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The Four and a Half Second Miracle

 



  • In 1983, the Agency Network System was adopted at Pacific Mutual
  • The system allowed teams to send memos between agencies in just four and a half seconds

One of the computer terminals that connected the individual agencies to the mainframe in the Newport Beach office, 1983. Pacific Life Archives
One of the computer terminals that connected the individual agencies to the mainframe in the Newport Beach office, 1983.
Pacific Life Archives


Before ANET, it took three or four days for an agency to receive updates about new business.

Following the 1983 introduction of Agency Network System, which linked computers in individual agencies with a mainframe in Newport Beach, it took just four and a half seconds.

Employees, including Ken Crilly of Information Systems, studied how agencies did business and what kinds of inquiries and information transfer would improve business. “Basically, what we are talking about is faster service with less paper involved. You don’t have to mail something across the country,” Crilly said. “Insurance companies are paper intensive. Everybody fills out forms. ANET is going to eliminate a lot of that work.”.

The development team envisioned ANET providing a number of services, including “a mailbox on computer” that could send memos between agencies in the same day.

Their future projections did not stop there. Bob Suman, a project leader who worked closely with Crilly, hoped one day for an expanded ANET, where “it becomes standard practice for an agent to take computer hardware into a client’s office or home and dial into a network that gives him or her information, right there, instantly.”

ANET foreshadowed today’s high-velocity business environment. Faster and better service was Pacific Mutual’s goal in the 1980s—as it is today.