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for Blue Ridge Networks, Fall 2002



Customer Success Story:

Redskins Shore Up Defensive Strategy with Blue Ridge Networks


When the Washington Redskins wanted to shore up their on-field defensive strategy and execution, they knew that they needed to hire the most respected defensive mind in the game, coordinator Marvin Lewis. It’s no surprise that the team pursues the same standard of excellence and reliability to protect its off-field operations – information systems and data from email to scouting reports.

Access to secure technology and online data is a critical tool for any successful business, particularly those with multiple offices and remote users across the country or around the globe. For the Washington Redskins, the challenge was to reliably connect its often-dispersed staff – from coaches to scouts to administration officials – with a secure, private network.

“The 2001 summer training camp was quickly approaching, and we realized the need to keep our staff and team connected to our local network – even though training camp is more than 100 miles away,” explains David Pauken, Chief Operating Officer of the Washington Redskins. “Configuring a dial-up 1-800 service would be a huge expense for a temporary event like training camp. Also, with more than 60 remote users trying to access the network from various locations, we needed a solution that wouldn’t exhaust our limited IT staff, should problems arise. We required something simple, cost-effective and low maintenance – and we needed it quickly.”

Under the gun to get a solution up and running quickly, The Washington Redskins technology team carefully looked at all their options and settled on one – a virtual private network (VPN). VPNs allow multiple users to connect to a company’s local area network from remote or multiple locations with total privacy and security. Encryption technology and user authentication is at heart of the VPN’s effectiveness. Clients simply connect via a local Internet connection.

“It’s the easiest, most cost-effective way for our staff to log onto the network from anywhere – and have secure access to our computer applications as if they were working right in our headquarters,” says Pauken. “We knew it would work perfectly to connect our training camp in Pennsylvania to our headquarters in northern Virginia.”

The Washington Redskins chose Blue Ridge Networks’VPN solution for four important reasons:

  1. Blue Ridge Networks' ability to deploy the solution quickly;
  2. Its 24-hour customer support center;
  3. Ease of use; and
  4. Blue Ridge Networks' successful track record and longevity in the VPN marketplace.

“We have a small IT staff here at the Redskins, and getting something as new as a VPN could have been overwhelming. We needed to outsource the VPN – from deployment to support to maintenance,” said Pauken. “We needed someone with a good customer support system who could handle a question from any of our users, and Blue Ridge Networks is the only VPN provider with a 24-hour support desk built for end users. Furthermore, Blue Ridge rolled out and installed the VPN for 50 to 60 users in less than two weeks with no problems. And, if there is a problem, Blue Ridge’s team usually knows about it before I do as they monitor the network as an extension of our IT staff.  In effect, they became our VPN Department.”

Today, the Redskins continue to use the VPN to connect various operations associated with the team’s training camp and has upgraded their service to provide connectivity to staff based at its regular season home, FEDEX Field (in Maryland).

“Blue Ridge had the perfect game plan to address our ongoing technology needs,” says Pauken. "We’ve now got home field advantage wherever we are.”  

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For more information, contact:  Scott Beller @ 202-365-5234

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