Fixed Wireless: A Diverse & Redundant Back-up Solution
without Sacrificing Cost or Quality

“We were extremely impressed with the Fixed Wireless technical solution and the benefits it provided, and we were confident that Windstream was the best provider to implement our solution.”

Shelby Joseph Director of Infrastructure Services, Microdynamics Group

Industry Focus: CInvoice Printing & Fulfillment Services

Location: Illinois & Wisconsin

Windstream Solution(s):  Fixed Wireless

Web Site: www.microdg.com

Based in Chicago, Microdynamics Group is a privately held national provider of personalized transactional printing, inserting and mailing services. Many of the nation’s most recognizable businesses trust their most important transactional information to Microdynamics Group, and the company produces more than 400 million pieces of mail annually for nearly 200 clients that range from financial institutions to healthcare providers to utilities. A dynamic leader in their industry, the company is often recognized for their growth and business performance by industry and business publications.

While the team of 180 at Microdynamics Group’s two facilities in Illinois and Wisconsin may make it look easy, their industry is incredibly complex and competitive. The leadership team at Microdynamics Group has never been afraid to invest in the latest technology in order to innovate and decrease costs. However, there is no margin for error and a single mistake or network failure could easily lead to the permanent loss of customers.

“Every day, we earn our clients’ trust by offering the best, most reliable experience possible in the industry,” said Tom Harter, Jr., CEO of Microdynamics Group. “We constantly evaluate every piece of our business, including our technology options, to make our operation more efficient and cost-effective. It’s that commitment to excellence and innovation that makes us the provider of choice to some of the country’s biggest and best-known companies.”

The Challenge

Creating a truly diverse network that offers maximum uptime

Microdynamics Group has earned their roster of blue-chip customers over the past 40 years by delivering a consistently mistake-free experience in managing customers’ transactional communications. While that reputation was originally earned in a largely analog world, Microdynamics Group has maintained it as an increasingly large part of their business has transitioned to digital e-services. This new generation of e-services requires a fail-proof digital communications network that is redundant, secure and reliable.

The in-house IT experts at Microdynamics Group recognized the company’s need to improve their business continuity protection, so they began to investigate solutions that would ensure maximum efficiency and 100% uptime. The company’s primary network connections, provided by a different provider, are fiber-based. Having a second fiber-based connection as a back-up could potentially expose the company to liability if an incident—a fiber cut adjacent to one of their facilities, for example—impacted Microdynamics’ connectivity for mission critical applications.

Microdynamics Group found it difficult to confirm that additional fiber options actually created a distinct path that offered a truly redundant and diverse back-up solution. Many fiber providers share rights-of-way, which means that a single trenching operation could disrupt multiple providers.

“Fundamentally, we had three issues that absolutely had to be addressed as we evaluated our back-up options,” said Shelby Joseph, director of infrastructure services at Microdynamics Group. “First, the service had to reliable. Downtime is devastating to our business, and it simply cannot be tolerated. We need 100% uptime. Second, the service had to offer guaranteed diversity so that a single incident could not take out both our primary and secondary options. And third, it needed to be cost-effective.”

The Solution

Fixed wireless and fiber: a perfect match

After exhaustively investigating their options, Microdynamics Group chose to implement a Fixed Wireless solution from Windstream. Fixed Wireless is a method of delivering high-speed data via a microwave connection between two fixed points. Windstream owns and operates the largest independent wireless network in Chicago (as well as in New York City and Milwaukee), and all IP traffic is transported entirely over our own wireless network utilizing high-capacity microwave technology.

Windstream’s Fixed Wireless access gives Microdynamics Group the ability to scale the speed of their dedicated connection from 1.5 Mbps to 1 Gigabit, and the point-to-point fixed nature of the service means that it is as reliable as other competing technologies. In fact, Windstream offers a 99.99% uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) with their Fixed Wireless access.

In addition to helping to create a diverse, redundant network, Microdynamics Group can use the Fixed Wireless capacity as part of their regular network to create as much efficiency as possible. Microdynamics Group also benefitted from being able to turn the service up quickly. Windstream was able to install the company’s Fixed Wireless access in just four weeks because Windstream owns the infrastructure and the Fixed Wireless connection also.

“We were very familiar with Windstream and their level of service quality because we have been a voice services customer for a number of years,” Joseph added. “We were extremely impressed with the Fixed Wireless technical solution and the benefits it provided, and we were confident that Windstream was the best provider to implement our solution. After the fact, I can confirm that the entire experience with Windstream was a homerun.”

The Result

True business continuity without sacrificing cost or quality

Today, Microdynamics Group’s IT staff and leadership team can relax knowing that the company has a truly diverse and redundant back-up solution that will ensure business continuity in the event of a primary network disruption. And the cost-effective nature of the service meant that Microdynamics Group didn’t have to make sacrifices to implement it.

Windstream’s Fixed Wireless access offers Microdynamics Group a number of other advantages:

  • Guarantees Microdynamics Group has a truly redundant, highly available network that offers last mile, diverse routes built above traditional wireline connections
  • Installs in four weeks, and Microdynamics Group can scale the bandwidth up to 1 Gigabit
  • Supports current enterprise Service Level Agreement (SLA) for high-quality service and high-performance metrics
  • Provides a fully managed solution that minimizes upfront investments Ensures 100% network reliability and security with 24 x 7 support