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Comcast Metro Ethernet Connection Enables Fast Access to Company Data Through a VPN

Giving employees faster access to company data.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Organization
Idaho Technology, Inc.

Challenge
Give employees faster access to company data via a virtual private network (VPN).

Solution Requirements

  • Speed: Employees need to download data files in minutes (not hours) at work, home, and on the road.
  • Scalability: The new VPN connection will not impede employee productivity during peak usage times.
  • Flexibility: The connection will support interactive video technology for product demonstrations.
Solution
Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI) for on-network VPN solution

Results

  • Employee productivity increases with fast Comcast connection
  • Sales team counts on fast connection in client meetings
  • Comcast VPN connection supports growing use of interactive video
Employees Want Fast VPN Connection and No Disruption to Work Flow
Idaho Technology, Inc. manufactures pathogen detection systems used by health care professionals and researchers worldwide to identify disease-causing organisms. The company relies on a virtual private network (VPN) to provide employees with secure access to data on its proprietary network. This data plays a key role in day-to-day operations and includes everything from sales leads to accounting information to clinical trial records.

Randy Scadden, Information Technology Engineer for Idaho Technology, Inc., said the company’s previous T1 connection to the VPN was painfully slow. “Employees expect data to stream from the VPN like water from a faucet,” he explained. “When the connection is slow and inhibits their work pace, there is an adverse effect on morale, disruption to the entire work day, and a negative effect on productivity.”

For example, it took hours for employees to download files that should have taken minutes, especially during peak usage times. “This includes software tools used by our engineers for writing pathogen analysis code and instrument analysis data from clinical test sites,” he said. “We use clinical test data to secure FDA clearance on new products, and if we’re in a time-sensitive situation, waiting hours for a file to download could be detrimental to the release of a product.”

Comcast Connection Increases Employee Productivity
Idaho Technology’s previous VPN connection was slow for employees working remotely, especially during peak usage times. “That’s because it traversed several points before reaching the servers on our network, which caused latency,” Scadden said. “The previous solution didn’t provide enough bandwidth either. We use enterprise-level accounting software that requires a great deal of bandwidth, so if our CFO wanted to work from home, he waited an absurd amount of time for a program to run. It became quite clear we needed a fast Metro Ethernet solution that provided high-quality, high-bandwidth connectivity with lower latency.”

That’s exactly what Idaho Technology found in Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI) for an on-network VPN solution. “Comcast gives us a native Metro Ethernet connection that never leaves the Comcast network, so we don’t experience latency issues that slow us down anymore,” he said. “And, Comcast provides nearly five times more bandwidth so we can download large files much quicker and continue working. The majority of our employees have a Comcast Internet connection at home, so it made perfect sense to switch to Comcast. Now they download files in minutes, not hours.”

In addition to exchanging data internally, Idaho Technology exchanges data with external partners, including clinical trial sites. “Our medical products have to receive 510(k) clearance from the FDA before we can market and sell them,” Scadden explained. “Clinical trial sites, such as hospitals, send us large files containing raw data that we use to demonstrate the effectiveness of our machines in detecting pathogens. Before we implemented the Ethernet Dedicated Internet connection, we waited hours to download and access those files. Now that the data goes over Comcast, we have the files immediately, which enables us to share our results with the FDA in a timely manner and get our products to market that much quicker.”

Sales Team Uses Comcast Solution to Enhance Sales Opportunities

Sales team counts on fast connection in client meetings
Idaho Technology’s sales force is distributed across the United States, and it relies on Comcast to check in and report back on potential sales opportunities. “The previous VPN connection was a point of contention for the sales team because they couldn’t always access the data they needed quickly when meeting with current or potential clients,” Scadden said. “With Comcast, they have almost instant access to what they need when they need it.”

Comcast VPN connection supports growing use of interactive video
Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet for on-network VPN connectivity enables Idaho Technology to demonstrate its products to clinical trial sites and clients using interactive video technology. “We couldn’t do this with the previous solution because it didn’t provide the speed or bandwidth we needed for interactive video. We believe our Comcast connection will scale with our company’s growth, enabling us to do even more with interactive technology in the future.”

Employee productivity increases with fast Comcast connection 
The previous VPN connection at Idaho Technology, Inc. traversed multiple points before reaching the servers on the company’s network. “This made it nearly impossible to download large files on site or run our accounting software off site, which really frustrated employees,” Scadden said. “The Ethernet Dedicated Internet connection stays on the Comcast network, so employees don’t experience download delays anymore, and productivity has increased. In fact, using VPN over the Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet is like connecting to our internal Wi-Fi network while on campus.”

“It used to be next to impossible to run our accounting system software from home or on the road due to high latency rates from our old VPN connection. With the new Comcast Metro Ethernet solution, using the VPN connection remotely works just as quickly as if you’re sitting at your desk at work.”

Randy Scadden
Information Technology Engineer
Idaho Technology, Inc.

About Idaho Technology 
Idaho Technology, Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1990, Idaho Technology licensed the rapid PCR technology from the University of Utah. Through funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense, the company has created multiple commercial instruments and reagents for use in research and applied fields. Several of these products, including the LightCycler® Instrument, have been sublicensed to Roche Diagnostics. Researchers, medical technicians, law enforcement officers and soldiers in the field use the company’s devices to detect or study disease-causing organisms.


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