New York - In an effort to improve the quality, availability and performance of its Web-based Policy Express policy issuance system, Hastings Mutual Insurance, a regional insurance company serving the Midwest, has deployed AppSight Application Problem Resolution System from Identify Software. Policy Express is a vital business application that is accessed by nearly 850 Hastings agents each day as they quote and write customers' policies. Ninety percent of all new homeowners and personal automobile policies that Hastings issues are processed though Policy Express."We were initially looking for a performance management solution to improve our service levels by detecting application performance problems before they become a productivity issue for our agent community," says Bob Eshelbrenner, CIO of Hastings Mutual Insurance. "With AppSight, we can not only identify our applications' performance problems faster, we also gain the visibility to rapidly determine the root cause, leading to a much faster resolution, which is the end-game after all."

Identify claims that the AppSight Application Problem Resolution System has been proved to eliminate up to 80% of the cycle time traditionally consumed by root cause analysis. AppSight leverages patented black box software to monitor actual application execution (in production, as well as in development and QA) and automatically detect faults and performance issues in .NET, Windows, and J2EE applications. When a problem is detected, AppSight captures a synchronized, real-time log of user actions, system events, performance metrics, configuration data, and code execution flow - much like the "black box" flight recorder on an aircraft captures a real-time record of a flight. The captured information can be analyzed by the entire problem resolution team, using role-specific views, to rapidly pinpoint the root cause of performance, configuration, application code, or user errors.

AppSight proved its value very quickly at Hastings. The company had been experiencing a chronic performance issue with Policy Express that had many agents experiencing long transaction execution times, and even caused some users to be locked out of the system. Hastings' support team had been working on this issue for several weeks and had successfully isolated the problem to a single page. But, they were not finding it easy to determine the root cause.

With AppSight, Hastings' support team was able to quickly pinpoint and resolve the issue. "If we'd had AppSight from the beginning, we would have saved weeks of problem isolation time. Because of the visibility and insight that AppSight provided, we had a game plan for the fix by the end of the day," says Ryan Peel, application programming supervisor for Hastings. "Fixing this one issue alone gave us an immediate 5% response time improvement in one of our business-critical applications."

Hastings Mutual Insurance receives hundreds of help desk calls each month from users of its Web-based policy issuance system. Nearly 10% of these are escalated to the development team, pulling them away from other high-value activities. The company will run AppSight in a continuous low-level recording mode that can be configured to automatically capture a deep record of application execution, when triggered by a performance problem or application error. The company also plans to use AppSight's Web support portal for resolving issues experienced by its agents in the field.

"With AppSight, we've gained a powerful solution for improving the performance, availability, and quality of our applications, which we believe will have a direct impact on our agent community, our clients, and on the top line of our business," says Eshelbrenner. "Based on the immediate efficiency gains that we experienced using AppSight, we plan to extend our use to our development and QA teams to accelerate our delivery cycles, which will help us continually stay ahead of the technology curve."

Source: Identify Software

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