SAGA Speeds Up Print File Transfers By Fifteen Times With Expand Accelerators

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Expand Networks, a leading provider of Application Traffic Management Solutions for the branch office, today announced that the SAGA Group, the leading provider of products and services to people aged 50 and over, has deployed Expand Networks Accelerators to speed up print times and increase the volume of print output over existing WAN links allowing faster fulfilment of customer enquiries.

SAGA Groups wide area network (WAN) supports in excess of two thousand users. The company also has its own direct mailing house called MetroMail located at a remote site, which is connected to SAGAs headquarters via frame relay. SAGAs major applications provide print output, such as insurance quotes, directly to MetroMail for onward posting to customers. The WAN was already peaking at 100 per cent utilisation with the growing volume of print traffic. SAGA therefore faced the threat of slowing down the delivery of insurance quotes, travel itineraries and other important documents which would inevitably impact customer service and satisfaction.

It is imperative to SAGA that printed documentation reaches our customers in good time following a telephone quote, but with the WAN running at full capacity to our fulfilment house, any increase in print traffic volumes would endanger customer response times, said Jim Cameron, IT Director, SAGA Group. We selected Expand after extensive evaluation in a test environment indicated that we could expect a 600% improvement in print file transfer times - over our existing connections. In the live environment, Expand Accelerators have provided 1,500% faster data transmission therefore allowing us to fully leverage our investments in expensive bulk printer equipment.

In the competitive service sector, where the customer is king, companies clearly need to provide a outstanding level of service that is fast, accurate and efficient to impress the customer and maintain their loyalty, said Adam Davison, Sales Director, Expand Networks EMEA. Expand has again been chosen for the strategic value the Accelerators offer in speeding up networked transactions and services delivered to users both internal and external to the enterprise.

The deployment of Expand Accelerators at SAGA has allowed the printers at MetroMail to run continuously enabling the output to reach the fulfilment team faster, said Roger Woodcock, spokesperson for AccessIT, the Expand channel partner who worked with SAGA on the project. SAGAs print staff are now better able to plan printer usage knowing that when they want to take a batch of print files, the transmission time will not be a bottleneck.

Jim Cameron continued, We were particularly impressed with the ease of installation, the performance and the management statistics provided by the Expand Accelerators. The companys overall objective is to offer high quality service to people aged 50 and over and our deployment of Expand has helped us do that. We will certainly be considering Expand units for areas where we see bottlenecks in delivering applications and services to remote locations. To that end, we are currently testing Expand Accelerators on our ship to shore links via satellite technology, where results have so far been stellar.

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