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International Excess Alliance accelerates performance with Time Warner Cable Business Class Fiber connectivity

BACKGROUND

International Excess Alliance (IEA) supports insurance agencies with a diverse range of services including wholesale professional and liability insurance coverage, program management for trade associations, and assistance with complex state tax filings. With 20 offices nationwide, the Richmond Heights, Ohio-headquartered firm serves nearly 1,000 independent agents, about half concentrated in Northeast Ohio.

“We offer a wide array of products and services to meet the needs of many widespread agents, via many operations within our company,” explains Charles Lardomita, chief technology officer, International Excess Alliance. “The integration of technology into each and every one of our processes is without question what sets us apart from the rest.”

Specializing in serving small to medium-sized accounts, IEA needed to boost efficiency and turnaround times, prompting the company to quickly hire personnel to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

“We were experiencing extreme growth and I started getting more remote users, which increased the load on our T-1 circuit,” Lardomita says. “This led to companywide performance issues and complaints from all of our remote offices.”

Since moving documents electronically is mission critical, the chronic delays IEA experienced with its legacy T-1 circuit threatened to impede the company’s growth and success.

“We are a paperless organization, meaning we do almost everything with digital imaging,” Lardomita says. “Our bandwidth shortage was exacerbating a now-common insurance-industry technology hurdle – email-attachment bloat.

“Additionally, we have a lot of clients who would prefer to email us large files. They’d want to send us a 25 MB PDF with 150 to 200 pages, and we had to tell them that we simply couldn’t accept files that large. Our bandwidth restrictions had brought us to a crawl.” All the connectivity issues, coupled with unsatisfactory voice services, prompted Lardomita to begin his search for an alternative service provider.

SOLUTIONS

Reliant on the constant exchange of large electronic files and providing customers Web-based access to business-critical information and support, IEA updated and moved from its outdated T-1 service to an up to 100 Mbps Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) circuit from Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC).

“The final straw was when I saw TWCBC trucks running fiber-optic cable in the business park where our headquarters are located,” says Lardomita. “I knew then that it was time.” The quick, hassle-free installation process meant IEA experienced no downtime and was up and running with its new TWCBC service in a matter of days.

“It’s typically very difficult to install circuits,” explains Lardomita, “but I was promised our service would be implemented within two weeks, which is unheard of in this industry. Sure enough, they delivered. Time Warner Cable Business Class blew me away with this one.”

quotes-open Additionally, we have a lot of clients who would prefer to email us large files. They’d want to send us a 25 MB PDF with 150 to 200 pages, and we had to tell them that we simply couldn’t accept files that large. Our bandwidth restrictions had brought us to a crawl. quotes-close

RESULTS

The 100 Mbps DIA link supports data and voice services across IEA’s entire network, driving major productivity gains. Beyond greatly accelerating downloads and uploads, the new service has streamlined online document review, a vital part of issuing new policies. “We’ve dramatically reduced downtime,” Lardomita says. “Employees who used to wait minutes to download and upload policies now doing it in half the time.

“We also seamlessly review PDF documents online with remote-office agents. Our prior T-1 service presented significant latency impediments. We’re talking five or even 10 seconds to click to the next page. With our new TWCBC DIA service, there’s virtually zero lag. It’s click, click, click. As if everyone’s working in the same office.”

Further, TWCBC DIA service solved the firm’s issue of not being able to receive large files from its customers, which has enabled IEA to simplify the way its business partners connect with the company.

“Once the 100 Mbps DIA line went in, we informed all our customers that we could now accept large files directly,” says Lardomita. “No more FTP or online file-sharing sites needed. Our customers simply send us the files and bandwidth is never an issue.”

Additionally, IEA now runs its voice over its DIA network, providing in-office and remote workers reliable connectivity to coworkers, customers and partners.

“The Internet-based voice component was one of the greatest advantages of this upgrade, because at the end of the day, phone service is an important application,” says Lardomita. “Employees who once never used the system are now using voice delivered over our DIA network 100 percent of the time. No more static, echo or jitter. It’s clear as day.”

Lardomita praises TWCBC solutions for helping IEA dramatically improve employee productivity, efficiency and retention, along with customer satisfaction.

“Once we moved to the 100 Mbps DIA service, my phone rang, I got emails, everybody was just thoroughly pleased with the upgrade,” he says. “It was like night and day. A 100 percent improvement across the board. We couldn’t be happier with the service and support we receive from Time Warner Cable Business Class.”

ABOUT TIME WARNER CABLE BUSINESS CLASS

Time Warner Cable Business Class, a division of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), offers a full complement of business communications tools to small-and medium-sized businesses and enterprise-sized companies. Its phone, Internet, Ethernet, cable TV and security solutions are enhanced by award-winning customer service and local support teams. Through its NaviSite subsidiary, the Company also offers managed and outsourced information technology solutions and cloud services. Time Warner Cable Business Class was founded in 1998. Today, it serves more than 579,000 business customers throughout Time Warner Cable’s markets.

For more information about Time Warner Cable Business Class products and solutions, visit twc.com/business or call 1-866-TWC-4BIZ.