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E CENTER

Managed IT, Voice, and Datacenter

This nonprofit organization needed a more reliable solution for its network and datacenter, all backed by top-notch technical support — without breaking the bank.

The Challenge

E Center needed the right technology to support its community education programs. What they had in place from the local carrier was expensive, unreliable, and poorly supported. 

Quick Facts

Northern California education nonprofit

40+ locations

The Opportunity

Replace an expensive, unreliable MPLS network and establish a business-class datacenter, all under E-Rate pricing.

Results + Benefits

Greatly reduced downtime with redundant circuits, all while lowering costs by about $9,000 per month.

About E Center

E Center is a private non-profit agency that builds healthy communities through education, employment and environmental awareness. We are an agency that envisions strong, healthy communities that are inclusive of all. Currently, E Center administers federally funded programs to include Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, Migrant Early Head Start Programs in Northern California supporting healthy children and families.

E Center nonprofit case study

“My advice to other companies facing similar issues is to look into all TPx has to offer. They have a great team of project engineers and account managers that will cater to your needs. No matter how small or how big you are, you will see that TPx can build a solution that will be able to fit your specific company. The best thing about working with TPx is that you get to connect with people that understand your company’s needs and try their best to accommodate them.”

David Avalos, IT Director, E Center

The Challenge

E Center is an organization with a very admirable mission: create strong, healthy communities that are inclusive of all. This private nonprofit agency headquartered in Yuba City, CA supports healthy children and families through education, employment, and environmental awareness. Specifically, the organization administers Head Start and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) programs throughout northern California.

Technology plays a significant role in E Center’s ability to meet its defined objectives. “Having reliable Internet and communications at each of our child care facilities is essential for our staff to be able to fulfill their duties. It allows them to use web-based applications in the classroom for better monitoring and quality child care improvement,” explains David Avalos, E Center’s IT director.

However, the infrastructure that supported those functions was expensive and unreliable. The MPLS network from the local carrier often failed in inclement weather, particularly at some of their rural locations. The organization’s servers were located in a closet with what Avalos describes as “less than optimal conditions.” And whenever there was a problem, it was difficult and time-consuming to get in touch with a customer service agent at the service provider.

The Solution and Results

The solution was clear: E Center needed a more reliable network, at a lower cost, with better technical support. They started searching for a new service provider who could replicate their existing setup. It was also very important that they find a provider who could provide E-Rate pricing. Most of the providers they looked at fell short in either price or coverage. The one who checked both of the boxes was TPx.

$ 0

Saved per month in IT operation costs

“One of TPx’s great strengths is that they work with multiple carriers to provide services in areas that the larger companies alone cannot cover. That flexibility is what makes TPx a great partner,” Avalos said. TPx implemented several services in a single project, including VoIP phone service, Internet services, managed networks, and datacenter services. Reflecting on his implementation experience, Avalos commented: “Our team implemented the solution as an all-in-one cutover project that was completed on time with the help of a thirdparty vendor, due to the fact that we moved our servers to TPx’s datacenter — which has multiple power redundancies to maintain 100% uptime. Overall, the cutover was a success.”

After this initial implementation, E Center continued to make enhancements to its network by converting its legacy routers to TPx’s managed SD-WAN technology. SD-WAN has helped E Center to further reduce costs due to the use of less expensive bandwidth. It’s also allowed them to implement two circuits at each SD-WAN enabled location for failover purposes, which has been especially important in those rural locations that used to have significant downtime. “SD-WAN is one of the best product offerings that TPx is currently providing,” said Avalos. “It allows us to see what each computer or device client is doing at each SD-WAN activated location. You can see where most of the traffic is going, see each device IP, see real-time throughput on the ISP’s bandwidth, see circuit downs with alerts, and configure the router as you wish — if you wish to manage it on your own.”

Overall, E Center is pleased with their switch to TPx. Their Accounts Payable department is happy to get one simple, easy-to-read invoice. Their IT department is happy because their network is more reliable than ever before, and TPx is monitoring it at all hours of the day — so if a node on the network goes down, they’ll get an alert and can see that TPx is proactively working with the carrier on their behalf to resolve the issue quickly. And management is happy because TPx has delivered all of this while also saving them about $9,000 per month.

Additional Resources

Business Internet + SD-WAN: The Network of the Future

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It’s Time to Prioritize Nonprofit Cybersecurity

Like any organization that accepts money, nonprofits are a prime target for cybercriminals. And because so many now accept online payments, they have to store personally identifiable information (PII) for their donors. This is exactly the type of data that cybercriminals would love to get their hands on so they could exploit it or sell it to the highest bidder. Here are some ways an organization can improve its nonprofit cybersecurity to stay one step ahead of attackers.

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