It Was 26 Years Ago : Creating an Innovative Technology Solution That Helped Our Client Grow
Welcome to Technology in the 1990s
Project year: 1996
Client: Insurance company and agency
Unix servers: SCO Open Server 5
Windows clients: Windows 95
User count: 1500
Project budget: $4,000,000
In 1996 Cotton States insurance, a 60-year-old regional insurance company was ready to migrate its 1500-user agency force from character-based terminals to PCs. The challenge was to identify a robust, reliable interface capable of supporting multiple concurrent users in more than 275 agency sites. These sites also needed to be able to share applications and data between their local network PCs and UNIX servers. To select the best solution for their needs, they turned to their long-time technology solutions provider – Quest Technology Group.
Each site had its own UNIX server running SCO Open Server and from 2 to 6 Windows 95 clients. The SCO servers were running a legacy UNIX-based insurance agency application written by Quest Technology Group more than 15 years ago.
"Our main goal was to replace the character terminals with PCs while still allowing the users access to their UNIX applications, thus preserving the return on investment our client had in those UNIX applications," said Linda Rolf, President of Quest Technology Group. "Our client needed a robust terminal emulator that had the capability of sizing each of their emulation windows to fit the user's display," continued Rolf.
The client was making a significant multi-year capital hardware investment and did not have the budget to also acquire expensive software. As a result, Quest needed to identify a low-cost solution that would guarantee performance reliability for all users.
The Technology Solution That Endured for 15 Years
Quest Technology Group installed a 1,250-user license of FacetWin in the 400 insurance agency sites in 5 states. An additional 150 home office users in the IT, Underwriting, Customer Service, and Rates & Products departments also gained access to 3 home office SCO servers configured and installed by Quest.
"Implementing FacetWin has really opened the door for the agents. Before FacetWin, they only had access to their UNIX applications. Now, they have all the tools they need integrated onto one desktop," commented Rolf.
Linda Rolf and her team evaluated several PC-to-UNIX connectivity solutions before choosing FacetWin for their client. "We chose FacetWin for 2 main reasons," explained Rolf. "The strength of the product and how easy it was to work with FacetCorp. Since that decision more than 6 years ago, we can say that FacetWin has continually exceeded all our expectations. The ease of installing and integrating the package made the implementation at all the sites a breeze. The users have had no trouble using the terminal emulator or file and print services of FacetWin. We also wrote an interface so the agents could backup and restore their PCs each day."