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Lightyear Case Study: F500 Hardware Manufacturer

A Fortune 500 hardware manufacturer leveraged Lightyear to achieve 25%+ network cost savings, 50%+ time savings, and network performance improvements.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

25%+

Network Cost Savings

50%+

Productivity Improvement

Significant

Network Performance Improvements
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COMPANY WEBSITE

F500 Hardware Manufacturer

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WITH LIGHTYEAR SINCE

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A Fortune 500 hardware manufacturer leveraged Lightyear to achieve 25%+ network cost savings, 50%+ time savings, and network performance improvements.

Meet The Client

Lightyear has the privilege of working with a Fortune 500 hardware manufacturer that does ~$10B in revenue, has 20k+ employees, and operates hundreds of mission-critical facilities around the globe. Despite such a large, global operation, we spoke with the client’s Network and Telecom Services Lead who manages all network procurement and operations with a very lean team.

A Fulsome Network Transformation Undertaking

Beginning in 2022, the Network and Telecom Services Lead was tasked with insourcing and redesigning the enterprise network to improve bandwidth and diversity while cutting costs. This would be a multi-year project, covering ~150 edge facilities with a “hub-and-spoke” network design optimized for resiliency and diversity. Under the client’s current procurement model, they were “single-threaded” with specific ISPs, using only a few vendors as aggregators across their network, which hindered their ability to meet diversity requirements and get competitive circuit rates. 

As such, the client intended to shift toward a multi-ISP model, optimizing to purchase Type 1 connectivity at sites wherever possible, while optimizing for network diversity and competitive pricing. However, managing and optimizing a true multi-ISP setup required too much of their skilled network engineers’ time - this would multiply the amount of time required to secure ISP bids, validate serviceability, and manage circuit installs. They needed to find a reliable partner to handle the tedious components of network procurement, freeing up their in-house experts to focus on core networking engineering tasks. They wanted a seamless, single point of interaction to fully control the vendor relationship, from quoting through to later relationship management. This led them to Lightyear!

Operational Issues with an Aggregator Approach

As noted above, the client had historically purchased Type 2 internet / WAN circuits from 1-2 major aggregators. This led to convenience in quoting, but created issues around price paid (they’d pay above market rates at most sites) and network operations management (implementation and maintenance problems). Often, implementations would be plagued with “playing telephone” issues, as the client would need to coordinate with the aggregator who would then coordinate with the underlying carrier, slowing things down. Further, network issue resolution in the case of an outage or service issue would be plagued by the same issues, as a trouble ticket would get opened with the aggregator who would then need to resolve a trouble ticket of their own with the underlying carrier. On top of all of this, the client was frequently paying above-market rates for subpar service.

We had to rely heavily on our corporate teams to manage incidents, [and] we had limited availability to make an impact with a single carrier. And so, also, our ability to multiply our partnerships, improve our support scenarios, and the resilience in our networks. That, and increasing the resilience and uptime that our company requires [led to our reaching out to Lightyear].

Sr. Network and Telecom Services Lead - F500 Hardware Manufacturer

Optimized Circuit RFP Processes with Lightyear

Before their partnership with Lightyear, the client had their network engineers heavily invested in every procurement task and decision. All aspects of the process, from assembling RFP specifications to reaching out to new vendors and managing existing relationships had to be done manually. They had limited choices, and less information to inform those choices. While the client is still fully engaged with the procurement process, ensuring their non-negotiable requirements are understood and met, Lightyear has been able to templatize, automate, and optimize the client’s circuit procurement process, combining the power of its automation software with its dataset. The client is now able to create new circuit RFPs digitally in seconds and get back exhaustive, best-price quotes very quickly without having to research regional nuances of where an RFP is being conducted. Quotes come back from ISPs who the client may have a relationship with, as well as new ISPs the client may not have heard of to keep things competitive. When viable, Lightyear is able to bulk requests together to achieve volume discounts.

We have more options than we had on the table originally. Getting the bigger picture on what the marketplace is … would have been well beyond the scope of what my team would have focused on if we were doing it directly.

Sr. Network and Telecom Services Lead - F500 Hardware Manufacturer

In addition, the Lightyear network engineering team has stepped in to help the client think through diversity requirements or other engineering decisions when needed. Lightyear’s self-service software model, with additional human support for negotiations and engineering, has allowed the client to free up dedicated resources and deploy them in areas of the business that would add more value to the company. A client of this scale is regularly faced with the challenge of launching new locations, in diverse areas, and must operate within a dynamic global network. Now, they have global resources at their fingertips – and cost-savings, too.

The self-service aspect, and how easy it is to use, is a real plus….the product enables us to do so much more.

Sr. Network and Telecom Services Lead - F500 Hardware Manufacturer

Working Together for Seamless Deployment

However, the needs of a major enterprise like this don’t stop with procurement. The client also wanted a smooth, minimally disruptive circuit implementation process, in addition to centrally organized post-install lifecycle management processes. For a client of this size, a consistent, highly available network that’s installed on time isn’t a luxury, it’s a must-have. They highlighted how utilization of Lightyear has helped significantly smooth the implementation process, handling issues for them as they arise proactively at scale. Lightyear’s install management system and operations team escalates and expedites snags where they occur, leveraging existing relationships with carriers and vendors to ensure a client-forward solution that meets their goals.

Post-installation, the client’s network inventory is tracked via Lightyear’s Network Inventory Manager, centralizing information and automating MACD ticketing and renewal reshop processing.

Looking ahead, the client wants to expand their footprint with Lightyear, broadening their use of the dashboard and inventory to fully integrate it as part of their standardized operations and folding the dashboard into their command center so all Lightyear’s information is available at their fingertips. They also want to streamline their data sets for greater value and believe Lightyear will help them achieve this.

Why wouldn’t you use a platform and service that benefits the both of you in this way? Lightyear takes away the need for me to worry about [using our] resources [to handle issues]….we love the team… they have done such a great job for us.

Sr. Network and Telecom Services Lead - F500 Hardware Manufacturer

Lightyear is proud to have been able to help this client streamline and improve their procurement process, leveraging Lightyea’s extensive knowledge base to better meet their organizational goals and improve their networking efficiency. 

If you’re ready to see what the Lightyear Telecom Operating System can do for your company and its unique needs, reach out to us today!

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