For Safelite AutoGlass, the nation's leading provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, with company-owned operations providing convenient mobile service to more than 90 percent of the U.S. drivers in all 50 states, immediate communications between its vehicle glass technicians and employees in its home office is critical to the business. By working with Sprint, Safelite is experiencing increased productivity and cost savings through integrated wireless and wireline services built upon its existing communications infrastructure.
A long-time customer of Sprint, Safelite recently renewed its contract with Sprint through a two-year, multimillion-dollar agreement. Safelite will continue to enjoy mobile and IP-based solutions, and Sprint now will be Safelite's primary partner for its national rollout of a custom mobile BlackBerry solution to more than 3,000 service technicians. In addition, with the successful migration to Sprint Global MPLS earlier this year, Sprint will now work with Safelite to provide IP trunking and integrated wireless/wireline solutions.
Sprint is delivering Global MPLS services to replace Safelite's legacy frame relay data network. Global MPLS will provide enhanced IP-based data capability and communications for employees at Safelite's headquarters and 300 company locations nationwide. This move to a more advanced data solution will deliver the benefits of cost savings and a flexible foundation that scales for growth and allows easier migration to next-generation technologies and business applications.
"We have a very strong tie between the wireless and wireline products that have been custom crafted,"said Rod Ghani of Safelite's information technology department. "We architected our network to give us the ability to deliver more to the more than 3 million customers we serve each year. The way Sprint's architecture is designed gives us better access and control of our own destiny."
Leveraging the flexibility of an IP foundation, Safelite telecom and Sprint engineers worked on integrating wireless solutions and IP trunking to further leverage the new advancements in technology. They also seek to offer additional services faster and cheaper to meet Safelite's expectations to provide high service to their customers by leveraging technology to overcome business challenges.
For many years, Safelite has gained efficiency with Nextel Direct Connect instant communications and GPS fleet management and dispatching tools that provide real-time corporate and customer data to its mobile technicians.
One example is an innovative point-of-service solution, for which Sprint was an integral partner to Safelite. Safelite technicians are mobile for the majority of the day as they provide on-site vehicle glass repair and replacement at the location desired by customers (home, office or wherever is most convenient).
This handheld point-of-service system gives the mobile workforce access to business critical applications, enabling real-time visibility to corporate and customer data. Nextel Direct Connect, the world's largest push-to-talk community and fastest national push-to-talk service (based on call set-up time), allows technicians to instantly communicate with co-workers and management while on-site with customers to make immediate decisions with just the push of a button.
"Virtually anywhere, anytime communications is critical to Safelite's unique business model,"said John Dupree, vice president of Enterprise and Federal Government Sales, Sprint. "We've worked closely with them to implement relevant mobility solutions that help them operate more successfully and are excited to now deliver the security and reliability of IP/MPLS services to their corporate locations."
At the end of the third quarter of 2008, Sprint outpaced the market with a 37 percent year-over-year growth in IP services, which is three to four times the market rate growth.
Sprint has made considerable progress in helping businesses position themselves for future technologies and supports significantly more of its customer locations on IP-based WAN solutions than on legacy data services. The transition to an all-IP network is ahead of schedule, and customer satisfaction with IP migrations remains very high.
Safelite AutoGlass, founded in 1947, is the nation's leading provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, providing mobile service more than 90 percent of the U.S. population in all 50 states. A subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio-based Belron US, Safelite AutoGlass serves more than 3.2 million customers each year through its company-owned operations.
Belron US, a subsidiary of Belron SA, is a multi-faceted vehicle glass and claims management service organization based in Columbus, Ohio. The company is composed of three major business operations that include vehicle glass fulfillment services, operating under the trade names Auto Glass Specialists, Diamond Triumph Glass, Elite Auto Glass and Safelite AutoGlass; windshield manufacturing; and Safelite Solutions which offers fleet and insurance claims management services. The company employs more than 9,000 people throughout the United States.
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 51 million customers at the end of the third quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone.