In the competitive custom home marketplace, rich media is a great way to help buyers visualize their future houses. Texas-based Tilson Homes has been building custom homes for more than 90 years and has 11 sales centers throughout the state. As the application needs of Tilson Homes shifted, they needed a newer infrastructure to support their sales efforts.
VMware and Meriplex offer a modern WAN
Recognizing new market expectations and the need for increasingly sophisticated media, Tilson Homes began to transition from outdated T1 lines to a modernized WAN. The company first upgraded from T1 lines to MPLS, but they still faced issues related to low bandwidth and poor performance. They turned to Meriplex, a trusted VMware partner that helps customers capitalize on the power of wide area networks.
To establish a flexible and scalable solution, Meriplex implemented VMware SD-WAN for complete visibility, analytics, 24×7 monitoring and management, and enhanced security controls. SD-WAN provided Tilson Homes with many additional benefits, including the ability to use any available links to provide performance-optimized connections all the way from the branch to the cloud.
Meriplex initially deployed VMware SD-WAN at Tilson Homes’ new Waxahachie office. After a successful performance, they began to implement it company-wide.
Increasing bandwidth to deliver rich multimedia
SD-WAN lets Tilson Homes use any available links, including public Internet, satellite and LTE, to provide the bandwidth needed to support streaming video and 3D computer models at sales sites. VMware SD-WAN also allowed Tilson Homes to get rid of their VDI and expensive thin-client hardware in favor of off-the-shelf laptops for cost savings.
The solution has exceeded company expectations in providing consistent performance to its salespeople.
“Our sales personnel have really noticed the difference,” said Chris Alarid, Senior Vice President at Tilson Homes. “Five years ago, they were limited to basic Citrix environments on a thin client, because that was all we could run over those links. As rich media content developed, they needed the ability to show customers 3D models of plans. Being able to reliably get that additional bandwidth without having to spend any more money, and provide support for streaming video, 3D, and other content was a huge win.”
The new WAN infrastructure has provided significant cost savings and dramatically improved performance. It has also allowed Tilson Homes to operate on ten times their initial bandwidth while saving money on maintenance expenses. Since the operating expenses have been reduced, the IT team has been more available to focus on more pressing matters.
“I’ve got 13 locations, and the maintenance for routers alone at those sites was approaching $5,000 each year,” said Alarid. “The cost of replacing all our routers every three to five years added another $30,000 to $40,000. In overall asset spend alone, I would estimate that our VMware and Meriplex solution has saved us nearly $90,000 at this point.”
To learn more about how Tilson Homes improved upon their client experience by reimagining the WAN architecture, read the full case study here.