The challenge: Existing technology hampered remote working and reduced efficiency
When Alex Clixby joined Kelliher Insurance Group as their CIO in 2020, he quickly identified two major IT challenges facing the company.
Nearly all of the Group’s IT was on premise, restricting flexibility and increasing potential security risks. And their ageing technology set-up didn’t support modern, more efficient ways of working. Accessibility and staff mobility were limited by some dependency on paper-based documents, and storing electronic documents on local computers and servers.
The pitfalls of this set-up were starkly exposed when COVID-19 triggered a sudden need for widespread remote working. Alex explains: “Going into lockdown, things needed a radical transformation, because we didn't really have the technologies in place to be able to work remotely.”
Fortunately, staff adapted quickly to using video conferencing and instant messaging apps, and greater use of digital documents.
However, Kelliher Insurance Group realised there was both the need and the opportunity to comprehensively upgrade their IT set-up. And to introduce more efficient ways of collaborating, storing and sharing files, and generally managing their work.
“It was clear that to stay competitive, to be a really effective company, we needed to invest in our IT. Getting Microsoft 365 was a complete no-brainer. During lockdown, it became obvious we needed that flexibility and mobility – to improve our ways of working remotely, but also when we go back to the office.”
Yet with only a small IT team, Kelliher Insurance would need substantial support to carry out such a resource-intensive upgrade process.
The solution: Highly-engaged technical support for a smooth transition to Microsoft 365
After speaking with several Microsoft partners, Kelliher Insurance Group engaged Ideal as their Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) to help them bring their IT into the twenty-first century.
“We chose Ideal because they’re the type of company who are happy to roll their sleeves up and really muck in with us. And without a partner who could offer a really close service, a lot of hand-holding, we would have come unstuck, because we just don’t have the resources in-house.”
Ideal worked closely with Kelliher Insurance Group to understand their needs and constraints. Then, they agreed a three-phase plan for switching Kelliher Insurance Group to Microsoft 365 Business Premium. This gives staff access to the full range of Office applications for work and collaboration, extensive cloud storage, and extra-strong security.
Ideal began by establishing a proof of concept. Kelliher Insurance Group needed reassurance the switch to Microsoft 365 wouldn’t cause problems with using their broker management system or other existing systems.
So, Ideal worked with the in-house IT team to carry out extensive testing. They modelled different options so they could proceed with confidence.
Next came building and configuring the new system, including successfully migrating all mailboxes and files.
Finally, Ideal organised comprehensive staff training to make sure all staff knew how to use the new system.
“Ideal’s engagement at every level has been excellent. The technical teams who managed this on a day-to-day basis have been massively engaged. My engineers have loved it, because they can just pick up the phone or go on instant messenger with the engineers at Ideal, and get things resolved – sometimes in literally minutes.”
What Ideal designed, delivered and deployed for Kelliher Insurance Group:
The outcome: Greater efficiency, stronger collaboration, and excitement for further modernisation
Kelliher Insurance Group’s new IT set-up went live in March 2021, on time and working as planned. From the start, there’s been “a general buzz” among staff as they discover all the ways Microsoft 365 can make their daily tasks easier, faster, and more efficient.
From using Planner to better manage time and resources, to using Forms for collecting and compiling client questionnaire data – previously a laborious manual task.
Teams is especially popular for stronger collaboration. Group chats make it easy to share files and ideas in one place.
The Group’s staff enjoy the flexibility and efficiency of being able to access files from anywhere, now they are saved in the cloud.
“Before, if one of our account executives needed to go and visit a client, they’d have to first go to the office, pick up a big folder and take it with them. Now, they can access all documents from any registered device, any time. So it’s enabled a load more flexibility and mobility for our staff.”
Even some staff members who were hesitant about the switch are becoming enthusiastic as they experience the improvements it’s brought. With Ideal providing direction and support each step of the way, the smooth migration process has helped allay concerns.
“From a technology perspective it's been a huge amount of change, and quite a few people were a bit worried about that change. So when you see somebody who was a bit reluctant to accept the changes – because they liked how things were, they liked using pen and paper – it’s great to see their excitement over getting this really modern way of working which we can use with our clients. And it helps build our clients’ confidence that we are more of a high-tech business.
The success of the migration to Microsoft 365 has also inspired Kelliher Insurance Group to move forward with upgrading other systems. “It’s given us a belief that we can do large-scale change. We can improve our ways of working and modernise our technology, and people are excited about that.”
Interested in comprehensive support to upgrade your technology so you can work more efficiently? Get in touch for a free consultation about how Ideal can help you design, deliver and manage your core technology contact the Ideal team on 01273 957500, or get in touch online.
Header image ©Kelliher Insurance Group