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Insphere Insurance Solutions comes together with Google Apps

Posted by Steve Jensen, VP of Information Technology at Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc.

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Steve Jensen, Vice President of Information Technology at Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc., one of the fastest growing insurance distribution companies in the U.S. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc. is a distribution company that specializes in meeting the insurance needs of small businesses and middle-income individuals and families. Our field sales force consists of approximately 3,000 independent agents nationwide who offer life, health, long-term care and retirement insurance.

In 2009, we decided we needed to move all of our agents, in more than 80 locations, off of various email systems, including Microsoft® Exchange, onto one platform. This would keep operational costs down and allow our agents and support teams to communicate more effectively. Since our agents rarely come into an office, access from any device was critical.

Today, nearly four years after our initial implementation, Google Apps has dramatically increased productivity and transformed our business. Now, our agents are using Google Docs to collaborate with each other on projects and can meet virtually anywhere using Google+ Hangouts to share ideas and best practices from their experience. With no more servers or software licenses, we reduced our projected costs from other solutions by almost 70 percent. That kind of savings delivers true value to our bottom line.

As a company, we have been able to leverage Google APIs to help us be efficient. When an agent joins or leaves the team, our provisioning system manages all account items with our Google integration.

In addition to the add/change user administration, we utilize Google Groups to constantly maintain distribution lists for email and control file security related to GoogleDrive/Docs. This automated maintenance promotes increased use of Docs collaborative capabilities. An office manager never has to worry about sharing docs or managing a distribution list again.

After this successful integration, we integrated our CRM platform with the Google calendar. All of our agent appointments are pushed to Google Calendar and then to their mobile phone automatically. Any update on the phone is then reversed and posted back to Google and CRM. We were able to leverage the Google platform and its APIs to deliver for the business without incremental licensing costs.

When it comes to recruiting and sustaining our growth, Google Apps has been instrumental in helping us hire new agents quickly while ensuring that they are equipped with the information they need to be successful. With all their documents, calendars and email accessible on the go, our agents are always connected to each other and clients, no matter where they are. This platform has really helped our teams stay connected and collaborate in ways they hadn’t imagined.

IT is no longer a barrier and no one has to wait to meet with someone from the IT department to get going with Google Apps. In fact, I personally haven’t had to pick up the phone once to call an email administrator. It has been truly amazing to see the natural adoption of the product by our field agents.