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Ritter Communications now Prepared for Future Business Expansion.

Customer Story
  • Ritter Communications downloaded the free version of SevOne and was up and running within minutes
  • Immediately began analyzing and reporting on the network infrastructure and realized they needed a larger deployment
  • Ritter’s company size doubled and SevOne was flexible and scalable enough to handle the network expansion
  • SevOne built in trending will help future budgeting and forecasting for Ritter Ritter can now communicate better with customers as a result of the network information it has using SevOne.

Ritter Communications has grown from a local telephone company founded in Marked Tree, Arkansas in 1906 to a regional telecommunications provider serving 50 communities and over 40,000 customers in northeast and north central Arkansas as well as west Tennessee with a full suite of communications services. Headquartered today in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Ritter continues to expand its sphere of comprehensive services including high speed WAN, metro Ethernet, managed services, Internet access, cloud based applications and video. Additionally, Ritter has partnered to provide connectivity to national and regional broadband networks such as: Arkansas e-link, ARE-ON and Internet2, which provide a positive impact on the communities Ritter serves.

Challenge:

Ritter Communications is a pioneer in the telecommunications industry. What started as a small telephone company has grown to a full service communications provider, which created a need for advanced network monitoring. Ritter Communications had been using a mix of monitoring tools that would only accomplish one or two objectives, and involved a lot of manual effort. The December 2012 acquisition of Millington Telephone Company, Inc. and Millington CATV, Inc. was really the catalyst for change. The Network Operations Center (NOC) team realized that in order to keep up with its growth, the team could no longer just ‘get by’ and the decision to shop for a network monitoring platform was kicked into high gear.

Ritter’s Platform Support Lead, Matt Dalton stated, “We knew we needed a robust platform to live and breathe on. We wanted an appliance based solution that would allow us to focus our efforts on monitoring our infrastructure.”

Ritter Communications needed a network monitoring solution that aligned with the NOC team’s criteria matrix that it built to cross match vendor candidates with key selection criteria in order to build a business case. Important features included the flexibility to grow, a wide range of features available out of the box, the ability to manage client networks through a common infrastructure, and an appliance-based solution with no additional hardware to be purchased.

“We have to be able to work quickly and efficiently, so having an all-in-one platform was extremely important to our team. Having the ability to scale to serve our clients was paramount in our decision,” Dalton added.

Solution:

The Ritter Communications NOC team downloaded the SevOne IT monitoring solution from the SevOne website, which is free software that can monitor up to 1,000 elements. After doing so, the team was up and running and collecting and analyzing their network within minutes. The company reports that by downloading the free virtual version of SevOne, it was able to immediately realize the flexibility of the solution especially seeing the product do things that were not standard with other vendors.

“SevOne’s free download was truly a key factor in our decision. Before we ever got a sales call, we were using the tool and able to look at the interworking of the solution, so we already knew what it could do and were sold,” explained Dalton.

SevOne’s network performance management solution is now the platform of choice for Ritter Communications and in less than two months from downloading the virtual version of the solution, the team now monitors all of its switches and routers on the corporate network, edge and core equipment, and all internal servers.

The company is also beginning to use SevOne’s unique capabilities for multi-tenancy. As a service provider, Ritter has a responsibility to deliver information about the performance of the infrastructure and services it provides to clients. SevOne allows Ritter to group and categorize network devices by client and provide visibility for clients in a secure manner.

Results:

The benefits began with the initial SevOne implementation. “Our implementation of SevOne from start to finish was also done while going through a major acquisition, doubling our company size, along with a complete corporate reorganization. That right there showed how blatantly obvious the flexibility and scalability of the SevOne solution really is,” says Dalton.

Forecasting and budgeting will be positively impacted immediately as a result of using the SevOne solution. In the past, forecasting was done by gathering information over time, averaging, summarizing, and making an estimate based on averages of averages. SevOne provides built in trending and forecasting – a valuable benefit especially for Ritter’s engineering group.

Dalton further explained, “It was a very easy for us to see that this was a platform that we can grow with and grow up with too. SevOne gets us away from ordering more services and hardware all the time. As we continue to grow and acquire new companies, we’ve got the scalability built into the platform. That was key for us especially to budget accordingly.”

The company reports that having a platform now allows them to monitor its daily operations and network, while also allowing Ritter to communicate better with its customers due to having a much better understanding of what exactly is going on in the network. The engineering group can now easily see actual utilization and anticipate trends based on six months of actual data, and as-polled data – not summarized, spreadsheet data. This ultimately helps with bandwidth planning requirements and the numbers can now be backed up with actual ‘as polled’ data.

SevOne has helped Ritter to also build redundancy across its network as it continues to grow.

The sheer power and flexibility of SevOne is incredible. We can do anything we want with this platform, and in this industry you don’t get to say that too often. SevOne will allow us to continue to provide excellent customer service as Ritter continues to grow,” Dalton concluded.