Solar SA de Ahorro y Finanzas (Savings and Finance) is a savings, loan, and financial services company with over 32 years’ experience in the Paraguayan financial market. It operates under the direct supervision of the Superintendency of Banks, contributes to the Guaranteed Deposits Fund of the Central Bank of Paraguay, and is also a member of the ADEFI (trade association).
Solar had constructed a new building in order to move its head office. The main concern was that the move would not be seen by staff as having generated any significant improvements, given that certain services did not function adequately prior to the move. Many services were hampered by limitations of the routers in place at the agency/branch level, while other infrastructural deficiencies prevented service growth within the branches, which, in turn, precluded the implementation of increased security mechanisms.
The new building required infrastructure advanced enough to support all of the planned implementations. As such, the aim was much greater than simple one-off problem resolution; a technologically cutting-edge solution was chosen that would allow Solar to grow into the future.
The choice of service provider presented a great challenge. “What Logicalis presented was more serious, and more demonstrative of an understanding of the goal of our projects, of basically what we wanted to achieve. The challenge was finding a provider who would completely fulfill all of our expectations”, says Nadinhe Acuña, Corporate ICT and Accounting Manager at Solar SA.
The base solution proposed by Logicalis consisted of Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager Business Edition 6000, which is made up of a packet of unified communications systems designed specifically for small and medium businesses. The initial packet included Cisco Unified Communication Manager (CUCM) for call control, and Cisco Unity Connection (CUC) for unified Interactive Voice Response – IVR – messaging.
The end devices included in the solution were Cisco Jabber IP Phones with video, in line with Solar SA’s objective of promoting this type of communication within the company. The idea was to promote the deployment of the Jabber solution across different types of clients, either on PCs or mobile devices.
As part of the forward-looking strategy, the branch offices were equipped with Cisco 1861 routers which allow for the integration of CUCM with the conventional PBX and which provide connectivity with the head office.
Via this design and implementation during the first stage of the project, as well as providing a cutting-edge technological solution to the head office, Logicalis and Solar prepared a large part of the infrastructure for the final deployment of all the services across the whole company.
The main benefits accrued were in the area of technology. A physical implementation was carried out which enabled systems intercommunication and operability with no negative impact on performance.
Although the employees –in the new building - and the Data Center -in the old main office- are now in different places, users enjoy a seamless experience thanks to the implementation carried out by Solar and Logicalis.
There used to be a gap in effectiveness between the head office and the agencies. The solution has eliminated that gap. “The Solar head office is now like we were in an agency. All of the main services are at the old head office, but no-one feels anything different. The same level of services has been maintained and to the user, it is as if we were connected locally on the same network as the Data Center. That is really very important to us”, states Nadinhe Acuña.
“The fact that we have found virtually no small details needing improvement post-move is also a big positive. Often on these projects you end up making adjustments to the implementation that sometimes take more time than the project itself. That is something that has not happened on this project”, adds César Rojas, deputy manager of infrastructure at Solar.
According to Acuña, “Tech implementations are often painful. Problems come up along the way, service cuts are common, and total solution implementation time cannot even be estimated. When you have a clear vision of the damage this can cause, you realize just how serious an impact it can have on the business in many ways, not only on one department or one person who cannot work. The impact is economic, it affects times established for projects, and it affects department and area goals. It is a negative impact chain reaction; avoiding all of that was the real success in this case.”