Farmers Financial Solutions Ranks Among Top 10 Users of Centra’s ASP Service

November 12, 2003

“Centra’s voice-over-IP technology has matured to the point where it is better than the phone in many cases,” said Jim Lepard, who directs eLearning for Farmers Financial Solutions.

Prior to Centra, the company would routinely fly instructors across country to train its representatives, which made for significant travel and hotel costs. Bringing the training online with a conferencing bridge was the natural next step. According to Lepard, this worked well until the popularity of Farmers’ online courses grew. “When our class sizes increased from 20 to approaching 200 and more, the high teleconferencing charges compelled us to look at other vendors,” said Lepard. “After considerable research, we determined that Centra met all of our needs. Today, we are communicating and training online in real-time, with live trainers using quality voice-over-IP technology provided by Centra’s application.”

Registered representatives enter their Virtual Classroom on Centra every other week and receive training from the convenience of their own office. Other online sessions attract dozens more on a weekly basis. These sessions have been part of the standard training curriculum at Farmers Financial Solutions for just over two years.

Recently, the use of Centra has expanded internally to provide more of a general online meeting and collaboration tool for Farmers Financial Solutions employees. This has attracted attention from other departments, and Lepard notes that he has been receiving calls from people throughout the company who want to know about “that online meeting technology.”

“We are extremely pleased with the Centra product,” said Brian Cohen, president of Farmers Financial Solutions. “It supplies us with the ability to provide a robust and flexible training platform for our agents. Training is a top priority for us, and Centra allows us to do it better, faster, more consistently and at a fraction of the cost of traditional training.”

“As one of the heaviest users of our technology, Farmers Financial Solutions exemplifies how real-time Web collaboration is being adopted across the enterprise,” said Paul Daly, Centra’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “While we provide customers options for using both voice-over-IP and teleconferencing, we have worked hard to make our audio conferencing as reliable and high quality as picking up the phone. We want our customers to choose the method that works best for their needs, without obstacles.”

About Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies(r) is the nation’s third-largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group. Headquartered in Los Angeles and doing business in 41 states, the insurers comprising the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies provide homeowners, auto, business, life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households through 17,000 exclusive and independent agents and district managers. This is Farmers’ 75th year serving America’s families and businesses.

About Centra
Leading with a proven track record of helping more than 1,200 organizations increase revenue and improve business performance, Centra offers enterprise application software that enables organizations to deliver real-time communication, collaboration and learning across the extended enterprise. Centra offers solutions that deliver enhanced integration of real-time collaboration capabilities with departmental business processes, such as sales and marketing, and virtual teamwork. Available in 14 languages, Centra applications can be deployed as on-site software or through our ASP service and are supported by an active ecosystem of value-added partners, including Microsoft, Oracle, Siebel, Deloitte Consulting, EDS and Cisco. Organizations across every major industry and market sector choose Centra, including Cadbury Schweppes, McKesson, Sysco, Viacom and Stanford University. Headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, Centra serves a worldwide customer base throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit ### Centra is a registered trademark of Centra Software, Inc. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

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