Vision Net, Inc., a Montana-based telecommunications solution provider, marks its 25th anniversary this year. Incorporated in 1995 and wholly owned by nine telephone companies, Vision Net was founded to provide advanced, cutting edge distance learning and Internet services to rural Montana schools. The company’s early focus on videoconferencing— and the connectivity needed to support it, then and now—is proving critical in a Covid-19 world of remote work and online education.

Vision Net’s investment in Montana’s information technology infrastructure is extensive. In 2005, Vision Net merged with Montana Advanced Information Networks, Inc. (MAIN), forming a company uniquely positioned to deliver a wide range of technical professional services that, to this day, includes broadband network transport, Internet services, design and management of customized wide area network (WAN) solutions including SD-WAN, end-point and network security products, and more.

What began as a company providing videoconferencing services has evolved into one of Montana’s leading technology companies whose world-class 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) provides application, network and unified communications support to our carrier and business clients both locally and nationwide.

Most recently, the company funded and delivered critical broadband fiber infrastructure to Helena and Billings, two cities experiencing—yet struggling to meet—increased Internet demand.

For Vision Net CEO Corey Jensen, meaningful investments such as these are what set the company apart. “As a Montana-based company, it’s vitally important that we seek out and support those opportunities that drive value for our state and our customers,” he said. “Fast, reliable connectivity and other critical telecommunications solutions ensure that Montana businesses can compete locally, regionally and nationally. And they position our communities to attract businesses looking to relocate, driving economic development for us all.”

Vision Net provides ongoing professional training for employees, competitive benefit packages, and flexible scheduling to help employees achieve a better work-life balance.

The recently-renovated Billings office was designed with employee comfort in mind, and Great Falls employees enjoy summer BBQs in the renovated breakrooms and outdoor areas as that office undergoes renovations and upgrades.

As a community-minded company, Vision Net supports several state-wide and community organizations. Vision Net has always been involved locally, like supporting Special Olympics – not just financially, but with Vision Net employees volunteering at the games. For almost 20 years, Vision Net has partnered with Billings TrailNet and is the 2020 title sponsor for the annual Ales for Trails fundraiser. Vision Net supports various non-profit organizations throughout Montana as part of our continued commitment to Montana.

 Looking ahead, Jensen said the company will continue to innovate “to stay ahead of the rapidly- changing IT curve,” adding that the current pandemic has presented new challenges and opportunities.

For example, in early March, Montana-based independent financial and retirement planning consultants Ed Ulledalen and Molly Van Binsbergen contacted Vision Net for a phone system upgrade that would allow them to work remotely when needed. Little did they know that within weeks of that phone call, as the pandemic settled in, their entire business model would shift to full- time remote work. Vision Net transitioned them to an app-based solution that allowed them to “carry” their work IDs across personal and business phones, tablets and computers, providing a seamless experience for their clients. It was, as Ulledalen said, “a timely and needed upgrade that literally saved our business.”

As an IT professional, Jensen said stories such as Ulledalen’s are rewarding. “Knowing we are delivering meaningful, impactful solutions to our customers and our communities is why we’re all here,” he said. “I look forward to Vision Net’s next 25 years and the many relationships, challenges and opportunities that will come along with it.”


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