Transformed a Nationwide Complex Multi-Vendor Solution in Months

Advanced Auto Parts goes up to the cloud in 10 months, then to Cisco Webex Calling in 4

  • Nationwide retailer with 5,000 stores
  • 15,000 broadband/LTE links over the top
  • 95,000 Yealink devices

“11% growth during COVID would have been unachievable without ConnX.”

Top Level C-Executive
Advance Auto Parts

Sold through Large Tier 1 Service Provider

Technical Challenges

  • Legacy key systems with analog trunking per store
  • Platform vendor bankrupt, staff reduced, assets dismantled
  • No back-up data network for mission critical store applications
  • Complex Juniper SD-WAN, Yealink phones, Ribbon SBCs
  • Lossy broadband circuits and moving from UDP to TCP/TLS

Business Outcomes

  • $30M Operations Savings
  • $6M ROI
  • $80K Monthly PSTN Savings
  • 1-2M Daily Events Automated

Cloud Consolidation = Operations Savings

  • End to-end observability across both voice & data networks
  • Improved networking using managed SD-WAN
  • ConnX AI-Ops and ConnX Maestro automate up to 2M events a day
  • Over-the-top high scale deployment with lossy broadband

Webex Calling = Excellent Customer Experience

  • First Cisco-Hosted Square Key Large Scale Deployment
  • New interoperable solution: Webex calling + Yealink + Juniper + Ribbon + Hosted Square Key + OTT
  • AI-powered audio intelligence
  • Security built-in: zero trust, secure access service edge

ConnX Solution for Advance Auto Parts

  • Unified Communications: Store stability is a priority for this nationwide retailer.  They estimate that every incoming call equals $100+ in sales.  Voice calling is very important to them.  Originally, ConnX deployed Kandy Communications’ UCaaS solution, then after AVCT’s bankruptcy, their new owner began to dismantle assets, and lost key personnel thereby increasing risk to the end customer. ConnX reccomended Cisco Webex Calling and was able to demonstrate through pilot testing that the end user experience would not disrupt store operations.
  • SIP Telephones: The first migration all stores and headquarter offices phones were replaced with Yealink registering to the Kandy UCaaS platform.  The 2nd migration to Cisco Webex Calling, was not a request by the end customer, but more of a platform risk mitigation by ConnX. It was imperitive that this not impact store stability and any change to day to day operations even minimally could impact their business.  ConnX was able to modify the Yealink phone configuration files to mimic the Kandy user experience and reducing the frustrations of the staff using the new platform. SIP Phones connect to Cisco Webex Calling differently than they did with the Kandy UCaaS platform.  With Kandy, ConnX had a private connection to Kandy and used UDP as the transport.  With Cisco Webex Calling, TCP/TLS was required and UDP was not supported. This added more security with Cisco, but also more complexity as UDP is connection-less and responded better in lossy broadband environments.  ConnX had to work with both Cisco and Yealink to find the right combination of Yealink phone configuration parameters to work with the 5,000 stores different broadband connectivity scenarios.
  • SD-WAN: When ConnX originally migrated Advance Auto Parts to the cloud, they deployed Juniper SSR-100 routers that was later acquired by Hewlett Packard (HPE). For redundancy ConnX also deployed Cradepoint LTE routers and leveraged 1-2 cellular LTE connections.  ConnX worked with Juniper, Cradlepoint and the Tier 1 Service Provider to find the right combination of failover parameters to work with the Kandy UCaaS platform.  When it came time to migrate to Cisco Webex Calling, it was connected “Over-The-Top (OTT) not via a private MPLS link and it used TCP/TLS for transport instead of UDP that Kandy used. As we begain to scale migrations to Cisco, some very lossy broadband stores were “flapping” between broadband types causing issues with the stores ability to answer incoming calls. ConnX worked with Juniper and changed revertive failover parameters to only failover if the quality of the broadband in use is at a critical level.  This reduced the broadband flaps and stabilized the stores.
  • Session Border Controllers (SBCs): ConnX utilizes redundant Ribbon SWe SBCs in two US datacenters to support Advance Auto Parts’ migration to the cloud. This same configuration was used in the migration to Cisco Webex Calling.  During the migration to Cisco, ConnX uncovered issues with Kandy stores being placed on hold by Cisco deployed stores and utilized the Ribbon SBC’s ability to modify SIP messaging.  ConnX modified the SIP contact header and resolved the issue.
  • ConnX Maestro Provisioning & Device Management: ConnX’s proprietary Maestro platform was deployed when Advance Auto Parts (AAP) initially moved to the cloud providing end-to-end visability, provisioning, device management and automation. AAP was finally able to see the status and equipment information for each and every store nationwide.  ConnX updated the Maestro platform to support the Cisco Webex Calling APIs and automated the extraction of Kandy source data and provisioned Cisco site, devices and subscriber services at scale.  As the risk with the Kandy UCaaS platform increased, ConnX was able to scale the number of stores per night that were migrated to Cisco Webex Calling and assured the customer that if there was a catastrophic outage with Kandy, ConnX could move the entire estate within 24 hours if needed through our automation. 


If It's Complex - Call ConnX

Reduced IT Costs

Automating phone provisioning eliminates manual configuration, saving significant IT labor hours for other strategic tasks.

Minimized Errors

Pre-provisioning validation reduces errors, leading to fewer troubleshooting incidents and service disruptions.

Faster Deployments

Streamlined provisioning accelerates Webex Calling rollouts, bringing communication functionalities online quicker.

Competitive Advantage:

Streamlined phone setup allows quicker adoption of new Webex features and functionalities, giving you a competitive edge.

Improved Scalability

Effortlessly manage large phone deployments as your business grows, adding new devices in minutes.

Increased ROI

Reduced IT costs, faster deployments, and improved user experience contribute directly to your organization’s bottom line.

Embrace the power of automation and increase the velocity of your Webex transformation with ConnX