At Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar, the focus is on fresh, authentic Tex Mex cuisine. But as the company’s sole IT management professional, Gill Rudolph focuses on keeping the IT network running as smoothly as possible across 19 restaurant sites in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
As the fast-casual restaurant market faces a new wave of disruption, Gill has adapted by turning advanced technology into a competitive business advantage. When the company’s previous network firewall product began experiencing an increasing number of technical and support issues, he found himself at an inflection point.
“Our firewall technology was aging quickly, so both maintenance and support had become very frustrating,” Gill notes. For instance, every time one of the hosted cloud providers caused a change to an IP address, Gill had to manually reset the firewall and update the whitelist. “I was spending way too much time just unblocking websites. It was starting to impact our business.”
A Modern, Cloud-Based Network
As that firewall product approached its end of life, Gill sought out a more reliable solution and soon discovered the CyberaONE™ Platform. The platform is an SD-WAN Edge solution that fundamentally changes the way distributed businesses deploy, secure, and optimize applications and technologies. The modern, cloud-based networking approach greatly reduces management costs, as well as the time to deliver services across multiple locations.
A CyberaONE Edge Device is now deployed at each Tumbleweed restaurant, connecting back-office applications and POS systems to the secure Cybera cloud. Gill explains, “Cybera definitely hit my price point. It’s a very simple set-it-and-forget-it solution. After we configure one restaurant, we can replicate that setup or make updates to the other restaurants remotely through the Cybera cloud.”
Simplified Deployment, Security, And Support
Once the Cybera devices were in place, the company was finally able to implement Voice over IP for its phone systems. “The VoIP setup took about 15 minutes compared to what might have taken four to five days with the previous system,” Gill states. “Without Cybera, VoIP wouldn’t have been possible.”
Ever since the initial deployment, Gill has found network security to be much stronger: “The Cybera VPN has been rock-solid. It’s doing exactly what you would expect. That adds a lot of peace of mind to my life.”
Management is much easier as well. Gill estimates that he’s gained at least four hours a week by no longer having to manually deal with the whitelist updates. Moreover, the streamlined troubleshooting process has been a valuable time-saver.
With the previous network vendor, most attempts to resolve support issues ended up in frustration and delays. The contrast with Cybera has been refreshing. “Cybera has U.S.-based level one, two, and three support, which makes it much easier to get questions answered right away,” Gill says. “The project management and technical support teams have been outstanding to work with.”
4G Wireless Backup
One of the most valuable benefits of the CyberaONE Platform has been the built-in 4G wireless failover capability, in case the primary internet connection is not available. Intermittent internet outages are common in the region where the Tumbleweed restaurants are located, and they can quickly disrupt operations at a busy restaurant.
That’s no longer a worry, thanks to the automated Cybera 4G wireless failover. Gill states, “I recently got an outage alert from our ISP, so I called one of our restaurants to check in. Nobody had even noticed the outage, because the 4G wireless seamlessly took over to keep the VPN, gift card processing, and everything else up and running.”
Time-Saving Tools And Resources
Gill now relies on a pair of Cybera tools to further reduce management tasks so he can spend more time on strategic projects. The CyberaVUE™ Portal allows him to map and track each restaurant on the network. “The CyberaVUE dashboard has an intuitive interface, and you can see everything on one screen,” he says.
Gill also cites the online Cybera PCI Services Portal, which includes a wide range of time-saving tools that streamline Tumbleweed’s PCI compliance efforts. “Simplifying PCI compliance is extremely valuable,” he adds. “The portal helps keep us compliant, and it proactively sends out alerts if there are potential issues.”
Gill feels that Tumbleweed now has a turnkey solution for its current and future needs, stating, “The bottom line is that the Cybera solution is easy to set up, easy to roll out, and easy to use. I like the fact that everything is bundled in one solution with a single device at each restaurant.”
“Everything is so easy to use, and the 4G wireless failover has been a life-saver.”
—Gill Rudolph, Tumbleweed
- Existing network firewall was becoming technically outdated
- Support issues were increasingly difficult to resolve
- Intermittent disruptions in internet connectivity were impacting business
- Simplify network configuration, management, and maintenance
- Implement Voice over IP for the phone system
- Maximize network uptime and decrease overall IT costs
- Easier management with an all-in-one, single-device solution
- Automated 4G wireless network failover to prevent downtime
- Faster issue resolution with a highly experienced support team
“With Cybera, one platform basically does it all—and everything’s connected through the cloud.”
—Gill Rudolph, Tumbleweed
Learn more: www.cybera.com/sd-wan-for-restaurants
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