NWN Featured in CIO Review Magazine – 20 Most Promising Cloud Solutions Providers 2015

“We have the ability to either host communications in our data centers, or leverage our customers data centers” – Skip Tappen, NWN Corporation, President and COO

Collaboration, Communication, and Cloud—the 3Cs, which were once buzzwords, are now the key drivers of business growth. However, the growing trends in mobile workforce, the emphasis on data security and the increased need for cost optimization is making effective collaboration a difficult proposition. Moreover, simple communication infrastructures have become obsolete in the wake of having to accommodate a growing suite of communication channels. The Cloud is where Collaboration and Communication are finding its harmony in a unified communication system. Though skepticism prevails on newer hosted solutions; the cloud, voice, and video provider, NWN’s cloud collaboration services transform the way an organization communicates—with unequalled reliability and support.

It was in early 2000, that NWN embarked on its vision to alleviate business challenges with smart, sustainable technology solutions and services. Moving in tandem with the 3Cs, NWN’s hosted solutions provide one comprehensive system for  telephone, IM, contact center, video and web-conferencing. “We help to deploy technology in a different fashion on the cloud and as a servicemodel—as opposed to the traditional on-premise model—with our DNA of managed services to back it up,” says Skip Tappen, President, COO, NWN. The company also has the ability to provide a hybrid solution—on the customer premise as well as the hosted facilities— and deliver all of these as a cloud based model. “We allay our customers’ fears about their data, since we have control over the data residing in our data centers within U.S., which addresses budget concerns as well,” says Tappen.

Building on more than two decades of experience in data center and collaboration technologies, NWN has national presence from coast to coast with over 600 skilled engineers, project managers, consultants, and technicians across 12 offices in the U.S. “The key differentiator for us is our people and the services we deliver wrapped around technology. We leverage industry-leading knowledge and resources to deliver the best solution for an organization’s IT needs,” says Tappen. In addition, as a high-touch cloud provider, NWN provides specialized team members for its customers such as project managers, engineers, and account managers.

Building on Strategic Partnerships

As Cisco’s Cloud Partner of the Year public sector award winner, Tappen brings to the fore Cisco’s proven and scalable architecture in the collaboration space. “The basis for our communication platform is a Cisco-powered architecture and solution,” extols Tappen. NWN Comm is a cloud-based highly secure communication platform that includes voice, video, web conferencing, telecom, and contact center, transforming the way an organization communicates.

The firm integrates these essential capabilities, alongside a wide array of third party applications. “In addition to the solution being fully integrated and scalable, our customers stand to benefit from all of Cisco’s investments and improvements as well. Over the years, our experienced team has deployed thousands of users on the Cisco platform,” says Tappen. In cloud collaboration, for integration with Interactive Vice Response (IVR) solutions, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, camcorder, contact center or video on the customer side, NWN has the ability to mix and match the systems to provide a unique solution for the customer.


Infrastructure-as-a-Service Model

On the infrastructure front, technology leaders are on the lookout to make their infrastructures agile, flexible as well as reliable and secure by moving to the cloud. “All these needs can be achieved by plugging customers’ networks easily to our data centers,” says Tappen. Additionally, the firm’s data centers have a scalable architecture for computing storage, which enables NWN to provision large, or small, quantities of those capabilities for their customers in conjunction with their on-premise capacity. NWN provides the fundamental infrastructure components such as networking, and wireless as a service model. “We have the ability to either host communications in our data centers or leverage our customers’ data centers or a combination thereof, wrap service around it, and provide it as a service based model,” states Tappen.

Through a geo-redundant hosting platform, NWN provides communication and infrastructure solutions, which ensure high availability and minimal disruption to day-to-day operations. NWN’s proven infrastructure and renowned support team helps organizations get the communication capabilities they need for an affordable monthly rate.


The Targeted Approach

The team at NWN focuses on two aspects—designing and implementing the solution that meets their customers’ needs and the on-going support for that solution. “We leverage our decades of experience across both the collaboration and data center spaces to offer the best cloud solution for our customers,” states Tappen. NWN builds on the experience and expertise of its strategic partners. For instance, for the Cisco certified collaboration solution, Cisco experts approve the design, architecture, methodology, and approach, whereby the combined expertise benefits the customers in terms of the best design and standards. “For the last 14 years, we have been consistently bestowed with the highest level of service recognition by Cisco, based on customer feedback,” exclaims Tappen. Through strategic partnerships, NWN enables customers to gain access to leading technology expertise from Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, VMware, EMC, Intel, McAfee, and NetApp.

On the support side, at its core, NWN has been a managed services company since inception. The firm’s mature managed services model is based on ideal standards, with good processes and practices in place. “Overtime, due to our decades of experience, we have had the ability to improve our Service Level Agreement (SLA) to our customers as a differentiator,” adds Tappen. The NWN team is focused on being nimble, flexible and responsive to customer needs to get the right solution deployed quickly.

NWN’s services span across state level governments and educational organizations including K-12 and higher education in addition to mid-market as well as large-scale enterprises across industries. K-12 is a market which is migrating to voice over IP solutions. Many K-12 customers are burdened with questions such as“How do I migrate?” and “Will the solution be able to scale across 50 to 100 schools across my school district?” “In addition to the scalability, our solution can be deployed overtime with the needed features. We are fully aware of the deployment windows and support levels required to scale our solution across multiple campuses,” says Tappen.

For instance, The Anderson Union High School District (AUHSD) in California reached out to NWN to implement a modern communications platform they could extend into the future. “The implementation was very quick and none of the normal teething problems occurred in the implementation of NWN Communications touched our end users,” affirms Tony Baldwin, Director of Technology Services, AUHSD. “We are already planning for instant messaging and video conferencing that will save the time and cost for people in offices and classrooms traveling from school to school.”


Riding the Wave of the Future

“We leverage our decades of experience on the design and implementation side across both the collaboration and data center spaces to offer the best cloud solution for our customers.” – Skip Tappen, NWN Corporation, President and COO

Buoyant about the adoption trends going on in various sectors, Tappen says, “In the public sector space, NWN currently has contracts with several states for cloud-based offerings, supporting the move from a state’s perspective towards the cloud space.” K-12 is experiencing another market trend. The shifts in the E-Rate programs will require K-12 organizations and school districts to increase broadband capacity and connectivity. NWN’s offerings will provide them with the right solution for their storage, network, and data center infrastructures to hosted voice.

In the corporate arena, Tappen cites the early movers to the cloud to be customers who are currently on a Cisco based on-premise solution needing upgrades. “We can leverage a lot of the existing infrastructure and it will be easy for them to understand the value of migrating to the Cisco cloud,” mentions Tappen.

Forging ahead with the plans on NWN’s future, Tappen says, “Cloud is part of all our strategic decisions. We are heavily investing in terms of people, processes, and technologies, and cloud is a fundamental component of NWN’s future.