Cradlepoint Cloud-Delivered Solutions Exceed Expectations for Connectivity
First Choice Loan Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of First Choice Bank, is a boutique mortgage lender based in East Brunswick, New Jersey, with over 600 employees nationwide. The company primarily focuses on residential mortgages and services and serves a majority of the United States. With Cradlepoint solutions, First Choice Loan Services was able to quickly and efficiently meet customer demand while maintaining business continuity by streamlining both primary and failover connectivity at new branch locations.
Josh Hebert, VP of IT and Facilities of First Choice Loan Services tell their customer success story.
In order to meet a strict one to two-week timeframe for opening a new branch, First Choice Loan Services created a quick-to-install “Branch in a Box” that included pre-configured laptops and desktops, in addition to routers, switches, and all other necessary equipment to set up a fully operating branch network. The only thing that was missing was the connectivity.
First Choice Loan Services relies on wired line connections to connect their branch locations. However, the company was frustrated with the long wait times involved with having a service provider come out to a branch to establish connectivity. Often, availability and scheduling options were limited and could take weeks for service to be turned up. First Choice Loan Services needed to be able to provide more immediate connectivity to get new branches up and running faster, but also create a cost-effective failover solution in the event wired connectivity failed.
“With ‘Branch in a Box,’ the equipment was all there, but the thing that wasn’t meeting our timeframe was the connectivity. Any other large carriers are going to need six to eight weeks on average to get a private line connection to a facility. With Cradlepoint, we were able to provide connectivity overnight,” said Josh Hebert, VP of IT and Facilities.
First Choice Loan Services turned to Cradlepoint solutions to meet its connection needs. The company leverages the platforms for immediate 4G LTE connectivity during branch onboarding and while waiting for a wired connection to be established.
First Choice Loan Services manages the solutions via Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager PRIME, which enables the company to monitor any device from a centralized location.
Once the primary private line circuit is installed, the solutions can be easily transitioned to a wireless disaster recovery tool for the company. For failover, First Choice Loan Services is able to configure the Cradlepoint solution in such a way that if the primary wire line fails or is strained, the platform will automatically switch on without intervention from the IT team.
The automated Cradlepoint platform is so seamless and effective, First Choice Loan Services branches are only able to recognize when the primary line fails because of the improved Internet speed and performance they experience. First Choice Loan Services also has been pleasantly surprised with its ability to achieve the bandwidth and performance levels needed to deploy VOIP with their Cradlepoint solutions.
“The less amount of equipment needed to run a fully functioning branch, the better. Cradlepoint enables us to consolidate the types of equipment needed, as well as the associated vendor contracts, which saves our time and budget,” said Herbert.
Increased Business Continuity: Cradlepoint’s solution allowed First Choice Loan Services to immediately — with reliable, always-on connectivity — begin offering financial services when a new branch emerged. Once a primary private wire line connection was installed, the solution exceeded failover expectations by providing high-speed connectivity to support First Choice Loan Services’ traditional internal applications in addition to their cloud applications, voice needs, and off-site personnel training.
“The Cradlepoint solution has made a big difference for us from a business continuity perspective. Especially for a mortgage company, if you can’t take a loan application or you aren’t responding to an email or receiving a phone call, people automatically assume that you’re out of business. Therefore, we need to always be online and have a presence,” Hebert stated.
Cost Savings & Ease Of Installation: Cradlepoint’s Out-of-Band Management (OOBM) capabilities allowed First Choice Loan Services to save on additional modems and analog lines to perform remote network diagnostics when the branches’ private lines failed. With OOBM, First Choice Loan Services was able to provide remote assistance with no additional equipment. By also implementing Cradlepoint’s Enterprise Cloud Manager PRIME, First Choice Loan Services was able to efficiently manage all of their branch networks from one location. With their “Branch in a Box” network equipment already in place, configuring and establishing connectivity was easy.
“The ease of deployment is unreal. Once you have the configuration set in the cloud, other than a few configuration changes, a branch can be immediately up and running. It’s nowhere near as complex as a private line solution. It’s very cookie cutter and fast to deploy,” mentioned Hebert.
Secure & Manageable: Because First Choice Loan Services is owned by a state-chartered bank, the company is governed by the FDIC and must abide by specific internal IT governance and security controls. Cradlepoint was able to provide the security and manageability that was needed to offload each branch while still meeting federal regulations.
“The decision to choose Cradlepoint was very easy. The company continues to enhance and evolve its offerings and partnerships, and that entices me to continue to do business with Cradlepoint. Their solutions give us the confidence to consider leveraging these solutions for primary connectivity in all of our branches,” said Hebert.
“As we all know, private line connections fail, and they fail often, for a multitude of reasons. With Cradlepoint, as long as the cell tower is up and running and there is power available, we are able to maintain connectivity,” explained Hebert.