Advertising Agency Adcetera Rebrands Their Tech with Linksys
Founded in 1982, Adcetera Design Studio Inc. began as a two-person design firm producing logos, slideshows, and taglines. It was two years before the firm leased its first office space and hired its first employee. By 1993, the company had grown to 10 employees and grossed nearly $2 million in revenue; today—35 years after the agency was formed—Adcetera Design Studio is now simply “Adcetera,” the largest advertising agency in Houston, Texas.
From a single-tenant, three-story building in Midtown, Adcetera’s 100 employees—including account executives, copywriters, designers, developers, artists, animators, and producers—work on high-bandwidth projects, such as running 3D modeling software, creating product demos, and rendering animations. In 2016, it became clear that the technology being employed could no longer support the business’s operations or its potential growth. Adcetera needed a scalable and reliable networking infrastructure. The company turned to Linksys Business for a comprehensive solution.
Initially, Adcetera was a small graphic design firm, and a simple networking setup was sufficient for its operations. As the company grew, however, so did the need for a network designed to support high-bandwidth operations and accommodate potential growth. The company needed a networking solution that would provide faster speeds for the approximately 100 users and 300 devices working on both the internal network and on Wi-Fi.
Due to the high number of devices accessing the network each day and the company’s focus on video, motion, and graphic design, as well as the client-driven nature of the advertising and marketing industry, the ability to support operations was a chief concern. The network needed to accommodate collaboration between team members and virtual clients, while simultaneously allowing users to perform tasks such as rendering animations and editing video. Additionally, the tech-dependent, ultra-connected nature of Adcetera’s largely millennial, highly mobile workforce meant that the solution had to go beyond the internal network; it needed to extend to the employees who work beyond the desktop.
Adcetera was utilizing single-user multiple-input multiple-output (SU-MIMO) access points, which weren’t able to provide sufficient bandwidth for multiple devices at the same time, meaning that the ramifications of a particularly server-taxing operation were felt by other users accessing the network. Such a setup was not ideal for an industry as fast-paced as advertising—an industry where the flicker of a video conference or the inability to meet a deadline can mean a lost client. Adcetera needed a networking solution that could keep up with the demanding needs of the entire office.
“In our industry, it’s imperative that we utilize fast, leading-edge technology,” said John Sexton, Adcetera’s chief financial officer. “We run a lot of high-bandwidth software here, and any downtime could result in a loss of business. To stay competitive, we have to be fast and online.”
For Linksys Business, the solution to Adcetera’s challenge was clear: multiple-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) provides multiple users with bandwidth simultaneously, enabling Adcetera’s employees to stream data faster without competing for bandwidth. Additionally, the clustering capabilities of the MU-MIMO access points provided a single point of administration, allowing Adcetera’s IT support team to more easily manage the infrastructure. Prior to implementing wireless access point clustering, Adcetera’s IT department had to configure each access point individually. Wireless clustering simplifies this process. When IT configures one access point, the other access points in the “cluster” pick up on this new configuration and reconfigure themselves accordingly—allowing the IT team to manage multiple access points as a single unit.
“I was extremely impressed with the clustering capabilities of the access points,” said Daniel Buentello, Adcetera’s director of information technology. “The online configuration couldn’t have been easier. The ability to manage the network as a single entity rather than separate access points has simplified and streamlined our day-to-day operations.”
Adcetera’s offices were outfitted with six dual-band wireless MU-MIMO access points. MU-MIMO enabled Adcetera’s overtaxed routers to evenly distribute bandwidth among the office’s many devices, eliminating the network issues the company had experienced previously. Additionally, the clustering capability of the access points simplified administration and management responsibilities with Single Point Control. To accommodate the company’s “bring your own device” policies, the office was also outfitted with ten Max-Stream™ Wi-Fi micro USB adapters, enabling employees who work primarily on Windows-based, mobile PC devices to upgrade to MU-MIMO.
“As a primarily mobile employee operating on a PC laptop, Linksys adapters were a revelation,” said Pagogh Cho, vice president of strategy. “Now I’m able to work anywhere in the office while taking full advantage of the MU-MIMO technology.”
Managed switches, including five 52-port managed gigabit switches, were installed to enable the office to work more efficiently, enhancing traffic management and providing greater control over applications while increasing network security. Three 52-port managed gigabit PoE+ switches, which provide more power budget and flexibility over standard PoE for higher-powered devices, were also installed. Quality of Service (QoS) features prioritized real-time traffic, such as bandwidth-intensive applications like graphic and video uploads and downloads, enabling the staff to work more effectively and further eliminating bandwidth issues.
Linksys provided Adcetera with a scalable business solution that eliminated bandwidth problems, improved security, streamlined traffic management, and simplified network administration. Total implementation took less than one week, and the results were staggering. In all, the Linksys MU-MIMO access points and managed switches met the demands of today’s more mobile office by increasing overall network productivity and Wi-Fi speeds.