Regional Bank Turns to TBL Networks and Cisco for IT Operations Revamp

The Challenge

In 2010, C&F, like many community banks, was growing by acquisition, but was dealing with a legacy framework of IT systems as well as fragmented skill sets among internal staff. C&F wanted to standardize not just its hardware, but also outcomes from a service and technology perspective, so that all lines of the business could reap the rewards of improved infrastructure.

The Result

TBL Networks implemented several solutions from its Limelight Private Cloud as a Service (PCaaS) offering, including Limelight Collaboration, a Cisco Collaboration platform that provides voice, video, presence and messaging services; Limelight iWAN, which pairs existing MPLS connections with local Internet connections to provide fast, secure and resilient connectivity; and Limelight Server Consolidate, based on Cisco’s UCS platform, which simplified the bank’s data center architecture and improved speed and agility.

Client Profile

C&F Financial Corporation is the parent of C&F Bank, which was founded in 1927 in West Point, Virginia, and is one of the oldest independent community banking organizations headquartered in Virginia. C&F Bank provides full-service banking to the eastern region of Virginia with 25 branch locations, including the counties of Powhatan, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Middlesex, James City, New Kent, Hanover and Henrico, as well as the town of West Point and the cities of Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton and Richmond.

The Opportunity

C&F Bank was founded in 1927 when its founders recognized the need for a strong, solid financial institution that would serve Virginia communities’ local businesses and residents. Since then, even as the company has grown and acquired new lines of business, it has maintained a commitment to serving its customers and offering a variety of financial products. In 2010, C&F, like many community banks, was growing by acquisition, but was dealing with a legacy framework of IT systems as well as fragmented skill sets among internal staff. “We didn’t have any standard equipment across every company,” said Rodney Overby, senior vice president and CIO for C&F Financial Corporation. “We were all over the place. We had four lines of business and all had different equipment and levels of service.” C&F wanted to standardize not just its hardware, but also outcomes from a service and technology perspective, so that
all lines of the business could reap the rewards of improved infrastructure. “We’re running four lines of business within the bank – the finance company, wealth management company, mortgage company and bank itself – but there was no reason they all couldn’t run on the same hardware and operating systems,” Overby said. “It was just bringing it all together.”

The Solution

The bank considered other vendors, but ultimately chose TBL Networks to implement a suite of Cisco products. TBL Networks is a nine-year-old firm that began as a traditional Cisco integrator. As Cisco entered into the data center, TBL followed suit. It now has both traditional collaboration and networking engineering abilities as well as data center expertise. TBL Networks is a Cisco Gold Partner, a Cisco Master Services Provider and a Cisco Master Collaboration Partner – one of only 41 Cisco systems integrators in the country to have all three of these advanced certifications. The bank had a previous relationship with TBL Networks, Overby said, and knew that TBL Networks would be committed to the bank’s success.

“We’ve had other companies try to push us to them because they’re larger and have a multistate presence,” Overby said. “That doesn’t mean anything, really. TBL has shown it doesn’t matter where they are – we can always get them. They know us, and they know what to do.” TBL Networks implemented several solutions from its Limelight Private Cloud as a Service (PCaaS) offering, including Limelight Collaboration, a Cisco Collaboration platform that provides voice, video, presence and messaging services; Limelight iWAN, which pairs existing MPLS connections with local Internet connections to provide fast, secure and resilient connectivity; and Limelight Server Consolidate, based on Cisco’s UCS platform, which simplified the bank’s data center architecture and improved speed and agility.

“Under Rodney’s leadership, the bank wanted to figure out a path to a next-level set of applications to grow the business and make it more efficient and more agile, putting it in a great position to acquire and integrate new platforms and new potential branches,” said Cameron Corbin, vice president of sales for TBL Networks. “We gave them a platform that will allow them to be strategic with internal resources.” TBL’s Limelight PCaaS offering provides superior collaboration, network, WAN and data center technologies for the bank, and with TBL running operations, the bank can concentrate on its own business without worrying about its day-to-day IT operations. “Internal IT personnel now can focus on growing innovation within the company and thinking on a higher level so the bank can be more competitive, scalable and flexible,” Corbin said.

The Result

Following a successful implementation, C&F is enjoying the advantages of letting TBL Networks run its IT operations. “These solutions were a little new, but we knew that with the Cisco brand on it, it’s like all other Cisco products,” Overby said. “It will work. You don’t doubt it.” Overby said that partnering with TBL Networks gave the bank a repository of seasoned engineers with real-world experience who understood what the bank wanted to do and helped it accomplish those goals. “It’s so easy for IT people or tech companies to say, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ but I don’t hear that from TBL,” he said. “They figure out
how to do it.” The bank’s IT operations continue to run smoothly and Overby has high hopes for future success. “There’s no way we’d be where we are now [without these solutions],” Overby said. “We’re committed to technology and we’re not afraid to spend the money to get the systems we need. Some companies put it on the back burner and it catches up to them. If your IT operations run smoothly, the rest of it does as well.”

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