Recently I was on the phone with a client who was having issues with latency over their internet connection. An example of latency is when you are typing info onto an online form. If there is a split- second delay between the time you hit the character on the key board and its appearance on the computer screen, you are experiencing latency. Back to the case... When the client called they were ready to change out a hosted mortgage program that they identified as being slow and inefficient, for another. The hosted application in question is very well known and we have clients all over the country who use it every day with no problems.
During our conversation we talked about their connection experience. "Usually no problem, very fast", I was told. Our tests of their systems showed they did have a fast internet, when sending/receiving small packets of info. But when we started testing larger packets of information, files with pdfs/images attached to them, we noticed there was a problem.
We focused on the hosted mortgage software they were having issues with. As it turns out their processes had changed. Over the last 12 months and they had built up their file sizes. These once small files now had additional pdfs/images added to them. Their file sizes had increased in size, some were now pushing 6 MB in size. This made what was originally a small data footprint, into a giant one. And when multiple people execute the same processes, the streams of data were overwhelming their internet connection. With the increase in size of their data packages it was as if they were trying to suck a watermelon through a soda straw.
One of our Tech people who was on the phone at the time started to ask more detailed question about their business offices and their internet connection. As it turned out their Internet provider is located in the same building as their offices. The T-1 connection (1.5MB connection) which I was assuming the company had exclusive access to, was actually fractional and divided up with other offices. My tech explained that with the increases in file sizes on all applications a T-1 (what used to be the "gold standard" connection size) is now pretty minimal. And when you start adding to the internet load with cool features like VOIP phones, music and video streaming, you will eat up bandwidth very quickly.
The client is going to their carrier and will invest in a larger internet connection (a fatter pipe). They should see the cost of the additional bandwidth offset with by the increased efficiency in their staff's production. Plus they will not need to get rid of a software tool the staff is used to working with.
I learned a lot during that call. I am asking better questions and looking at the whole business process rather than just the applications we deal with.
I hope this is helpful... thanks for your time
photo from http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com