O’Sullivan Creel, LLP
Reliability, security, and efficiency are vital when running a successful major accounting and consulting firm. These factors were primary when O’Sullivan Creel considered expanding their footprint along the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama. One of the largest regional accounting and consulting firms in the Southeast, O’Sullivan Creel offers an integrated approach to financial services delivered by a strong team of more than 140 team members located in Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Destin (Florida), and Foley (Alabama).
With offices geographically spaced more than 100 miles apart and all in prime hurricane territory, O’Sullivan Creel needed to ensure data and communication solutions that would enable team members to access client files quickly, securely, and efficiently - anytime, anywhere. The “hurricane territory factor” made a strong disaster recovery plan essential.
O’Sullivan Creel has been a pioneer among accounting firms in creating a paperless office environment. The paperless office concept allows balanced workloads and saves office space, while allowing accountants and consultants to securely access client information, anytime, from any location. Everything is paperless! In order to create “unified communications” where documents, voice mail, e-mail, and fax are “paperless” and offered seamlessly across all locations, O’Sullivan Creel needed a strong partner to offer reliable bundled services.
O’Sullivan Creel partnered with Cox Business to create “unified communications” through the use of Cox Bundled Services.
The first step taken was the consolidation and optimization of resources. Application servers and data from four office systems were merged into one system and the servers were placed in the Cox “hurricane resistant” collocation facility. Using Cox MetroE 100 Mbps fiber optic solution, gave the firm the opportunity to create only one disaster recovery plan, as opposed to four. Since every Internet point of access is a point of vulnerability, eliminating three separate office internet access points through consolidation provides better security of information. The Cox secure collocation facility is designed for maximum wind protection and has both generator and battery backup to stay powered even when public power is not available. This gives O’Sullivan Creel the peace of mind to know that their data and their clients’ data are safe and secure. These Cox Bundled Services allow for real time backup of all data from the Cox Facility to servers located in the O’Sullivan Creel Pensacola office.
The MetroE Service provided by Cox fiber is more fault tolerant than copper cables which provides a higher reliability of access. By using fiber to create a secure Layer 2 Ethernet private network, routing between offices is made easy, and allows for virtual transparency if one office is inaccessible. As O’Sullivan Creel’s needs and customer base grow, increasing bandwidth will be easy. When the firm needs more bandwidth, a simple call to Cox engineers and bandwidth will be increased with no equipment changes necessary. The 100 Mbps MetroE provides instant access and no distinction of software application tools between offices.
Cox Digital Telephone/PRI service is provided to O’Sullivan Creel via the Cox fiber optic network. Since the bulk of the firm’s business is regional, the large Cox local calling area covers the majority of the firm’s client base. O’Sullivan Creel does not incur long distance charges from one city to the next when calling between Pensacola and Ft. Walton or Destin and Crestview. Routing even enables 4 digit dialing between the offices in Florida and Alabama and the elimination of long distance calls between the two States. The MetroE paired with a VoIP phone system adds to the savings by routing calls to the PRI that is closest to the calling destination. The resulting routing by trunks saves additional long distance charges.
The Cox fiber infrastructure combined with the “paperless” O’Sullivan Creel approach enables any employee to work on any client account from any location. The firm also has remote access to these services. The MetroE brings data to each office quickly with constant uptime and unfailing reliability. The collocation facility enhances peace of mind knowing all data is stored in a hurricane proof facility.
By having one collocation, the risk of a breach is significantly minimized. The MetroE is a highly secure fiber network. Data needs are met with one ultra reliable fault-tolerant server, with “twin backup.” Because of the confidence in the security of the system, O’Sullivan Creel offers clients 24/7 access to their important financial data through their client portals.