A choice between clunky hardware and the cloud
In 2019, Dolmen Insurance made the decision to pivot to an online phone system to allow better client service from anywhere, at any time. However, it came with the need to either replace the outdated servers and hardware or migrate to the cloud for their broker management system.
The brokerage evaluated both routes as there were pros and cons for both. If they replaced the servers and hardware, there would be the capital costs of having to replace them again in another five to six years. If they moved to the cloud, there would be some implementation time and change management to work through. After evaluating these and other aspects, including cost, Dolmen Insurance decided it would be more beneficial to adopt the cloud.
The guided road through cloud implementation
Dolmen Insurance chose Applied Cloud, the only purpose-built cloud for the insurance industry, to manage their business operations. With backup and disaster recovery, encryption and data security, Applied Cloud provides advanced business continuity. Applied Cloud also enables staff to work outside of standard office hours to meet client demand for convenient service.
Dolmen Insurance’s implementation of Applied Cloud took about five months in total, including all of the prep work, testing and fixes. Much of this time was on the Applied team, ensuring data mapped correctly from the servers and migrating the management system processes and integrated applications to the cloud.
Greater business continuity without the on-premises system
Moving to the cloud in 2019 was a blessing in disguise. The brokerage went into the migration with the idea that they could provide staff members with the flexibility to work remotely. In 2020, when staff was forced to work from home, it made virtually no impact on their production.
Now that restrictions have lifted, staff have the choice to come into the office or work remotely. Because of the advantages the brokerage gain from the cloud, management feels comfortable saying that, once targets are being achieved and the client’s needs are being fully served, it does not matter where or what time they work. The staff members see this flexibility as a major benefit of working for Dolmen Insurance. It has also helped in their ongoing recruitment drive.
Along with flexibility, the brokerage sees a critical advantage in the peace of mind they get from having Applied manage all the security and maintenance. They have just two IT-dedicated resources, so it takes the responsibility off the small team and allows a company with massive resources to keep their data safe. It also relieves the headache of patches and updates that take time away from the IT team, and the team at large.
For example, their previous on-premises server would sometimes require urgent updates that had to happen during working hours. With 70+ employees, the IT team had to wait until everyone could get out of the system which could take up to an hour if someone was on a call. Then they would have to do the update and test it. All that time could cost several hours of the working day.
Now the brokerage has much less downtime and issues are resolved much more quickly. Updates typically come with a 48-hour notice and occur in the evenings or on weekends, allowing staff to reorganise schedules if needed.