TrialCard

TrialCard assures call center uptime and delivers superior customer service with Aruba EdgeConnect

  • Customer Profile

    A full-service life sciences commercialization partner, TrialCard Incorporated provides technology-driven solutions spanning the biopharmaceutical value chain. TrialCard serves 400 life science customers and has connected nearly 36 million patients with more than $22 billion in branded drug savings.
    • Vertical: Healthcare
    • Location: Morrisville, North Carolina, United States
    • Customer size: Approximately 1000 employees

    Use Case

    Modernize branch connectivity to ensure 24/7 uptime throughout a widely dispersed call center network, deliver stable, high-performance access to critical applications, and enable IT staff to focus on business-critical initiatives by deploying an intelligent, automated SD-WAN platform

    Requirements

    • Adopt a resilient, advanced SD-WAN platform to modernize connectivity
    • Deliver superior experiences by deploying a high-performance, future-ready solution
    • Obtain intelligence and automation capabilities with intuitive, centralized tool sets

    Outcomes

    • Boosts business continuity and profitability by eliminating call center downtime and delivering high-quality VoIP communications
    • Increases application performance and stability, while streamlining troubleshooting, for improved user experiences and productivity
    • Gains future-ready infrastructure with simplified management, enabling IT to refocus onto business-critical initiatives

    With a network of call centers at the heart of its business, TrialCard’s profitability relies on stable branch connectivity. When the company’s legacy branch networking technology began causing daily disruptions, the situation quickly became critical.

    “Ensuring connectivity from the call centers back to our two geographically-dispersed data centers is our number one IT priority,” explains Ryan Van Dynhoven, Director of Infrastructure. As outage duration and frequency escalated, the TrialCard IT team needed to make a change.

    Aruba Saves the Day as the Clear SD-WAN Choice

    As a full-service life sciences partner to over 400 customers, TrialCard provides technology-enabled solutions that span the biopharmaceutical value chain, ranging from fully integrated, digitally-enabled patient support services to clinical trial management. Delivering on its commitments requires keeping every TrialCard call center up and running 24/7.

    To address these connectivity imperatives, TrialCard decided to modernize by adopting a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). A market review narrowed potential solutions to several, including Cisco Viptela and Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise, a self-driving SD-WAN platform by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

    TrialCard set out to test each solution at one of its call centers. Just before the testing began, outages reached their peak. “As soon as EdgeConnect was deployed at the test site, our network became so stable senior management told us not to remove it,” Van Dynhoven says. “They didn’t want to risk any additional customer impact in order to test another solution.”

    Improving Performance, Security, and Continuity

    This early success led TrialCard to standardize on the EdgeConnect platform, including utilizing Aruba Orchestrator for centralized SD-WAN management.

    Adopting EdgeConnect enabled TrialCard to eliminate its legacy WAN hardware and the associated management overhead. Plus, the company could fully utilize its existing virtual private LAN service (VPLS) connections, which improve performance and security over traditional telecommunications circuits.

    In addition to VPLS, EdgeConnect also gives TrialCard the flexibility to use cable broadband links, which maximizes connectivity opportunities and minimizes costs.

    Rock-solid no matter what causes an outage

    Prior to rolling out the networking solution enterprise-wide, the TrialCard IT team assessed the reliability capabilities of its new SD-WAN by pairing two EdgeConnect appliances, for redundancy, and then cutting power to one of the appliances.

    EdgeConnect automatically compensated. “We conducted a live test, during business hours with agents actively handling calls,” says Billy Vaughan, Senior Network Engineer. “When we unplugged one of the appliances, EdgeConnect still didn’t drop any calls.”

    It’s a similar story when a connectivity issue is external. Previously, the company’s IT team spent countless hours on manual traffic routing and emergency fail overs when a telecommunications circuit went down. Now, it’s a thing of the past.

    Reduced Complexity and Costs with Orchestrator

    In addition to significantly improved business continuity, EdgeConnect’s advanced features supply networking automation and intelligence capabilities that reduce IT management complexity and related costs.

    “EdgeConnect handles everything,” Vaughn says. “Managing our network is a lot simpler.”

    Orchestrator prioritizes traffic and provides granular control

    Key to simplifying SD-WAN administration and achieving business benefits is utilizing Orchestrator for optimizing voice and data traffic.

    It begins with Orchestrator’s customizable business intent overlays, which essentially prioritize traffic based on policies TrialCard establishes.

    “Although we created some policies, such as adding Salesforce to the ‘Critical’ classification, for the most part we used the supplied pre-defined templates,” Vaughan says. “Orchestrator nails it right out of the box.”

