Golden 1, a California credit union, built a successful, thriving business; but success, like failure, spawns challenges. Managing the growth brought its share of operational and logistics hurdles, such as monitoring its telecom services. By handing that work over to LinkSource, a telecommunications expense management (TEM) expert, Golden 1 reduced its expenses and improved its service dramatically.
In business since 1933, Golden 1 is California's largest credit union and one of the largest in the United States. The company has more than one million members, manages about $15 billion in assets, and operates more than 70 branches across California and 30,000 ATMs across the country.
Dispersing operations across the U.S. enables Golden 1 to serve customers effectively, but every new branch requires its own telecom and IT services. The company managed these accounts in an ad hoc fashion, leading to redundancies, inconsistencies, and an inability to take advantage of features like volume discounts.
Compounding the problem, Golden 1’s services were based on old-school time-division multiplexing (TDM). This was leading-edge when it was selected decades ago, but not as flexible as modern alternatives. As a result, the client struggled to maintain the solution. A lot of manual input was needed to get it running, and the network infrastructure lacked scalability, flexibility, and redundancy
The credit union needed help and turned to LinkSource, and their trusted technology consulting experts took over management of Golden 1’s numerous and complex services and billings. LinkSource helped the credit union recover refunds and credits on billing errors, while also identifying optimization opportunities for further savings and improvements.
Another change was migrating from TDM to session initiation protocol (SIP) voice infrastructure. The credit union had a lot of PRIs for its services, and costs were increasing over time as carriers were moving to IP network infrastructures. SIP allowed the financial services company to utilize call paths and not PRIs, which would save money, simplify maintenance, add flexibility, and take advantage of modern, cloud-based services.
LinkSource worked with Golden 1 to identify all current and future business drivers and create a migration strategy that matched the client’s defined parameters. A competitive environment was created through a request for proposals (RFP) process.
Four solution providers were considered, and each vendor demonstrated its capabilities in a lab environment before a selection was made. After a successful pilot, LinkSource managed the migration project throughout the successful user acceptance testing (UAT) phase, where it was then transitioned into a lifecycle state for ongoing management. The migration began in February 2016 and was completed in March 2017.
Golden 1 now has much firmer control over its telecommunications services. The company relies on tools to automate much of the deployment and management process, so employees spend less time manually managing the services and more time meeting business needs.
LinkSource, which handles the company’s procurement and expense management, ensured that all the phone numbers were ported to the new service and all TDM services were canceled. Because the same wiring and equipment is used for both voice and data, configuration costs and service charges greatly decreased and became easier to troubleshoot. The savings were enormous: LinkSource utilized its industry knowledge to reduce network service costs by more than 40%.
Additionally, Golden 1’s network is now more robust. The client benefits from added redundancy to ensure the phone system does not experience downtime due to events like hardware failures. Overall, simplification and increased lifespan of the infrastructure empowered the credit union to run its businesses more smoothly, with greater flexibility and visibility.
Utilizing the SIP infrastructure offers a variety of benefits, including:
Finally, the company is poised for future growth. The IP foundation enables the financial services supplier to take advantage of cloud services. These solutions have a new design, so much less manual input is required to perform tasks like adding more bandwidth to a branch experiencing high growth. The business also has the infrastructure to deploy SaaS solutions, which have more scalability and redundancy than old-school applications.
Migrating to new technologies may seem like a massive, unattainable task, but we believe this process should be seamless and simple. That’s why we’re dedicated to working side-by-side with our clients to identify unique business requirements and advise on secure, reliable, cost-effective solutions. Let us deliver the recommendations you need.