Lloyds of London managing agent Spectrum Syndicate Management has dumped its inflexible IT and installed Citrix software to help it attack new insurance markets.
In a project that took one consultant 10 days and cost less than £40,000 the firm used Citrix Presentation Server software to make application deployment and development easier and enable remote access.
"Citrix killed two birds with one stone," said Rory French, IT manager at Spectrum. "It allowed us to deploy and develop applications centrally and it made it easy for applications to be remotely accessed."
The company manages investments in the Lloyds of London insurance market made by syndicates. The syndicates put money in via Spectrum and take their share of payments made by insurance policy holders. Spectrum also manages the payments when insurance claims are made.
Spectrum made a major change to its IT infrastructure when it decided to take on syndicates that are active in investing in the insurance market. Before this it only worked with firms that were paying claims to people when required rather than actively investing in the market.
Because Spectrum is regulated by Lloyds of London and the FSA, syndicates can use this market for investments without "jumping through the regulatory hoops," said French. "We have the legal and IT specialisations to operate in this market."
French said when the company was only dealing with syndicates that were no longer investing it did not need a very advanced IT infrastructure.
"Our technology was static and basic," said French. "Because we took on active investors we needed a more flexible IT infrastructure."
The company employed integrator Intercept to update its IT. It implemented Citrix software to give it flexibility for application deployment and enable its workers and customers to access systems remotely.
Software sits on a central server rather than on each desktop. Users can access and use the application via a thin client or a PC.
French said if the company wants to increase the capacity of its IT to take in more customers it is simple. "We just need more servers and licences," he added.