Insurer IAT Group has deployed Riverbed SteelHead, a wide-area network (WAN) optimization tool from Riverbed Technology to help its insurance agents and field investigators work more efficiently with their most important software application, Vertafore’s ImageRight, an insurance management system.

Agents now can complete tasks such as writing policies, which took 90 minutes to two hours or more because of slow access and delivery over a WAN, in 30 minutes or less. Because of such productivity improvements, as well as cost-savings, IAT Group realized a return on investment (ROI) of 10 months with its SteelHead deployment.

The company purchased SteelHead appliances for its larger branch offices as its data centers. IAT Group also purchased SteelHead Mobile for field investigators who work remotely.

SteelHead compresses ImageRight data by up to 99% to achieve such a level of application acceleration.

“It used to take some underwriters up to two hours to write a policy and most of that time was spent waiting for the system to transmit information,” said Ryan Smith, a network engineer at IAT Group. “I think a lot of people here just had an acceptance of poor performing technology. We’ve reaped the benefits for all the other WAN-enabled software and the investigators have seen a big difference.”

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