The Challenge: Needing a Network that Catered to Each of its Locations.
When its network infrastructure was reaching the impending end of its life, Honesdale, Pa.-based Wayne Bank took the opportunity to improve its connectivity for all its community offices and branches. The bank sought to strengthen, broaden and modernize its network connectivity for each of its community offices – looking for a solution that could offer the right network for each of its offices – regardless of its location.
With 27 community offices across New York and Pennsylvania and a majority located in areas with limited bandwidth and internet service options, timeouts were frequent. Community offices would often experience internet outages and service downtime – sometimes weekly or daily in severe cases – which led to employee frustration and customer service challenges.
With this in mind, the bank set out on a two-year long evaluation. The bank, along with Wayne Bank’s senior vice president of information security, Eli Tomlinson, determined several factors and requirements that their new vendor would need to meet in order to pass the evaluation, including technical prioritization, success rates, ability to adhere to the bank’s security solutions, telecom expertise, service environment and project management processes.
“Because a lot of our offices are in rural locations, we’ve seen the disadvantages of working with a single vendor for telecom services,” said Tomlinson. “In upgrading our network infrastructure, the bank was looking for a mixed-network solution that would allow each of our community offices to work with the best vendor to get the best telecom service for each particular location all while still supporting a secure network and maintaining compliance.”
The Solution: Modernizing its Network Infrastructure
After an extensive, two-year due diligence process of reviewing more than 20 companies, Wayne Bank selected Xamin, through its existing Fintech partnership. According to Tomlinson, “90 percent of the vendors we talked to wanted us to provide the network design that we were looking for, but Xamin was able to tap into their financial services background to proactively explain what would work best for our bank.”
Through their process, the bank looked for a provider and a solution that would meet their unique requirements:
Network incidents needed to be reported automatically and threat prevention needed to meet regulatory requirements. Xamin is a SOC2 certified company, which focuses on meeting compliance and regulatory regulations, making it a good fit to work with the bank.
The banks also needed 24/7 availability. “We are thankful that Xamin is a service-oriented organization. No matter what the situation, we can always get in touch with a member of their highly experienced and knowledgeable team,” said Tomlinson.
Additionally, Wayne Bank needed a swift and easy onboarding process with new branches. As the bank continues to grow, Xamin offers ongoing support to find the right network for each new branch all while maintaining network security.
Cloud and high-bandwidth service support was also crucial. With the bank’s previous system, the IT department was unable to utilize modern functions, like voice-over IP or video conferencing because even in offices with good connections, the bank was faced with limited bandwidth.
“Xamin’s xWAN solution solved these challenges, replacing the network infrastructure in offices where connectivity was not reliable and modernizing the connection and bandwidth in offices where the connection was good, but the bandwidth was restricted,” said Tomlinson.
A further thought was the need for backup. Tomlinson found it equally as important for the vendor to be able to act as backup if the bank lost its IT department. “Xamin proved to be an extension of our IT department. If something happened with our IT department, Wayne Bank could count on the extremely qualified team of network engineers at Xamin that we feel confident could take care of the network through any crisis,” he said.
Ultimately, the bank implemented Xamin’s dynamic multipoint VPN solution, which enabled the bank to use different network providers for each of its community offices. This allowed the bank to work with the telecom company that provided the best network connection for each of its locations – ultimately eliminating downtime and employee frustration – which in turn helped employees provide the best service to Wayne Bank’s customers.
Because of Xamin’s background working with financial institutions and other highly regulated companies, Tomlinson was impressed by the project management methodology. The communication was the biggest factor in the project’s success, and all of Xamin’s team members had the knowledge and ability to help answer any questions.
“Xamin provided weekly updates on the status of the project, laid out target dates, proactively followed-up throughout the project and documented each step of the implementation process,” Tomlinson continued.
The Results: Expanding the Network and Continued Growth for the Bank
Ultimately, the bank was looking for reliable network connection at all – not most – of its offices. “Switching to Xamin’s xWAN solution instantly saved three or four of our offices that were previously unable to receive reliable network connection,” said Tomlinson.
On the previous system, Wayne Bank’s patch management could not update during day time hours. However, with the state-of-the-art xWAN solution, updates are possible without network interruptions or even noticeable system lags.
A process that was taking several days and caused many employee complaints for network performance issues is now seamless – the process easily completes in as little as two hours and can be done outside of the bank’s regular business hours.
Additionally, since partnering with Xamin, Wayne Bank has been able to open two offices and move another office with ease. Historically, this process was difficult to execute and required a 180-day notice before opening a new service. However, with Xamin’s xWAN solution, this can now be done in as little as 60 days.
Wayne Bank has also tapped Xamin for its network security services, including firewall configuration and monitoring, its hosted security information and event management (SIEM) solution and most recently, upgrades to their switches.
A trustworthy and safe network is helping Wayne Bank look to the future. The bank is working to continue its growth in July 2020, expanding its community, which will add five new offices and grow the bank to more than $1.8 billion in assets.
About Wayne Bank
Founded in 1871 in Honesdale, Pa., Wayne Bank (almost $1.2 billion in assets) serves as one of the premiere financial institutions to communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. At the bank’s 27 community offices, employees pride themselves on knowing their customers on a first name basis and provide new customers with outstanding personal service.
Today, Wayne Bank has grown to almost $1.2 billion in assets and employs more than 200 employees across their community offices. The bank continues to grow and is in the process of acquisition, which will add five new offices and grow the bank to more than $1.8 billion in assets. Additionally, Norwood Financial Corp, a bank holding company, was created in 1996, with Wayne Bank as a subsidiary. Stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol NWFL.
Founded in 1999, Xamin offers industry leading managed IT services to financial institutions as well as other highly regulated and reputation-sensitive industries. The organization provides a suite of technology solutions including infrastructure, security, cloud, data protection and professional services. Xamin specializes in transforming IT to a revenue driving capability for an organization rather than a cost and compliance challenge. Its consultative, “white glove” approach ensures its services meet the needs of the customer and auditors. Xamin has committed annually to the examination and reporting of controls in a service organization under the SOC2 Type II certification. For more information, visit www.xamin.com.