Preston Insurance Maintains Business Continuity During a Crisis

About Preston Insurance Agency

Preston Insurance Agency has four locations across the state of Illinois. Bill Preston and his team of independent agents offer expert insurance services in commercial and personal insurance policies to their customers across the mid-western United States. Their friendly representatives provide their clients with the best pricing, coverage, and claims service while continuously evaluating their client’s dynamic needs and risks. Like many businesses today, Preston Insurance Agency realized that to continue to provide its customers with the best service possible, they needed a robust IT provider that could help them maintain IT security and stability for the future. 
 

Initial Customer Challenges

Preston Insurance Agency began working with Bit-Wizards just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Their employees work primarily on desktops in offices that rely on a connection to their on-premises servers to access their financial and insurance software.

While their email communication was cloud-based and accessible from home, they used several different services across their locations that did not provide collaboration and sharing capabilities. When quarantine enforcement measures took effect, much of their staff acquired laptops to work from home to quickly realize that they were unable to use their software without being connected to the physical network located at their office. Also, communication and collaboration became tedious due to their disconnected systems. Preston’s highly experienced professionals have the expertise to handle claims by hand and decided to work using this method until they were permitted to go back to the office. Unfortunately, manual claims processing is very time consuming.

The most significant immediate need of Preston Insurance Agency was that employees could access their work computers from home so that they could continue to process insurance claims using their on-premises software. While this is a standard part of the Managed IT Services features for Bit-Wizards customers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bit-Wizards was restricted from traveling to Illinois to install the hardware needed for their VPN connection to enable this ease of access to their network.
 

The Managed IT Solution

To help employees access their business software from home, Bit-Wizards configured employee workstations with Splashtop Business Access as a temporary solution. This software allowed employees to use their laptops and home computers to establish a secure remote connection to their desktops at work, and successfully access the insurance software on the network.

Once travel restrictions were lifted, Bit-Wizards traveled to Illinois to install the managed Firewalls and Access Points at all four locations to improve Preston’s network stability and security. This hardware addition also provided secure VPN access to those who needed to continue to work from home.

Bit-Wizards migrated Preston’s various cloud services to managed Microsoft 365 solutions. With the use of Microsoft 365, Bit-Wizards consolidated email services; and with the implementation of Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business, they vastly improved the experience working from home. Significant changes in core business services such as email always come with pain points, but Bit-Wizards offers support and consultation for customers immediately, and to deepen the customer’s knowledge of the new tools, they provided a remote Office 365 tutorial session to answer questions and do demos and light training. Bit-Wizards focused on improving Preston's email and account security by assisting with setting up multi-factor authentication to protect their sensitive information. Setting up multi-factor authentication was performed in congruence with Azure Identity Protection and Bit-Wizards’ standard Microsoft 365 security practices. Along with account security, the Managed IT Services team ensures every workstation at Preston Insurance Agency is backed up to the cloud and protected with enterprise-grade antivirus.

 

Initial Results

Preston Insurance Agency was able to continue operations during an unforeseen crisis. They are now fully equipped to access their business resources from anywhere in the United States. They have a team of trusted advisors to assist with technology issues at a moment's notice. This support includes troubleshooting, general IT consulting, and reaching out to vendors on their behalf. Bit-Wizards has significantly improved Preston Insurance Agency's accessibility, practices, and data security during this process. By allowing Bit-Wizards to monitor and maintain the technology needs of the business, Preston Insurance Agency has more time to focus on their customers in the ever-changing insurance industry.
 

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