    Once the overlays were in place, Orchestrator provided the visibility and control to quickly identify areas where traffic patterns could be improved to further enhance user experiences. “Orchestrator allows us to really understand our traffic and easily make changes,” Van Dynhoven says.

    Effective troubleshooting gets users back online

    By providing granular capabilities for determining whether an issue is caused by the network or an application, Orchestrator also contributes to alleviating troubleshooting burdens.

    For example, if a call center reports performance difficulties with an application, TrialCard’s IT staff can drill-down to monitor traffic at that facility to uncover the problem’s source.

    “We can quickly rule out the network,” Van Dynhoven says. “Then we can focus the application owner on fixing the root cause.”

    Freeing IT to focus on the business

    Another benefit from utilizing EdgeConnect’s intelligence is freeing IT to focus on higher-value initiatives.

    This is crucial for supporting TrialCard’s growth model, which includes rapidly introducing new technology-driven business offerings as market opportunities arise and pursing an M&A strategy that brings additional technologies into the fold.

    All of these efforts require IT to move from reactive to proactive. “Before EdgeConnect I felt more like a fireman,” Vaughn says “With our SD-WAN, I can be an engineer again.”

    Stability and Reliability Improve Productivity and Profitability

    Today, the EdgeConnect platform is deployed in all of TrialCard’s call centers, business offices, and data centers throughout the US, as well as to external third-party processors in Europe. This gives users high-performance, high-quality connectivity to TrialCard’s business-critical VoIP call management system and a host of internally-developed applications.

    The new SD-WAN also supports moving to secure access service edge (SASE) by integrating with TrialCard’s security solutions from Palo Alto Networks. In addition, EdgeConnect bolsters the company’s digital transformation to cloud applications, such as Salesforce and ServiceNow.

    Gains across the board

    Most importantly, TrialCard is seeing increased employee productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction and improved profitability. This is because downtime due to circuit outages has disappeared, voice quality has dramatically improved, and applications run faster.

    According to Van Dynhoven, gains are occurring across the board. “With EdgeConnect, user experiences are very consistent, regardless whether a person is accessing local resources or a data center across the country,” Van Dynhoven says.

    Read more

    With EdgeConnect, user experiences are very consistent, regardless whether a person is accessing local resources or a data center across the country.
    Ryan Van Dynhoven, Director of Infrastructure, TrialCard
  • Customer Profile

    A full-service life sciences commercialization partner, TrialCard Incorporated provides technology-driven solutions spanning the biopharmaceutical value chain. TrialCard serves 400 life science customers and has connected nearly 36 million patients with more than $22 billion in branded drug savings.
    • Vertical: Healthcare
    • Location: Morrisville, North Carolina, United States
    • Customer size: Approximately 1000 employees

    Use Case

    Modernize branch connectivity to ensure 24/7 uptime throughout a widely dispersed call center network, deliver stable, high-performance access to critical applications, and enable IT staff to focus on business-critical initiatives by deploying an intelligent, automated SD-WAN platform

    Requirements

    • Adopt a resilient, advanced SD-WAN platform to modernize connectivity
    • Deliver superior experiences by deploying a high-performance, future-ready solution
    • Obtain intelligence and automation capabilities with intuitive, centralized tool sets

    Outcomes

    • Boosts business continuity and profitability by eliminating call center downtime and delivering high-quality VoIP communications
    • Increases application performance and stability, while streamlining troubleshooting, for improved user experiences and productivity
    • Gains future-ready infrastructure with simplified management, enabling IT to refocus onto business-critical initiatives

    With a network of call centers at the heart of its business, TrialCard’s profitability relies on stable branch connectivity. When the company’s legacy branch networking technology began causing daily disruptions, the situation quickly became critical.

    “Ensuring connectivity from the call centers back to our two geographically-dispersed data centers is our number one IT priority,” explains Ryan Van Dynhoven, Director of Infrastructure. As outage duration and frequency escalated, the TrialCard IT team needed to make a change.

    Aruba Saves the Day as the Clear SD-WAN Choice

    As a full-service life sciences partner to over 400 customers, TrialCard provides technology-enabled solutions that span the biopharmaceutical value chain, ranging from fully integrated, digitally-enabled patient support services to clinical trial management. Delivering on its commitments requires keeping every TrialCard call center up and running 24/7.

    To address these connectivity imperatives, TrialCard decided to modernize by adopting a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). A market review narrowed potential solutions to several, including Cisco Viptela and Aruba EdgeConnect Enterprise, a self-driving SD-WAN platform by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

    TrialCard set out to test each solution at one of its call centers. Just before the testing began, outages reached their peak. “As soon as EdgeConnect was deployed at the test site, our network became so stable senior management told us not to remove it,” Van Dynhoven says. “They didn’t want to risk any additional customer impact in order to test another solution.”

