Bandwidth

How a publicly traded CPaaS company produces audit-ready reports with less stress. 

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“[Strongpoint] saves us a lot of time and anxiety... there have been no surprises”

— Shawn Blackburn, Director of Financial Systems at Bandwidth

Every day, Bandwidth.com is helping people stay connected. The company’s products are essential to running Zoom, Google Hangouts and other telecom apps — and, as a result, essential to how we work and connect today. 

Like a lot of companies that experienced rapid growth in the past few years, Bandwidth needed their ERP systems to evolve quickly. But evolution requires ongoing change and, unless you have the right processes in place, change can put big-picture goals like regulatory compliance and security in jeopardy. 

We recently sat down with Bandwidth’s Director of Financial Systems, Shawn Blackburn, and NetSuite admins Emily Tillis and Robert Barker, to discuss the role Strongpoint plays in their ERP systems. 

Bandwidth initially purchased Strongpoint to help with change management as their NetSuite account grew in complexity — but quickly learned that it was incredibly useful for SOX compliance, too. 

Audit Readiness Made Easy

Noncompliant change reports help the Bandwidth team stay on top of any request that could potentially be an issue at audit. Weekly standup meetings give them space to resolve and review these concerns, while maintaining segregation of duties. 

Strongpoint Agent is another big part of their compliance process. Instant email notifications have improved communication between IT and Finance, while avoiding the need for time-consuming discovery. 

“It’s been a great tool,” Tillis told us. During audit time, “it really helps to have those checks and balances.”

It's been a great tool... it really helps to have those checks and balances.

 

That was where it really shined for us... being able to feel like we’re not going to just break the system and not have any idea what we did.

 

Managing Change With Strongpoint

Bandwidth still uses Strongpoint to manage change requests in their account. As with audit prep, they’re building better processes from the ground up, and enjoying increased confidence and significantly less rework as a result. 

Without Strongpoint, “It’s really easy to be like, ‘I think that’s fine, I think we can change that and it won't touch anything.” Barker said. “And then we go into production and it all breaks!” 

“That was where it really shined for us,” Blackburn added. “Being able to feel like we’re not going to just break the system and not have any idea what we did.”

With just a few custom policies in place, they’re able to instantly differentiate between changes that require scrutiny — “anything that’s considered part of a normal day for an admin,” as Barker put it — and those that could potentially affect a workflow or script. 

Before and After

Strongpoint’s tight processes and intelligent controls have been a game-changer for the admin team at Bandwidth. “It saves us a lot of time and anxiety,” Barker said.

But it was Blackburn who had the highest praise for Strongpoint. “There have been no surprises,” he told us.

After all, isn’t that what everyone wants from their audit software?

It saves us a lot of time and anxiety!

 

Bonus: Bandwidth's War on Celery

Every Strongpoint change request includes an approval comment section where users can provide additional context as part of the approval process. In Bandwidth’s case, however, the team started using it to share bizarre facts and hot takes — including one executive approver's thoughts on celery, which ended up being exceptionally polarizing.

Watch the video for details, or read the post in our blog to learn more.

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