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Securities America Optimizes Network Security, Performance and Reliability with Enterasys


Financial Services Firm Relies on Enterasys Secure Networks Manageability for Centralized Visibility and Control
Enterasys Networks Inc., the Secure Networks Company™, today announced that Securities America Inc., a leading financial services firm, has selected Enterasys to provide complete network connectivity and voice/video/data convergence solutions for more than 450 employees and over 1,200 networked devices across multiple locations. Securities America chose Enterasys software and hardware to replace its complex and expensive Cisco-based network infrastructure to enable business growth through new service-oriented architecture (SOA) web applications aligned with the company’s defined growth strategy for the coming year.

“Our experience has shown Enterasys is easier to use, less complex to understand, and more manageable than Cisco as we automate the protection of our networked resources with security that’s built-in rather than bolted-on,” said Dustin Trager, Director IS Operations for Securities America. “With greater than 90% of our 5,000 advisors and independent contractors remote from our headquarters, and only two full-time network operations employees, the simplicity of the solution is just as crucial as its reliability and performance.”

Located in Omaha, NE, Securities America Inc. is one of the nation’s largest independent securities brokers/dealers, with more than 1,600 financial professionals. Securities America’s mission is to foster the success of financial professionals so they can provide quality, objective financial counsel and services to their clients. In addition, the company has forged a reputation as a technology thought leader within the financial services industry, creating a suite of web-based software tools to help clients optimize investments.

“Enterasys enabled us to bring our network operations back in-house and avoid the costs associated with the previous third party outsourcer,” Trager said. “The network is the basis of all we do to service our customers. Enterasys policy-based security delivers more proactive protection for our financial professionals and their clients without requiring additional IT headcount. Because of the sensitive nature of the information our financial professionals handle, we require a solution that ensures complete information confidentiality, integrity and availability. With Enterasys policy control features, we can ensure that nobody—from remote financial professionals to outside contractors or temporary guests—has unauthorized access to any part of our network.”

Securities America’s migration from Cisco to Enterasys began in December 2006 and has been implemented without disruption to employees, financial professionals or customers. Full interoperability has been maintained with existing F5 load balancers, Juniper VPN appliances, and legacy Cisco networking devices. SOA processing applications, Microsoft productivity platforms, and Polycom IP telephony (VoIP) with unified communications are all discovered, classified, prioritized and secured by the Enterasys secure network.

“There was no learning curve when we made the switch, and training was minimal due to the intuitive nature of the Enterasys management platform,” Trager said. “And perhaps most importantly, we have far greater visibility and control over who does what and who can go where in our network. Enterasys policy-based security and priority is business-oriented – based on users and applications. Our previous Cisco solution was too technology-oriented and required manual changes to access control lists and VLAN configurations every time there was a move, add, or change. Enterasys adapts to all our changes and user mobility automatically.”

Since deploying Enterasys, the IT staff at Securities America has reported no unplanned network downtime, and no potentially damaging threats to any segment of the network. With significantly reduced network problems and a simplified approach to management, Trager and his staff are now free to focus on IT growth strategies that optimize network use and enable a wider variety of client services.

“Our major technological goals over the next two years include our data center relocation project and documenting 99.999% network uptime,” Trager continued. “We are also deploying additional software applications for our financial professionals that will give us more of a competitive advantage, while also investigating Network Access Control (NAC) and voice-over-wireless technologies. With Enterasys supporting us, we are confident that as we grow, our network will not only keep pace, but will drive our expansion in the years to come.”

Trager says that if he were to give a peer advice on a network solution, he would strongly recommend Enterasys as an alternative to Cisco. “Based on the total cost of ownership (TCO) alone, Enterasys is the winner,” he said. “They simplify day-to-day operations and offer a superior support experience without requiring a lot of staffing and training. Enterasys offers everything we need—and more.”


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