MPLS and SIP Trunking
A 70-year-old Southern California bank modernizes customer service with secure communications network.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Community Bank needed to create a secure, high bandwidth, multi-location network to support voice, data and video between 18 offices, 2 datacenters. Delivering high-touch services as a modern regional financial institution requires a significant technology infrastructure behind the scenes. Indeed, Community Bank employees serve their customers using more than 90 applications and systems — from core banking applications to ATMs to voice-over-IP telephones and from credit applications to customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Regional bank with $3.644 billion in assets
Support for business continuity and secure, private voice, data and video communications, support for business continuity, high bandwidth and high uptime, and inter-office calling without long-distance charges.
The bank’s day-to-day communications are running smoothly with complete security.
About Community Bank
After World War II two entrepreneurial brothers, Charles and Howard Cook, wanted to help Southern California businesses grow by offering them a customer-friendly alternative. Despite skeptics and the hurdles of getting FDIC insurance, the bank opened in 1945. Seventy years later, the aptly-named Community Bank has grown to 17 offices with a range of business and consumer financial products, and $3.644 billion in assets. The Cook brothers’ focus on customer service remains central to Community Bank’s success. Today, that commitment goes beyond giving employees free turkeys at Thanksgiving to include secure online and mobile banking services.
“The data that makes the Bank run, traverses through the TPx network. TPx was involved in making sure all of it worked and we didn’t miss a beat during the transitions.”
Tom Baker, COO, Community Bank
Community Bank employees use more than 90 applications and systems — from core banking applications to ATMs to voice-overIP telephones and from credit applications to CRM software. All of these systems must be available on a reliable and consistent basis, with continuity and information security as highest priority.
In 2011 Community Bank tapped TPx, a Los Angeles-based managed communications services provider, to securely connect its locations with a new MPLS-based IP VPN.
This secure, protocol-agnostic network transmits data required by a majority of the Banks applications and supports the company’s Cisco voice-over-IP communications system and SmartVoice, TPx’s SIP-based voice service with dynamic bandwidth allocation. “The data that makes the bank run, traverses through the TPx network,” said Baker.
Early in 2013 Community Bank moved its disaster recovery (DR) site to Nevada and at the end of 2014 it consolidated its headquarters and operations center into a new facility in Pasadena, and moved its primary data center to a third-party facility in Los Angeles. “TPx was involved in making sure all of it worked and we didn’t miss a beat during the transitions,” Baker said.
Baker credits TPx’s combination of performance and value for his team’s recent decision to renew — and upgrade — their TPx network services. “I wanted to go with a company that was tried and true,” said Baker, citing TPx’s multi-year track record as the bank’s primary network provider. “Plus, they are local and their pricing was very competitive.”
Community Bank is boosting some of its bandwidth with 10-30Mbps connections between locations and 200Mbps connecting headquarters to both datacenters. Baker said the bandwidth increases are designed to ensure a seamless switchover to the DR site in the event of an outage or emergency. “I want to be able to flip a switch and go to DR without our customers, internal or external, ever knowing about it,” he said.
Community Bank’s bandwidth boost also will enable new, service-enhancing applications in keeping with the Cook brothers’ customer-first value proposition. Near-term initiatives include adopting video — for conferencing and real-time streaming of marketing spots — and embarking on an imaging project in an effort to go paperless and provide employees with online access to legal documents and signed forms.