06 May

Enabling Productivity with O365 and the Cloud

JS Assurance

Since 1896, Montreal-based Jolicoeur Savard Assurance Inc. (JSA) has been helping individuals and businesses secure outstanding insurance coverage. As one of Canada’s oldest insurance brokerages, JSA leverages its knowledge and contacts to negotiate commercial and consumer policies with all of the major insurance companies on behalf of its 3,000 commercial and 8,000 consumer clients. While the company works across many industry verticals, its team of 50 employees has earned an exceptionally strong reputation for great customer service and its deep expertise in commercial auto insurance and tourism, leisure and sports.

THE CHALLENGE

JSA’s IT had fallen behind the times. The company’s aging fleet of computers, on-premises servers, outdated software systems, lack of mobility device management and even its Internet accessibility were seriously hampering its productivity and had become costly and frustrating. In short, almost everything IT had to go—the company needed a new, end-to-end, modern technology solution to stay competitive.

THE SOLUTION

A change in ownership ushered in new management at JSA and, with it, a new philosophy about the role of technology at the company. Instead of trying to do everything itself internally, JSA Vice President and General Manager Daniel Forget called on Microsoft Certified Partner and cloud services provider BANG Industries (www.bang.ca) to reboot the company’s IT mix with productivity, reliability, security and mobility top-of-mind.
“The challenge was do a 180 shift. As an insurance broker JSA did not want to manage IT any longer. They also realized that looking at IT as a cost centre instead of an investment was hurting them. The key was to make their transition to the cloud as smooth as possible and to help JSA’s employees embrace this transition through training and support.”

Robert Helie, BANG Industries President

Through an intense six-month collaborative engagement, BANG leveraged its expertise, infrastructure and partnerships to provide JSA with a complete solution, from initial planning and deployment, to employee training and on/offsite support. This solution involved:

* Moving from a fleet of old PCs running Windows XP to modern dual monitor workstations running state-of-the-art broker management software: sigXP® by Keal (www.keal.com)

* From having extremely limited Internet access to being connected anywhere, at any time, complete with a redundant access solution in place to guarantee reliability.

* From maintaining an aging fleet of servers on premises to a private IaaS cloud solution using virtual machines to host all of JSA’s business-critical applications and data securely.

*Migrating to Office 365, including OneDrive for file sharing and storage, to provide employees with the latest productivity apps and easy email and file access across devices.

*End-user training and support on the new platforms by BANG and through online training programs provided by Microsoft and Keal.

“The adoption of a modern technology solution in the cloud has changed our business for the better in almost every way imaginable. We’re a hugely more efficient and productive team. We’ve empowered our staff to collaborate and work remotely, on any device. Our security is top class. We have predictable IT costs and no maintenance headaches. Our employees are happier and have modernized their skills, as well. And as a result all of these things, we’ve vastly improved our competitiveness, profitability and best of all, customer experience.”
Daniel Forget, JSA Vice President and General Manager

THE BENEFITS

Productivity – introducing new PCs, best-in-class broker management software as well as modern productivity apps, email, calendar and file sharing through Office 365 has dramatically accelerated workflows, empowering employees to get a lot more done with better results.
Cost Management – JSA no longer invests in maintaining outdated server hardware and software and instead benefits from fixed and predictable operational IT expenses.
Reliability – Frustrating issues with Internet access, file sharing, scheduling meetings and accessing email on mobility devices have disappeared. The company now enjoys 99.9% uptime.
Better Security – With a private IaaS solution in place, JSA benefits from state-of-the-art security measures to protect data, applications and customer privacy—a must for its line of business.
Mobility – JSA’s cloud solution enables employees to work from home and its salesforce to work on the go, at any time, on virtually any device—easily, securely and seamlessly.

THE LEARNING

The JSA story offers us some great insights for small and medium-sized businesses concerned about the perceived costs of upgrading their technology:

* Rethink IT. By changing the way they thought about IT (from a cost-centre to an investment), JSA unlocked its potential and empowered its team to compete at an unprecedented level.
* Partner up! By partnering with BANG, an expert Microsoft Certified Partner, JSA was able to modernize its entire IT system with a minimum of disruption, in just six months.
* Embrace the cloud. With a modern cloud solution, JSA now benefits from powerful productivity tools, advanced security, 99.9% uptime and much more—all cost-effectively.

LINKS
Jolicoeur Savard Assurance: http://www.jsassurance.ca/
BANG Industries: http://www.bang.ca/
Office 365 for Business: https://products.office.com/en-ca/business/office

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