Strategic Insurance Services

Client: Strategic Insurance Services Ltd

Industry: Wholesale Insurance Broker

Employees: 15

Established: 1997


  • IT to work with specialist insurance software
  • Allow home-based sales and admin staff to access central data and software


  • Fully controllable IT costs
  • Ability to set up additional software applications
  • Instant access to IT expertise
  • High level security and backups
  • Ability to easily remove and add users



“It’s a good job they pay me for my finance skills not my IT knowledge.” Keith Woollgar of Strategic Insurance Services is joking about his technical expertise but he knows that for many small businesses struggling to manage their own IT, it’s no laughing matter.

“When it comes to power outages, server failures and security back-ups I can safely say ‘it’s not my problem’,” says Woollgar. Strategic Insurance Services has been delegating their IT headaches to cloud-based IT subscription service ThinHost® for the past three years.

IT headaches in the Cloud

ThinHost® provides a virtual hosted desktop solution for businesses like SIS that don’t want the distraction of maintaining their own server, security and software upgrades. ThinHost stores all SIS’ data and software remotely and gives their employees password access via any computer they happen to be on. “We have several home-based sales and admin staff who can all log onto our central policy files, RiskPro software and email from anywhere – just as quickly and securely if they were sitting in the office.”

Business continuity

“I think our IT requirements are fairly typical for a niche insurance intermediary but without ThinHost we’d need to hire in-house IT personnel or rent server rack space somewhere. On top of those costs there’d always be ad hoc bills for upgrades and licences, ” says Woollgar. “As it is, when we get a problem, we just call the ThinHost® helpdesk and get hold of one of the three specialist guys dedicated to us. We pay a single monthly fee based on user numbers so it’s perfect for continuity planning and controlling costs.”

Uncompromising security

ThinHost® Founder and MD, Ricky Reemer says “Hundreds of businesses trust ThinHost® with their data. As a registered data controller we guarantee absolute privacy, replicate everything to our backup data centre and invest in sophisticated security systems to guard against viruses and hackers. Small businesses simply couldn’t otherwise afford the enterprise-grade security, speed and stability that come with ThinHost® as standard.” ThinHost® can protect businesses from disastrous consequences. “Even though we don’t hold individual policy holder data, a security breach would utterly wipe us out,” agrees Woollgar.

IT that keeps up with business

Though the recession has been tough on all UK businesses, financial services have taken a particularly big hit. “In an effort to reduce office space and save on overheads, SIS asked some of its staff to take salary cuts in 2006 in exchange for working at home. More recently we’ve been recruiting staff. Our IT has had to cope with ups and downs and demands on mobility; ThinHost®’s flexibility has been of huge benefit.”

Fully supported by IT experts

Similarly when employees leave, eliminating them from an IT system and maintaining security can be challenging. For firms like SIS with specific regulatory mandates for FSA compliance and data protection it’s important to get it right. “It’s crucial for us to know our security measures remain intact when we have people leave. ThinHost® have been hugely responsive in helping us develop IT protocols for that kind of thing. Occasionally we’ve asked ThinHost® to change something with very little notice, ‘sorry we forgot to tell you earlier’ kind of thing. Of course they’d have preferred more notice but they’re very good at putting the important things in place for us.”

Straightforward solution

Above all it’s the simplicity of the ThinHost® concept that appeals to SIS – and to all of ThinHost®’s clients in fact. Keith Woollgar says, “Our screens look like every Windows screen you’ve ever seen, we have fast access to MS Office plus specialist insurance software and all our public and private data, wherever we are in the world. We have professional-level security and someone to call when we have an issue. All for a known monthly cost.”

“ThinHost® represents a simpler, cheaper way for businesses to think about IT” says Reemer. “Instead of bits of hardware and software, your browser screen – on any device – becomes an instant gateway to your safely held documents, data and software. Cloud computing is the way forward.”




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