About Stephens Support Services
Stephens Support Services provides the IT infrastructure and support for Stephens’ brokerage, holding company and hospitality businesses. As one of the largest private financial firms in the United States, Stephens’ technology and compliance demands are mission critical and non-negotiable. Stephens Support Services is a separate organization that partners with each business, solving unique challenges and positively impacting the bottom-line through technology.
Business Challenge: Securing the enterprise while diverse, mobile and virtualized devices access the network
As part of the disaster recovery plan for the brokerage business, Stephens Support Services needed to provide the necessary framework for users to connect wired or wireless devices seamlessly, even in a failover state. Personally owned devices such as MACs, iPhones, iPads, and Androids added to the complexity of securing the enterprise while providing redundant, business critical access. By implementing Extreme Networks’ Secure Networks Policy framework, Stephens has been able to accomplish this through Extreme Networks’ unified network management system.
For the hospitality business, Stephens Support Services is responsible for supporting the unique business requirements of their hotel as well. Imagine checking into a hotel without having to wait at the front desk; you’re greeted by a Bell Hop and checked in while being escorted to your room. Stephens Support Services has accomplished this by leveraging Extreme Networks wireless technology throughout the hotel, along with mobile devices and card readers, to create a more secure and streamlined check-in process for its VIP guests.
The company also sees value and tremendous growth opportunities with virtual desktop integration (VDI). Virtualization technologies are increasingly being deployed in the data center because of their ability to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of computing and storage resources. However, the dynamic nature of virtualization along with the traditional organizational separation between server and network management teams can lead to management challenges.
“With DCM, we don’t have to worry about that anymore. DCM was a blessing when it came to us.”
Stephens Support Services has been able to address this with Extreme Networks. The Extreme Networks solution provides IT administrators a transparent, cross-functional service provisioning process that bridges the divide among the server, networking and storage teams, ensuring each has an integrated view of virtual server and network environments. With a unique vendor agnostic approach, Extreme Networks’ solution supports a variety of virtualization, storage and server platforms, enabling the unification of the physical and virtual network and ensuring networks will have the high availability necessary for critical applications and business data.
“ We can now fully utilize the DR functionality of our virtualization platform because Extreme Networks’ DCM solution completely solves the network – half of the equation.”
Business Challenge: Meet bi-annual compliance audits for multiple regulatory agencies
Stephens Support Services is responsible for addressing the compliance requirements for its diverse client base and business portfolio – from financial regulations on the brokerage side, PCI compliance for the hotel, and SAS 70 for the brokerage hosted solutions start-up business.
“With the Extreme Networks solution, it is easy to leverage the tools to answer questions and make compliance audits successful. It’s not a hassle for us.”
With twice a year audits from multiple regulatory agencies, this could easily become a headache for some IT organizations. With Extreme Networks, Stephens Support Services is able to proactively provide the information to make the audit process efficient and successful.
Business Challenge: Support fast growing businesses across multiple industries without additional IT personnel
Stephens Support Services wanted one infrastructure to support multiple businesses, but with such diverse industries and unique requirements, each business needs to have its own environment.
While the company has grown 10x over the past 15 years, Stephens Support Services has been able to maintain IT staff levels and do more with less.
“We can make a change once from a central location rather than having to make it for every single business… we do it one time and everybody benefits.”
With unified wired and wireless network management capabilities, Stephens Support Services is able to operate the entire Extreme Networks infrastructure as a single, integrated network, and uses Extreme Networks policy features to differentiate not only between user roles, but between organizations and business units.
Stephens Support Services leverages Extreme Networks technology to provide a truly integrated wired and wireless network that meets each businesses needs so perfectly it feels like a dedicated infrastructure to the end user.
“Our network analysts are spending less time troubleshooting problems and are able to focus on developing a better, faster, more secure network. User productivity has increased in lockstep with network reliability and security. As a result of our success, we look at Extreme Networks as a business partner more than a vendor.”