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Taking the Gamble Out of Support Contracts for a Vegas Casino Operator

For today’s business-critical applications and communications, business continuity is crucial. Downtime due to network security threats or any other issues can have dire consequences.  This is particularly true in the high-stakes hospitality and casino industry where a single breach can result in millions of dollars in fines—and the loss of loyal customers who expect the utmost in privacy and discretion.

When a pair of unauthorized intrusions threatened the network security of a Las Vegas-based casino and casino resort company, they immediately called on MicroAge’s James Yiatras.  Yiatras helped them implement an efficient, cost-effective all-in-one network security solution behind their Cisco ASA firewall.

In the process, he discovered something else:  a quagmire of unmanaged Cisco support contracts that threatened their business continuity efforts.

Searching for the right solution

Like many companies, the casino operator expanded their operations over the years and, as their needs grew, they added to their Cisco network.  They also accumulated a growing cadre of contracts with varying renewal dates.

“They bought equipment from multiple vendors, so they ended up with multiple contracts…six in all,” says Yiatras.   “Renewals were scattered all over place, and the time and money they spent managing them was crippling their business.”

Even more troubling?  Some of the casino operator’s gear wasn’t even covered.  “Equipment that is no longer covered under a support contract isn’t getting the required patches and upgrades,” explained Yiatras, “That puts your business at risk.”

While rolling up multiple contracts into a single, easily managed process seems like the logical thing to do, most vendors want to get the sale—not consolidate contracts.  “Most vendors don’t even want to touch it,” Yiatras says, “but the customers I’ve worked with really appreciate my going above and beyond to simplify their business and reduce costs.”

So Yiatras immediately contacted Cisco Client Executive Tina Solorzano and, together, they worked tirelessly to do the right thing for their customer.

Hitting the lower cost jackpot

They used the existing IronPort tool to scrub the entire network and inventory all of the equipment and associated contracts.  In the process, they discovered video gear that not only had an unknown renewal period, it was disconnected from the network.  After working the numbers on hundreds of pieces of equipment, Yiatras and Solorzano met with the CIO of the casino company to present their recommendations.

They recommended the comprehensive inventory and contract management functionality in the Cisco SMARTnet Total Care Service. “It was a no-brainer, really,” said Solorzano. “The Total Care service not only streamlines renewals, it comes with foundational technical services, device diagnostics, and alerts so the company can better manage risk, quickly resolve issues, and lower operating costs.”

“All I had to say was that we could save him $170,000 over three years and he said ‘I’ll take it’,” Yiatras said. “The meeting was over and we went right to work.”

Winning the contract management game

Contracts were all co-termed for same-day renewal.  A three-year contract locked in pricing, saving the company up to 7% annually in price increases.  To improve cash flow, the casino operator chose to renew yearly.

With one consolidated contract, Cisco was able to upgrade the client’s service level and provide enterprise-level discounts and incentives that weren’t available with multiple one-off contracts.  One of the bonuses the company received was a Cisco technical education trial that allowed its network staff to access the more than 13,000 online training modules offered by Cisco—the same break-fix and new product training used to train Cisco’s internal technical support engineers.

Hitting the security jackpot

Instead of reacting to issues, the Cisco SMARTnet Total Care Service now allows the casino company to be much more proactive.  From their SMARTnet Total Care web portal, they can securely view all of their equipment and get actionable intelligence, personalized information, and proactive support capabilities to help them make more informed decisions about the risk to their business continuity.  They can:

  • Validate service levels and status of Cisco service contracts for every product.
  • Receive alerts and notifications to help assess and correct security vulnerabilities.
  • Quickly resolve device issues with automated service requests sent to the Cisco TAC.
  • Count on direct, anytime access to Cisco’s highly trained engineers and online resources—24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

MicroAge + Cisco:  Winning

Rolling the dice with MicroAge was a winning strategy for the casino and casino resort company.  Yiatras took the time to thoroughly understand the company’s network environment and all of their contracts.  He found a willing partner in Solorzano and the right solution provider in Cisco.  “No other vendor would take this project on. But working with Cisco to consolidate the casino company’s network contracts just made sense for this customer,” says Yiatras.  “It lowered their risk and saved them money.”

Says Solorzano:  “Now, when they grow their network, they don’t have to figure out what they have.  They can just add to their existing contract.”

Yiatras believes that the casino and casino resort company made a wise investment in its company—an investment that can pay off in multiple ways.  “Locking down network security now will save them the cost and trouble of a breach later on…and simplifying their Cisco contracts will save them in time and risk.  It’s a smart investment in their brand and reputation.”

Have you considered consolidating your Cisco contracts to simplify renewals and lower operating costs?  Consult James Yiatras today at james.yiatras@microage.com or 480.366.2152.

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James Yiatras
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