Vendor ≠ partner

And enterprises often want more than technology vendors. They want (and need) technology partners. Partners who deeply understand their industry and where it’s going, the challenges they face, and what matters most to their business and customers. Partners who care about their clients’ success and who make it easy to work with them.

A partnership rooted in trust and mutual respect is what wholesale distributor Kelly Spicers was looking for when it came time to migrate their legacy WAN to an agile SD-WAN solution. Luckily, they didn’t have to look far.

Selecting the right partner for a smooth transition

Like many organizations, Kelly Spicers had outgrown their single-threaded MPLS-based network. As the team onboarded more and more cloud-based apps to connect with customers and each other, bandwidth demands began outpacing availability. The resulting network performance issues started to put Kelly Spicers’ hard-earned reputation at risk.

“We knew it was time to make a move, but we needed to ensure we partnered with the right team to make the migration as smooth as possible, so we could keep our focus on our customers,” says Jon Whittaker, CIO of Kelly Spicers.

Having trusted Windstream Enterprise as a dependable network partner for over a decade, Kelly Spicers knew that they could help navigate the move to a network solution designed to support modern business needs. At the same time, there was a desire to consolidate network solution providers for a simpler and more predictable management experience. They were so confident, in fact, that they didn’t even consider other technology providers. Windstream Enterprise had earned their trust.

Setting the new standard with fully managed SD-WAN

Technology partners should always recommend and design solutions that deliver on their client’s objectives. For Kelly Spicers, those included to achieve better application performance, increased network resiliency and cost optimization.

Through a consultative process that analyzed current needs and future goals, SD-WAN Concierge™ from Windstream Enterprise was chosen as the new network standard across all 50 Kelly Spicers locations. The SD-WAN solution’s active/active configuration delivered the redundancy and bandwidth required to support application needs and uptime expectations, and the combination of fiber, fixed wireless and broadband cable offered flexible, cost-effective connectivity.

Windstream Enterprise acted as a partner and advisor—and trusted single point of contact—throughout the migration, from designing and deploying to managing and monitoring the solution.

“Because they’ve been a partner for so long, the Windstream Enterprise team knows our business well, and understood exactly what we needed to achieve through the technology,” says Jon. “They worked with us to design and deploy a really comprehensive solution that will set us up for success long term.”

Managing the network for peak performance

Like many organizations of their size and focus, Kelly Spicers has a small IT team. With dozens of locations to support and high expectations to deliver, the in-house team is maxed. That’s why it made sense to Kelly Spicers CIO, Jon, to have Windstream Enterprise fully manage the new SD-WAN install. “My team needs to be driving the business forward. I knew I could continue to count on Windstream Enterprise on the network side of things,” he says.

But the Kelly Spicers IT team isn’t hands off with the network. They stay apprised of performance in WE Connect, Windstream Enterprise’s network management portal. Meanwhile, the Windstream Enterprise team proactively monitors the network and troubleshoots any issues before they impact the business and service experience.

Staying connected every step of the way

One of the things Jon and his team value most about their partnership is the level of responsiveness Windstream Enterprise brings. Kelly Spicers has a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) at Windstream Enterprise who acts as an internal advocate for their experience as well as providing a single point of contact, making communications simple and timely: “Whether it’s a question or an issue that we need resolved quickly, I know that our CSM and their team is always just a phone call or email away, ” Jon says.

Throughout the network migration, weekly status calls have included a Windstream Enterprise project manager, sales engineer and technical service manager—along with Kelly Spicers IT leadership—to ensure end-to-end project visibility and to maintain clear lines of communication. What’s more, Windstream Enterprise coordinates quarterly business reviews to ensure that the technology and the service experience are continuing to set up Jon and his team for success in the long-term.

A long-term partnership built on trust

If there’s one thing businesses have learned over the past two years, it’s that the ability to evolve and accelerate their digital transformation strategies to meet new business realities is essential.

The fully managed SD-WAN Concierge solution enabled Kelly Spicers to go fully remote when required early in the pandemic, and has set the team up for greater agility, scalability and flexibility going forward. “I trust that as technology advances and things change, Windstream Enterprise will always keep us up to date. And ultimately that means being able to deliver better service for our end customers,” concludes Jon.

Read the full story about Kelly Spicers’ move to high-performing SD-WAN. To learn more about Windstream Enterprise’s commitment to enterprise success, visit

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