a complex project. “WGTECH staff meet with us almost every week to plan implementation, keep documentation up to date, and develop communication that we can share with directors and staff,” says Chapmen. “WGTECH keeps us in line and moving forward with the project.”
And when the work is done?
“WGTECH has always been there for me. They don’t drop a project and go – they are true to their word,” says Chapman. “They are more of a strategic partner than a vendor, and that is what you need in this business. They understand us and they look out for our best interest. WGTECH is a partner for the long haul.”
Hussey Seating Gains a Strategic Partner with WGTECH
Few businesses make it past the five-year mark, but Hussey Seating Company is closing in on two centuries. One of its cultural touchstones is to find dealers and vendors that go beyond the transaction to become true partners. When it came time to review its IT structure, Hussey Seating found that partner with WGTECH.
Hussey Seating is a world leader in developing and manufacturing seating solutions for sports, entertainment, education, and worship markets. Based in North Berwick, Maine and family owned since 1835, the company’s products range from portable seating found on NBA sidelines and event centers, bleachers found in most school gymnasiums, to fixed seating and telescopic platforms found in some of the highest trafficked arenas and stadiums. Its partners are loyal – many of their exclusive dealers are on second-generation relationships – and so are its employees. When its long-time IT manager passed away, the company needed to make a choice: try to find a replacement, or work with an external vendor. It extended its existing relationship with WGTECH while it made the decision.
“Our IT manager had a unique set of skills and I wasn’t sure how I could replace him,” says Jaimie Rowe, VP of Engineering and Technology, Hussey Seating. “WGTECH had been providing escalation support for issues we could not solve internally, and they had been our go-to provider for professional services when we were making major changes. It was a natural transition to have them step in and provide emergency support while we tried to figure out next steps.”
IT is strategic to Hussey Seating – at its heart, it is a company that engineers and manufactures seating solutions by heavily leveraging technology for everything from developing very sophisticated quotes to designing custom solutions with 3D CAD software. Order processing is automated and integrated with multiple company systems. “We are a global company. Orders come in all day and all night, and if something goes down it costs us,” says Rowe. “Without IT, we can’t move production into the factory fast enough, get our orders fast enough, or get quotes done fast enough with the volume of business that we have.”
The company quickly realized that its breadth of technology required a diverse skill set that could best be managed with a team of experts rather than a single individual. With its strategic and critical reliance on IT, Hussey Seating needed an IT services partner.
Hussey Seating made the relationship with WGTECH formal after several months of transition. “We entered into a managed services contract that includes virtual IT management and strategic planning,” says Rowe.
Hussey Seating immediately started realizing the benefits from its new relationship with WGTECH. While any individual IT manager can excel in several areas, WGTECH’s team has deep expertise in all technology used by Hussey Seating. “Instead of knowledge of one or two people, a managed service agreement with WGTECH allows us to benefit from a significant depth of expertise across disciplines,” says Rowe.
Business continuity is improved, as WGTECH can deploy and manage the real-time replication of its two data centers. “That is beyond the scope of an average IT manager,” says Rowe. “With WGTECH, we get networking, storage, servers, and virtualization expertise. We can leverage them as a team.”
Another benefit has pleased Hussey Seating’s internal desktop-support professional, who originally was skeptical of the WGTECH partnership. “We wanted to maintain tier-one support in house, and he was unsure how the escalation to WGTECH would work,” says Rowe. “Today, he is a strong proponent - he can actually take a real vacation with WGTECH as a back up, and he has experts that come on site all the time so he is learning from them and benefiting from having peers on the job.”
But the biggest benefit is the strategic planning support to help Hussey Seating plan for the future. “I can work with someone at a peer level at WGTECH on long-term planning and strategy,” says Rowe. “I can’t know everything, and my role is varied. WGTECH brings me the understanding of what is new, what is up-to-date, and where we should be heading strategically with technology.”
Together, Hussey Seating and WGTECH are building a long-lasting partnership that supports their day-to-day business while working together for the future. “I don’t want just a vendor, and I don’t want to be just a customer,” says Rowe. “WGTECH is a mutual partner and has become an integral part of Hussey Seating.”
Peoples Choice Credit Union
One of the most important aspects of managing a financial institution is assuring customers that their assets are safe. In today’s hacker-rich environment, smaller institutions with few IT experts on staff must find creative ways to control information security. For PeoplesChoice Credit Union, partnering with WGTECH is a cost-effective way to access the advanced solutions it needs.
Peoples Choice Credit Union serves more than 14,000 members via its five locations in York County, and holds $121 million in assets. It works with external providers for most of its technology needs, including WGTECH, with whom it has partnered since 2000.
Why would a company with plenty of IT talent on staff choose to work with an IT solutions company? For MMG Insurance, its 10-year partnership with Workgroup Technology Partners (WGTECH) has enabled it to extend its IT expertise without expanding its payroll, and deploy the advanced IT solutions that enable it to grow its business.
MMG Insurance, based in Presque Isle, offers a wide variety of property and casualty insurance to protect both personal and business assets. With 160 employees serving customers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Pennsylvania, the firm supports a large geographic area.
Small and mid-sized companies can usually handle routine IT support issues, but today’s complex technology requires advanced-level support. A managed services contract from WGTECH offered AC Electric IT expertise, cost savings, and – perhaps most important of all – peace of mind.
AC Electric provides a range of electrical, engineering, and mechanical services, including motor, generator, and pump repairs and equipment sales. It has two locations – Auburn and Bangor, Maine – and it has worked with WGTECH since 1997, when it hired the company to help it switch from a Unix-based network to Windows.
Businesses can work with any number of vendors to access technology and support services, but for Auburn, ME-based architectural and engineering firm Harriman, developing a long-term relationship with WGTECH has produced a number of business benefits, including the ability to quickly recover from an IT emergency. This 140-year old firm manages three offices and 75 employees with one IT professional on staff, and relies on the expertise of WGTECH for technology advice, strategic planning, and for back-up support.
Harriman has more than 120 devices connected to its network, along with a full roster of email servers, data storage, desktop computing, and more.
WGTECH Proves a Perfect Fit for Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England
Like many companies with multiple disparate locations, Internet connectivity is important for Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE). Yet when costs for a back-up ISDN line threatened to spiral out of control, and tech partners were hard to work with, the company sought the advice of the experts at WGTECH to design a better solution.