Success Story

GuideOne Insurance: Centralizes Job Scheduling Environments and Automates Production Processes — Cost Effectively

Stonebranch’s independent scheduling agent solution integrates a leading insurer’s mainframe and distributed environments, saving time, money and resources.

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Background

Founded in 1947 and headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, GuideOne Insurance serves more than 51,000 commercial policyholders around the United States, including churches, schools, nonprofits and more.

Challenges

GuideOne Insurance used ESP scheduler on its mainframe. Additionally, GuideOne used a few ESP agents to manage its distributed platforms and tie their processes back to the mainframe. When their initial purchase of ESP agents had all been deployed, they needed to acquire more agents from the original vendor.

Unfortunately, those agents had become very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that GuideOne could not justify additional purchases. However, the goal was still to automate all production processes in a cost-effective way.

“Because of Universal Agent, 10% of three full-time employees’ time was recovered, averaging a savings of $32,000 annually.”

SANDEE LEHMAN
Data Center Manager, GuideOne

Solution

GuideOne Insurance found the solution they had been looking for with Universal Agent, Stonebranch’s independent scheduling agent solution. Not only was Universal Agent better priced than GuideOne’s original solution, it was also easier to use and more robust.

Sandee Lehman, data center manager for GuideOne, says, “Our data center is 50/50 between a mainframe and distributed platform. We needed a solution that would integrate between both environments and route jobs to a central location.”

That need for integration and centralization, along with standardizing into a production environment that provided a central location for monitoring, would enable GuideOne to perform a root-cause analysis on any issue, implement corrective actions and improve reliability.

“Universal Agent just works. The pricing was a shoe-in for our CIO, and the technology was vetted by our technical architect team.”

SANDEE LEHMAN
Data Center Manager, GuideOne

Results

Since implementing Universal Agent, GuideOne Insurance has seen significant increases in productivity. Developers who once worked on scheduling and monitoring in the distributed environment were able to move on to development work. Ms. Lehman says, “In fact, 10% of three full-time employees’ time was recovered, averaging a savings of $32,000 annually.”

GuideOne expects that number to increase over time. Karen Salmi, data center support analyst for GuideOne, says, “Universal Agent ensures the integrity of our batch processes. A process can be stopped when it needs to be stopped.”

With an integrated scheduling environment that the team can monitor, communication between departments has improved considerably. If a system issue arises, improved lines of communication between teams prevents delays from becoming mission-critical business issues. Adds Ms. Salmi, “Universal Agent has also simplified the auditing process while keeping us compliant.”

Both Ms. Salmi and Ms. Lehman were impressed by the hands-on approach Stonebranch took during the implementation process. “Universal Agent just works. The pricing was a shoe-in for our CIO, and the technology was vetted by our technical architect team,” remarks Ms. Lehman.

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