Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that Alabama ONE, the full-service financial institution based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has deployed an Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) wired and wireless network to provide reliable, high-performing Wi-Fi and new, technology-enabled experiences throughout their branch locations. Ranked Best-in-State Credit Union in 2020 by Forbes Magazine, Alabama ONE is a member-owned organization serving 22 counties across the state. The organization was also voted Tuscaloosa’s Best Place to Work (2020-2021), Tuscaloosa’s Best Investment Firm (2019-2021), Tuscaloosa’s Best Mortgage Lender (2018- 2021), and Tuscaloosa’s Best Insurance Agent (2019-2021).
As Alabama ONE expands their footprint with new branch locations, they simultaneously wanted to add services that would improve efficiency at branch sites for both members and employees. “We were looking for a networking solution that could help us bring new branch locations online quickly and easily,” said Bobby Umfress II, director of IT Infrastructure & Operations at Alabama ONE. “We also needed a solution that could support new member focused services such as iPad usage for loan applications and cash withdrawals.”
In collaboration with trusted technology partner Veristor, Alabama ONE selected and deployed a future-ready wireless network comprised of Aruba Wi-Fi 6 indoor access points. For wired networking, Alabama ONE implemented Aruba’s access switches at the edge and CX Series switches for aggregation and in the data center. Aruba EdgeConnect was selected as their SD WAN solution. Additionally, Alabama ONE uses ClearPass for network access control (NAC) and policy management, and Aruba Central for cloud-based network management and operations.
“One of the benefits of having Aruba’s EdgeConnect solution is that we're not reliant on a specific provider to get connectivity into the branch site, which allows us to be more agile and move faster,” said Umfress. “For example, we purchased a branch from another financial institution, and less than five days later, we opened up as Alabama ONE. That was our fastest turnaround for an acquisition.”
Aruba ESP provided the foundational functionality to allow Alabama ONE to move to a more proactive – rather than reactive – automated network. Aruba’s turnkey AI-powered solution enables Alabama ONE to improve efficiency and overall end-user quality of experience, as well as realize cost savings. “Once we started looking at deploying SD-WAN, the cost savings that we were going to reap over that first year repaid the entire cost of the solution,” explained Umfress.
Looking to the future, Alabama ONE is testing new member services, including a feature that allows members to sit in a private waiting area where they can work productively instead of just spending their time waiting in line. Branch employees equipped with iPads will proactively go to the waiting member when it’s their turn. They can conduct business with the member from the iPad, instead of being tethered to a workstation. Alabama ONE is also preparing to deploy video solutions at branches that would allow customers to meet virtually with a loan officer who might be physically located at another branch.
“C-level management is always coming up with new ways to better serve our members and now that we have the right infrastructure, we can support them,” said Umfress.
To hear more about how Alabama ONE used Aruba ESP to bring new branch locations online in record time, offer cutting-edge services to members, and achieve ROI in just one year, listen to the Packet Pushers Tech Bytes podcast.
Author: Mike Lawson
Married to a most gorgeous and wonderful wife, raising 5 kiddos (including twins!), enjoy helping others tell their stories, and love surfing SoCal waves. Keep it simple.