    Improving Performance, Security, and Continuity

    This early success led TrialCard to standardize on the EdgeConnect platform, including utilizing Aruba Orchestrator for centralized SD-WAN management.

    Adopting EdgeConnect enabled TrialCard to eliminate its legacy WAN hardware and the associated management overhead. Plus, the company could fully utilize its existing virtual private LAN service (VPLS) connections, which improve performance and security over traditional telecommunications circuits.

    In addition to VPLS, EdgeConnect also gives TrialCard the flexibility to use cable broadband links, which maximizes connectivity opportunities and minimizes costs.

    Rock-solid no matter what causes an outage

    Prior to rolling out the networking solution enterprise-wide, the TrialCard IT team assessed the reliability capabilities of its new SD-WAN by pairing two EdgeConnect appliances, for redundancy, and then cutting power to one of the appliances.

    EdgeConnect automatically compensated. “We conducted a live test, during business hours with agents actively handling calls,” says Billy Vaughan, Senior Network Engineer. “When we unplugged one of the appliances, EdgeConnect still didn’t drop any calls.”

    It’s a similar story when a connectivity issue is external. Previously, the company’s IT team spent countless hours on manual traffic routing and emergency fail overs when a telecommunications circuit went down. Now, it’s a thing of the past.

    Reduced Complexity and Costs with Orchestrator

    In addition to significantly improved business continuity, EdgeConnect’s advanced features supply networking automation and intelligence capabilities that reduce IT management complexity and related costs.

    “EdgeConnect handles everything,” Vaughn says. “Managing our network is a lot simpler.”

    Orchestrator prioritizes traffic and provides granular control

    Key to simplifying SD-WAN administration and achieving business benefits is utilizing Orchestrator for optimizing voice and data traffic.

    It begins with Orchestrator’s customizable business intent overlays, which essentially prioritize traffic based on policies TrialCard establishes.

    “Although we created some policies, such as adding Salesforce to the ‘Critical’ classification, for the most part we used the supplied pre-defined templates,” Vaughan says. “Orchestrator nails it right out of the box.”

    Once the overlays were in place, Orchestrator provided the visibility and control to quickly identify areas where traffic patterns could be improved to further enhance user experiences. “Orchestrator allows us to really understand our traffic and easily make changes,” Van Dynhoven says.

    Effective troubleshooting gets users back online

    By providing granular capabilities for determining whether an issue is caused by the network or an application, Orchestrator also contributes to alleviating troubleshooting burdens.

    For example, if a call center reports performance difficulties with an application, TrialCard’s IT staff can drill-down to monitor traffic at that facility to uncover the problem’s source.

    “We can quickly rule out the network,” Van Dynhoven says. “Then we can focus the application owner on fixing the root cause.”

    Freeing IT to focus on the business

    Another benefit from utilizing EdgeConnect’s intelligence is freeing IT to focus on higher-value initiatives.

    This is crucial for supporting TrialCard’s growth model, which includes rapidly introducing new technology-driven business offerings as market opportunities arise and pursing an M&A strategy that brings additional technologies into the fold.

    All of these efforts require IT to move from reactive to proactive. “Before EdgeConnect I felt more like a fireman,” Vaughn says “With our SD-WAN, I can be an engineer again.”

    Stability and Reliability Improve Productivity and Profitability

    Today, the EdgeConnect platform is deployed in all of TrialCard’s call centers, business offices, and data centers throughout the US, as well as to external third-party processors in Europe. This gives users high-performance, high-quality connectivity to TrialCard’s business-critical VoIP call management system and a host of internally-developed applications.

    The new SD-WAN also supports moving to secure access service edge (SASE) by integrating with TrialCard’s security solutions from Palo Alto Networks. In addition, EdgeConnect bolsters the company’s digital transformation to cloud applications, such as Salesforce and ServiceNow.

    Gains across the board

    Most importantly, TrialCard is seeing increased employee productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction and improved profitability. This is because downtime due to circuit outages has disappeared, voice quality has dramatically improved, and applications run faster.

    According to Van Dynhoven, gains are occurring across the board. “With EdgeConnect, user experiences are very consistent, regardless whether a person is accessing local resources or a data center across the country,” Van Dynhoven says.

    With EdgeConnect, user experiences are very consistent, regardless whether a person is accessing local resources or a data center across the country.
    Ryan Van Dynhoven, Director of Infrastructure, TrialCard
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