Windstream Helps City to Save

“Since moving to Windstream, we’ve cut our monthly telecom bill in half.”

Lloyd Alger Information Systems Manager, City of Tallmadge

Industry Focus: Municipality

Location(s): Tallmadge, OH

Windstream Solution(s): Managed Services, Financing & Communications

Web Site: www.tallmadge-ohio.org

The City of Tallmadge, located in northeast Ohio, is a suburb of Akron with nearly 20,000 residents. Founded in 1807, Tallmadge’s most notable landmarks are Tallmadge Circle, a traffic roundabout located in the center of the city, and Tallmadge Church, which once appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine. Additionally, Tallmadge operates its own city government, fire and police departments and many other public services.

The Challenge

Tallmadge had obsolete phone systems installed in most of its municipal buildings. So obsolete, in fact, that the city was unable to locate proper parts whenever many of the systems and phones it utilized required repair. Furthermore, Tallmadge’s phone systems were not only outdated, they were also highly disparate, making it impossible for the city to integrate the systems across its many locations.

“When one of our phones died, we would often try to fix it by scrapping parts from another phone, simply because we couldn’t even buy phones that would work with our system anymore,” said Lloyd Alger, information systems manager for the City of Tallmadge. “Clearly, long-term maintenance and reliability were issues for us. Additionally, because of the high cost of maintaining the systems that we had, we were unable to afford services like caller ID, four-digit calling to all locations and voicemail for all employees who needed it, so cost was definitely an issue for us as well.”

The Solution

The City of Tallmadge made the decision to ask its telecommunications vendor at the time if there was an IP solution that the city could use to replace its antiquated phone systems. After that vendor provided Tallmadge with a number of quotes that far exceeded its preferred price range, the city reached out to the Tecquiti LLC for help. As a managed technology cooperative for public and private organizations, Tecquiti works to provide its members with reduced technology costs, improved productivity and facilitated collaboration.

Tecquiti worked with several of its Solutions Partners, including Windstream, to produce quotes for an IP phone system and network services for Tallmadge. After reviewing all of the quotes that were submitted, the city chose Windstream’s. “We wanted to invest in a system that had a shelf life that was agreeable for the price, but also one that could be updated and refreshed as technology changed – and if we could save some money in the process, it would be all the better,” commented Alger. “Windstream’s quote offered a more advanced solution for a lower cost than the other vendors. It was a very easy decision to go with Windstream.”

“IP Simple has been an amazing help for us.”

Lloyd AlgerInformation Systems Manager, City of Tallmadge

Windstream was able to offer Tallmadge such a great solution at such a great cost thanks to its IP Simple program. As the only network service provider that manufactures its own IP-based phone systems, Windstream has the unique ability to offer businesses a bundle offering of voice, data and equipment – all on one monthly bill. Structured as a rental program, IP Simple enables businesses to upgrade to new equipment company-wide with little to no capital expenditure while also consolidating their multiple IT vendors to a single point-of-contact. By leveraging IP Simple, Tallmadge was able to upgrade to a new IP-based phone system, consisting of two Windstream 48x Phone Systems, a Windstream 6x Phone System and an assortment of Windstream phones, while also contracting Windstream for a number of telecommunications services, such as Dynamic IP and Managed Router Support.

The Benefit

“IP Simple has been an amazing help for us,” remarked Alger. “Before discovering IP Simple, we never saw the benefit of renting or leasing equipment – we were very much in the habit of just purchasing equipment and then maintaining it beyond its shelf life, hoping to save money in the long run.”

It is not often that organizations update to new hardware and technology and actually save money, but IP Simple enabled Tallmadge to do just that. In fact, Tallmadge’s current mayor has estimated that the move to Windstream will save the city approximately $400,000 over the next decade – a figure that he considers very conservative. “Since moving to Windstream, we’ve cut our monthly telecom bill in half,” said Alger. “We’ve gone from spending nearly $10,000 a month to about $5,000 a month. It has made a measurable improvement on our budget.”

However, cost savings are not the only benefit Tallmadge has experienced since switching to Windstream. The city has also experienced the first-class customer service available to all Windstream customers. “Through the design, implementation and payment processes, I’ve always been able to get in contact with the same people at Windstream, which is a significant improvement over other vendors we’ve worked with,” stated Alger. “When you can actually get in contact with the same person every time, it’s much better than not having an assigned account rep and having to reach out to an 800 number or an e-mail address whenever an issue arises.”

The City of Tallmadge’s overall thoughts on Windstream can be summed up quite succinctly. “They’re a quality provider, they’re a very stable organization, their customer service is top rate and their costs are much more manageable than most other telecom vendors,” said Alger. “It seems too good to be true, but it’s not.”