Wendy O’Brien is a data center technical analyst with MAPFRE (formerly The Commerce Group, Inc.), which is among the largest personal auto insurers in the United States, writing policies through their subsidiary companies in 15 states.
When purchasing new software, an important part of the decision process at MAPFRE is based on the vendors’ customer service. According to Wendy, “With the nature of what we do (i.e., servicing customers) a 24/7 environment is becoming increasingly important. To have a relationship with a vendor that can provide that type of customer service is very important. If it’s Sunday, or the middle of the night, you need to make sure they’re available and can provide that level of support.”
To manage their large volume of business, MAPFRE uses Robot SCHEDULE, Robot NETWORK, and Robot CONSOLE to automate their operations. According to Wendy, Robot SCHEDULE handles the bulk of their work. “We have hundreds of jobs in Robot SCHEDULE. We run all our backups, do all our restrictions, and run a majority of our nightly batch processing. I’d say at least 90 percent of what we do is managed by Robot SCHEDULE. It’s a great product that anyone looking to automate processes should take advantage of.”
MAPFRE uses Robot CONSOLE with Robot NETWORK to monitor the 13 partitions they use for messaging. The operations team likes this because they can do all message monitoring on one console. Wendy agrees that Robot NETWORK saves time and eliminates redundancy. “If you have similar jobs, you’re creating it once, not re-creating the job 12 times.”
Although Wendy and her group are very happy with the Robot products, it is the customer service that really puts Fortra ahead of the competition. “I would say that Fortra far exceeds what I encounter with other businesses.”
Service That Sets Us Apart
Having technical consultants that are available, detailed-oriented, and provide timely communication is important. Wendy explains, “Being able to call on Sunday and having someone available to return your call is great. Also, I’ve posted questions to the discussion threads on the Fortra website and the staff is always quick to get back to you, as well as posting answers online.”
One specific situation that impressed Wendy was when MAPFRE had an issue interfacing their high availability (HA) product with Robot SCHEDULE. Wendy called Fortra Support on a Sunday and received a response from a technical consultant almost immediately. After some initial troubleshooting, Wendy was asked to send additional information to the Fortra technical team. “Probably a week and a half went by. If I didn’t talk to her at least once a day, I spoke with her three or four times a day. The consultant had me try several approaches to solving the problem. She was always there and always following up—she was awesome.”
Wendy was also impressed with how the consultant tried to fully understand MAPFRE’s environment before proposing solutions. “She asked about release levels, mod levels, license setup information, our interactive job log, and feature codes—all important information to diagnose the problem.”
With her consultant’s help, Wendy and her department were able to find the root of their problem and fix it. Wendy explains, “It was a lesson learned on our part, but the consultant was terrific to deal with and helped us every step of the way.”
Going Beyond Support
Wendy believes that other Fortra customers should take advantage of their customer service, and not only when there is a problem. “Consulting with a technical person at Fortra to make sure that you’re doing what you should be doing in your environment—and to make sure you’ve got the process down—is important.”
Regular check-in calls from the sales representative, informational emails, the Robot newsletter, and the website have all contributed to a positive support experience for Wendy and MAPFRE. “It’s not like we just purchase something and then we never see you [HelpSystems] again. I think all Fortra customers should take advantage of that.”
“The consultant had me try several approaches to solve the problem. She was always there and always following up—she was awesome.”
Wendy also likes the fact that Fortra listens to customer suggestions for improving their products. “I can certainly say that they were very responsive to a suggestion we had last year. The technical consultant that I dealt with even worked with IBM. We will be able to take advantage of using the new function when we upgrade.”
When you are ready for your next IBM i software purchase, remember that you are getting more than a few lines of code. With Fortra, you are also getting the people and support behind the product.