Richard Bastiaansen, Network Engineer at Equalit, is responsible for ensuring reliable wired and wireless connectivity for multiple municipalities. Richard shares his experience leveraging Cisco CX Cloud to manage his Cisco network assets to help to ensure he always delivers the highest quality of service and works efficiently.
Equalit is responsible for managing the IT infrastructure for 11 municipalities in the province of Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. We are responsible for over 3,000 workspaces including government buildings, support locations, sports venues, parks, and even some public swimming pools.
We have about 100 employees and just four network engineers, including myself. The network is the backbone for our wired and wireless connectivity, which is one of the key areas my team is responsible for. Ensuring that we are optimizing our Cisco investment is important for the municipalities we serve.
People expect to have always-on connectivity, and it’s disruptive to businesses, government offices, households, and individuals when it is not available. We strive to deliver the 24/7 service that our community expects. With a small workforce covering such a large region, visibility is key to our success, so we can be proactive to avoid outages.
In the past, our biggest challenge was having the visibility needed to best serve our community. We needed quick and easy access to critical information on our hardware like entitlements, licenses, and equipment across the many locations that we serve. We had no automated insights into what was going on in our network.
We had been tracking everything manually, in several documents that did not cross-reference. Working in a spreadsheet was extremely time-consuming and tedious and didn’t allow us to collaborate. We had one very lengthy Excel spreadsheet for hardware, another document for licenses, and yet another for firmware.
Trying to find the information we needed could take hours or even days. Plus, entering all the data manually was time-consuming and left room for errors that could impact our decisions. When we did need additional help, we worked through a partner, which could add extra time and effort to the process because we could not collaborate easily.
Before CX Cloud, I was always researching to find answers to the fixes to ensure we implemented the best solutions. This method was very challenging because it was unreliable and required going to many places to locate.
We needed visibility, ease of use, and tools that would help us find solutions faster, especially because we were going through an essential network refresh, replacing all networks across our municipalities.
We were migrating from Catalyst 3000 to Catalyst 9300 series, as well as incorporating DNA Advanced licenses on the new networks. This project made it even more imperative for us to have quick access to support and guidance.
We can’t fix problems if we can't see them. With CX Cloud, we can identify potential roadblocks before they become problems. Now, we have access to the answers, solutions, and other information we need with just the click of a button.
Instead of going through a partner, an online search, or colleagues, I can get the same results more quickly with CX Cloud. I can trust that the information I am working with is up to date and accurate, enabling me to make better decisions about our network.
“All the information I need is readily available, and I love that. It's two clicks versus hours.”—Richard Bastiaansen, Network Engineer, Equalit
Along with valuable insights on our Cisco investment, CX Cloud provides other resources at no additional cost to us that support our IT team, [such as] Cisco training and prep for certifications, product documentation, ask-the-expert sessions, private communities, articles, video demonstrations, and other learning tools to speed adoption and onboarding.
We know exactly where to search for information and the guidance we need to implement immediately, rather than taking time-consuming courses.
The transition was made even easier with the Accelerator Sessions in CX Cloud, which helped to speed deployment, making onboarding much faster and more manageable. We can also deploy new projects faster than ever before, because we have the resources to help us. Deploying new networks is easier and less prone to user errors, saving us valuable time and optimizing our IT performance.
We’ve had monumental results using CX Cloud. We can now spend more time on planning and other business priorities such as migrating and testing equipment in-house. Our network is more stable and reliable, with less interruptions in service for our customers across the region.
When an issue arises, we have a faster response time to resolve it and find effective solutions. When working with employees in the municipalities, we’re able to get answers to them in one working day, instead of the week it used to take us. And of course, all of this has led to cost savings.
For example, we are saving money on training with the CX Cloud learning tools, which allow our junior associates to get up to speed quickly without spending additional time and money on classes. Overall, CX Cloud has helped create a more stable environment for our organization, with new insights and understanding of everything that's going on in our system.
CX Cloud has helped my team leap forward and increase the value we provide to the municipalities. We’re migrating even more assets into CX Cloud because of the continued positive outcomes we are realizing. With both time and cost savings from CX Cloud, the opportunities for innovation and impact on the entire region of Oosterhout are endless.
Our next step will be integrating our complete wireless environment, continued with the software defined networking possibilities with the DNA environment. I'm looking forward to our future technology journey with the right tools and the right team behind us.