Miller Paint has been committed to offering the highest quality customer service for the past 125 years. Every one of the 375 employees at 52 locations throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho shares this commitment, including Kevin Connell, the Network Manager. Kevin wasn’t satisfied with the quality of their network, and after a thorough assessment, determined it was time for an upgrade. Utilizing a managed MPLS network and Cisco routers at all of their locations, the company was spending upwards of $12,000 a month on their security solution; a solution that was far from perfect. “Earthlink was a managed service, and it was bad because if we needed a change, or something wasn’t working properly, the helpdesk was slow to resolve the issues. That, combined with bandwidth limitation and cost, were big problems,” notes Kevin.
Mindful of their key concerns with cost, bandwidth limits, and support, Miller Paint found solutions to each in WatchGuard. They deployed XTM 25-Ws at all of their retail stores, and added an M300 with Wireless APs at HQ, all with UTM Security Suites. With so many retail locations, none of which outside of corporate HQ, housed a dedicated IT staff, deployment could have easily been a nightmare. However, Kevin was surprised by how simple the deployment process actually was. After applying Security Suite licensing to each appliance, they were shipped out to the retail stores. From that point, Kevin would contact each store to assist with the install.
With a complete network overhaul, easy to deploy or not, you want to see the benefits in a big way, and Miller Paint has. “It was easy, it was fast. We have Comcast broadband in place of T1’s. Now we are getting far superior bandwidth and lower latency than with an MPLS network. Better performance and cost savings of $12,000 per month. Almost $150,000 per year. Calculated out to a three year agreement that’s $450,000 savings.” Added benefits materialized in a myriad of ways. Miller Paint is now running all of their phone lines, that’s 52 stores in total, through the network. The voice quality? “Crystal clear,” says Kevin. Additionally, Kevin is keeping all of the retail location’s Visa terminals on a separate VLAN, segmented especially for POS, which goes straight out to the internet. With this segmented approach, worries about PCI compliance (a major concern for any retail environment,) are kept at bay.
Kevin has started to use Dimension, WatchGuard’s logging and reporting tool, more and more. “Dimension is good visibility into all of the firewalls, and super easy to install. Usually I look at Dimension if I’m getting reports of slow response times, then I’ll go into Dimension and check to see if someone is misusing the network, and easily find out what’s going on. I can also work with HR to assist them with any inquires they have regarding web usage.” Features like Dimension are just one of several reasons Kevin has found such success with WatchGuard. “The things I like best are it’s easy to use and it’s a secure environ¬ment; I feel really good about our security on our network ever since we’ve deployed these. And it’s been problem free. We’ve had no device in need of replacement, and we rarely have any issues at all. It’s made my life easier. Since we’ve put these in, I’ve recommended WatchGuard to colleagues.”
I’d call the store managers when the firewalls would arrive to walk them through the installation. They’re really good with paint and matching colors, but most of them aren’t really good with technology. But that wasn’t a problem because there wasn’t much to it! There was very little downtime, maybe five minutes per location to make the swap. We were able to get eight locations up and running each day. We knocked out the upgrade pretty quick.
Kevin Connell, Network Manager,