Overview

BEK Communications has provided communications services for residents and a wide range of businesses in south-central North Dakota for the past 65 years.

BEK Communications spent more than a decade replacing their original network with modern fiber optics. More than 280,000 strand miles of fiber has been put into service so far, and it’s still growing. Along with increased fiber reach, BEK expanded their product offerings beyond traditional telco services, helping them double their customer base and triple their revenue in the last seven years.

Building the state’s fastest internet service gives BEK the ability to delve into more expandable cloud-based solutions, such as hybrid and managed hosting products. In addition, BEK offers cloud-based security, automation, surveillance, television, and voice products on a national basis, leveraging Codero’s IaaS platform.

They found early opportunities and success in partnering with Codero. Bundling the Codero Cloud Backup solution with their broadband service, for example, helps them address customer’s business continuity and backup needs.

We’re building a portfolio that serves our customers and helps them move away from unnecessary risk and infrastructure costs, Whether they’re a home user or an enterprise, the primary focus is keeping their data safe and accessible.

- Jesse Gunsch, Network and Products Manager

Challenge

BEK first familiarized themselves with the Codero Cloud Backup solution by offering it to their employees for free. The test period was brief but thorough, and highly successful. BEK was ready to offer it to their subscribers soon after, knowing that Codero Cloud Backup filled an unmet need in their customer base.

“We have nearly 10,000 customers with ready access to our network,” Gunsch said. “BEK has a growing base of cloud-based customers who are outside of BEK’s Lightband Service area. Those customers know and trust the service and support they get from local cooperatives like BEK Communications. We knew we could leverage our resources and reputation to reach new residential and business clients.”

Solution

BEK released their cloud backup offering to the public in November 2017. To drive adoption and usage, they included up to 50gig of free storage for all their internet subscribers.

At the same time, BEK launched a campaign to inform current and prospective customers about the solution availability. Their TV commercials taught users how Codero Cloud Backup worked and assured them their data transfers are encrypted and secure. They also showcased how cloud backup benefits them both personally and professionally. BEK even conducted free local workshops and mixers to introduce cloud technology and services to residents and businesses.

“Misconceptions about cloud products still abound, mostly due to lack of technical knowledge,” Gunsch said. “BEK leverages their relationship with Codero to educate the customer, to create a customer experience that is trouble-free.”

Since expanding into Internet solutions, BEK has developed its own partner program. They currently have five partners that sell Codero cloud-based server hosting, with Codero Cloud Backup forthcoming.

“With a small sales staff at BEK, we all wear many hats,” Gunsch stated. “BEK is constantly looking for, and recognizing, opportunities where cloud services would be a good fit. When we see them, BEK will get Codero involved in designing a solution that will work for our customers. Having our own partner program backed by Codero gives us resources to help prospective businesses in ways we couldn’t only a few years ago.”

While the company is in the early stages of its Codero Cloud Backup push, Gunsch looks forward to the opportunity to grow the Codero partnership and reach new markets.

Results

Interest in the product is accelerating. Although BEK isn’t the only cloud product provider in the region, more and more of their customers will likely switch to the company’s solution in the coming months. BEK Communications’ approach to their entire solutions portfolio proves the superior value in a single point of payment and support for internet, TV, phone, and data security.

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