Expertise: Cloud Migration, On-demand Analysis, Mobile Development, Managed Services
Technologies: Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2), Apple IOS , .NET, Microsoft 365
Mutual Fire Insurance Association of New England (MFIA), a 130 year old organization providing loss prevention analysis services for the underwriters in the insurance industry, knew the value of customized computing solutions. Targeted solutions developed by Greystone had already helped MFIA streamline workflow, centralize data processing, and increase productivity of risk inspectors; Greystone was a valued resource for computing questions and expertise.
Recognizing an Opportunity
With mobile technologies the new normal, MFIA knew it was about time to update applications for further streamlined workflow and greater ease of use, anytime, anywhere. The current interface developed by Greystone had had a strong positive impact on inspector workflow, but with new tools available, could it be even better, allowing increased flexibility and mobility for MFIA risk inspectors?
At the same time, MFIA was taking a hard look at the cost-effectiveness of the existing computing environment. Like most small to midsized organizations, MFIA managed IT services locally on a series of servers, with staff performing regular provisioning, maintenance, upgrades and backups — and the process was becoming more and more onerous as systems aged. After purchasing a new heavy duty air conditioning unit for the server room, then realizing the hardware would need upgrading, then licensing, and likely additional human and fiscal costs to maintain the office network, MFIA started to think about the virtual computing cloud. Could the cloud do it better? Where would a updated application update fit into such a scenario? How could MFIA maximize benefit and cost-effectiveness for inspector and enterprise alike?
The Greystone Approach
Thanks to an ongoing relationship with Greystone Solutions, when MFIA decided it was time to investigate updating the inspector application interface and migrating key services to the virtual cloud, they had a trusted team of experts to whom to turn. Greystone was ready.
The custom application previously developed by Greystone continued to be a important part of inspector survey workflow. Greystone sought to build on the critical functions of that application while increasing ease-of-use and inspector mobility. Rather than reengineer what existed, Greystone leveraged their previous work with a smartphone-based front end application. Inspectors in the field would be able to more quickly access, enter, and link information, including photos and other survey details, sync data with the MFIA database, and then access the data or attach other information from any desktop, anywhere.
A critical component of this new mobile app was services that resided on server in the Amazon AWS virtual cloud — a server that became the foundation for migrating other MFIA services. As migration analysis began, however, it became clear that MFIA could benefit from more than just service migration. In conjunction with the transition to AWS EC2, Greystone simplified and streamlined MFIA administrative and maintenance functions so that all IT would be more clearly and more easily managed. Greystone made sure that MFIA could fully realize the solutions that would bring them the highest long-term benefit and business confidence.
A Better Bottom Line at MFIA
MFIA has experienced an increase in productivity in-house and field staff alike by taking advantage of custom application development using the latest technology and the harnessing the benefits of the virtual computing cloud. Field inspectors are able to access and input survey data more easily than ever before: a tap to add a relevant photo, another tap to sync the information to the primary database — which means office-based staff is able to perform analysis and produce reports more quickly. All staff is experiencing faster network access and more flexibility in accessing critical functions throughout the enterprise, while senior management is seeing dramatically reduced costs in IT overhead, licensing, and maintenance and a significant increase in network computing confidence. One file and print server remains in the MFIA office; all other important business functions are in the cloud, optimized, and reliably and easily accessible.
As a result of the overall services analysis and streamlining done by Greystone, MFIA chose to transition most IT administration and maintenance functions to Greystone. On a monthly basis, MFIA has reduced IT costs upwards of 30%, and moved most IT costs from a variable capital item to a stable operating budget item while improving performance, reliability and security. MFIA knows what IT is going to cost, and MFIA trusts Greystone to help them keep a steady tiller on their computing environment.