Insurance firm boosts network performance

Thomas Miller, an insurance company specialising in the travel industry, has made more efficient use of its network bandwidth by...

Thomas Miller, an insurance company specialising in the travel industry, has made more efficient use of its network bandwidth by deploying a service level-focused network architecture to support its Oasis claims handling application.

Developed in London, Oasis is being rolled out in offices across Asia-Pacific, the UK and Thomas Miller's North American operations. Although there is some local replication of data, the system consumes a considerable amount of wide area network bandwidth.

Response times are critical because the system could be used to access data while, for example, a claims handler is on the telephone to a ship owner enquiring about the progress of a claim.

Alan Dainty, network services manager at Thomas Miller, said the company previously did not measure the network service level. "In the past, this meant that network performance was not always acceptable," he said.

The company used to run multiple applications. The introduction of Oasis, developed four years ago, provided a single user interface for claims handlers but puts higher demands on network availability.

Using Networkvantage from software specialist Compuware, Dainty identified a number of issues relating to network performance. "We quickly identified some excessive traffic that we were not expecting to see on the network. Eliminating that was of immediate benefit because it could have interfered with the running of Oasis."

The Compuware set-up constantly probes the network and provides Thomas Miller with monthly reports listing the typical response time of the application and network utilisation. Dainty explained, "We can investigate why things are slowing down." Such problems may occur due to problems with network bandwidth or as a result of changes to the Oasis application, which is constantly being developed.

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