How a Medium-Sized Insurance Brokerage Navigates IT Challenges Amidst Acquisitions
For small and medium businesses (SMBs) experiencing rapid growth, integration of new acquisitions can present challenges—both culturally and operationally. For instance, when it comes to IT, many find it tempting to rely on legacy, on-premises technology rather than pricing out cloud migration opportunities. After all, SMB business owners may not have in-house tech talent that understands the fundamentals of cloud technology. However, with the right support, your company can enhance business outcomes and customer experiences.
MRH Trowe, an independent insurance broker and risk management firm based in Germany, is focused on developing individual and sustainable insurance solutions. As an SMB, it is one of the fastest growing companies in its industry. Growth for MRH Trowe means the acquisition of smaller brokers with regional expertise to continue to build out their 29 locations—and over 900 employees. “We want newly added companies to be quickly and efficiently integrated, both culturally and operationally, but above all, technically and procedurally,” explains owner and board member, Lars Mesterheide.
Finding the right IT solution in the cloud
The company’s primary need was for a new IT solution to facilitate a successful and fast integration process, all while continuing to meet the expectations of its customers. “From a business perspective, we need a scalable and cost-effective solution to set up our IT in an agile way. The challenge is that we need to grow our IT to meet new requirements and high user numbers, and we can’t afford to wait three or six months. Our clients demand high availability, maximum data protection, and sustainability,” says Mesterheide.
To meet this need, MRH Trowe shopped around—but ultimately found the best solution in Amazon Web Services. “We looked at the issue and did some research. We have talked to different people, and we were of the opinion that we needed to get into the cloud,” says the company’s head of IT, Lars Schneider. With AllCloud, a consulting firm part of the AWS Partner Network, MRH Trowe began its AWS cloud computing journey in 2021, successfully launching a handful of servers. Today, the company operates over 100 servers on AWS Cloud. They have integrated the newer version of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), which resembles a traditional network with additional scalability and all of the advantages of AWS Cloud.
As Schneider says, “We had completely mapped our entire VPC to AWS within nine months and created a new system. With the multi-account approach and the Next-Generation Landing Zone from AllCloud, we have succeeded in providing a secure and sustainable solution.”
Addressing needs for SMBs and their customers with AWS
In working with AWS experts, MRH Trowe discovered other business benefits beyond their initial IT workload need: faster response times and the ability to flexibly scale their resources to current demands. In the past, MRH Trowe found difficulty with its claims hotline, a way for customers to call directly from any location, such as the scene of an accident. “When using our claims hotline, there had been times that we could not bring up customer data during a call. We solved this with our move to the cloud, and we can now take care of our clients’ concerns very quickly when they are on the roadside or at the scene of the accident. Naturally, this has also led to greater satisfaction for our employees,” says Mesterheide.
Through AWS, the company now has the ability to optimize computing power and speed to the times it is really needed: core working times. In using the AWS pay-per-use model for nights, weekends, and holidays, the company’s data center now operates more cost-efficiently. Flexible scaling through AWS allowed MRH Trowe to transform their operation. “Through AWS, we are now able to quickly add resources or switch them off. This allows us to quickly respond, usually within minutes, to the performance and capacity needs of our customers and our employees,” says Schneider.
Looking at the big picture for SMB growth
By leveraging cloud services, MRH Trowe now has the freedom to focus on the big picture. “By using AWS Cloud, we have freed ourselves from issues such as hardware procurement, backup management, and performance management. This gives us a lot more time as a team to take care of the important and relevant topics of digitization in our environment,” says Schneider.
In looking to the future, MRH Trowe is prioritizing expanding their uses for AWS Cloud. “The next important point for us in building on the AWS Cloud is to use more services,” says Schneider. Next steps include moving toward high-performing file systems and making more of their databases available.
For other SMBs, Mesterheide encourages taking the leap to AWS services: “Be brave. Jump into the cloud.”