Salem Insurance Goes Google: Prepared for the Worst by Running the Best

Salem Insurance is an independent insurance agency with a staff of more than two dozen specialists focusing on personal and business insurance. Several years ago their leadership team recognized their tech strategy needed updating. They were running a traditional IT infrastructure of internal Microsoft based servers run by an in-house technician. They heard about the “cloud” and outsourced IT management, but they weren’t quite sure how to explore the options.

Most of their business comes from the area immediately surrounding Goshen, Indiana and owners of the business are heavily involved in the community. The business manager, Dennis, and one of the owners, Scott are in the local Kiwanis club where TechKnowledgey, Inc’s Boyd Smith is also a member. Like many business relationships, things started with small talk after club meeting. Later, Boyd took them to lunch where they discussed their business challenges.

They had three business goals. First, they wanted to be operational even if a natural disaster, like a tornado, took out their offices. Second, they wanted to update their dated tech so they could take advantage of new devices and not be tied to the office.  Lastly, they wanted to have an IT infrastructure that ran without the services of a full time technician.

TechKnowledgey, Inc examined their existing systems and determined that we could provide what Salem was looking for. Since the lifeblood of Salem’s business is communicating with customers, we started the project by setting them up with Google Apps for Business. Google Apps took them a big step closer toward their goals. It does not require much daily upkeep, it eliminated their dated Microsoft Exchange server, and it allowed them to communicate with their customers without depending on a physical office.

TechKnowledgey, Inc carefully planned the install so that Salem would not lose mail or have downtime. On a Friday afternoon they “flipped the switch” and the old Microsoft Exchange server quit receiving mail. Salem’s new Google Apps for Business Gmail inboxes began to fill. TechKnowledgey, Inc had techs on site when they opened for business on Monday to help their staff transition. Once Salem’s team was comfortable with their new mail system, TechKnowledgey, Inc began the process of migrating their old email from the Exchange server. All of the old messages and contacts were moved over seamlessly as the Salem team went about their business. By the end of the week the old server was taken offline.

TechKnowledgey, Inc did a lot more work in the months ahead to satisfy Salem’s business goals, but moving them to Google Apps for Business was the first step. Since moving over to Google, Salem has introduced new hardware for its producers like tablets instead of bulky laptops. They’ve improved the speed and quality of communication since they are no longer tied to the office. If a disaster ever visits Goshen, Indiana, Salem Insurance has the comfort of knowing they can communicate with their customers when they need them most.