SCM Insurance Services

How Canada’s top insurance services company uses RingEX including RingCentral Video to help its clients weather any storm — and keep its costs down
SCM Insurance Services logo
With RingCentral, we’ve reduced our costs by 50% by removing dormant phone numbers and getting our expenses for toll-free and long-distance charges back under control. That’s delivering significant savings for SCM Insurance Services.

Mike Ackroyd

Chief Information Officer

Imagine: Your home has suffered major flood damage in a hurricane, flood, or wildfire, and you’re calling your insurance company

The last thing you want in a traumatic moment like this is to be forced into a long phone queue. You don’t want to have to tell your story first to someone at the company’s headquarters, wherever that is, only to be redirected to an insurance adjuster closer to home... who will ask you to retell the whole thing.
You want someone on the other end of that phone who knows what you’re going through, who understands how nervous and anxious you are, and who knows how to get you help in a hurry. Ideally, you’d like that person to be nearby—because only those nearby really understand the situation.

These are precisely the moments that SCM Insurance Services, the parent company of Canada’s largest independent claims management firm, has been helping its clients through for decades. SCM has earned the respect, trust—and long-term business—of individuals and organizations across Canada in large part due to the company’s reputation for stellar client service.
But until recently, mobilizing the company’s huge nationwide team to provide local support after a regional catastrophe was difficult and more expensive than it needed to be. One culprit? SCM’s disjointed network of legacy phone systems.

A legacy telephony environment that was a disaster itself

Since its founding in 1986, SCM has grown to a national group of companies with over 120 branches coast-to-coast across Canada. Through its six subsidiaries, SCM offers services including risk management and mitigation, surveillance, investigations, and risk intelligence.
But as the company grew (through both organic expansion and acquisitions), SCM never developed a systematic approach to building its communications infrastructure. When it acquired a new company, SCM just maintained that office’s phone system—whatever it happened to be.
The lack of a consistent communications infrastructure wasn’t the only phone-related challenge for SCM. With 60% of its workforce primarily based in the field, the company was also struggling with how to help these employees stay connected and productive while on the road.

When adjusters and other field-based reps traveled, they would be away from their desks and unable to effectively respond to claim inquiries received on their landline. Staff who decided to share their mobile phone number with insureds would also receive correspondence via SMS, which lived exclusively on the adjuster’s mobile phone and created a gap in overall visibility of file progress.
Now we can quickly spin up local numbers for any region affected by a disaster. We can easily provide local phone numbers to our staff that have mobilized to support the disaster—and give the victims reassurance that they’re getting help from someone close by.

Mike Ackroyd

Chief Information Officer
Edmonton, Alberta, CA

Unified cloud communications: available anywhere

When they rolled out the unified RingEX (Message, Video, Phone), including RingCentral Video, SCM finally had a consistent communications system and user experience for all employees—for the first time. The company’s claims adjusters were now able to take and make calls on their SCM business numbers whether they were at their desks or in the field. This made it easier than ever to be responsive to clients and deliver outstanding service.
SCM also used RingCentral’s open API platform, and the fact that RingCentral integrates texting capability from any device, allowing clients to communicate with adjusters through SMS. Because employees had used separate mobile phone numbers to have these SMS conversations with clients, important conversations regarding file progress never made their way back to the claims management system. Now, because everything runs through RingCentral, the company can obtain a more holistic view of the overall claims experience for its clients and respond better to customer service inquiries.
And, as Mike explains, the ability to capture and record all SMS messages between client and SCM employee has another important benefit: “Those texts are part of the case history and having them mitigates our own risk in terms of errors and omissions.”

Unified cloud communications: local everywhere

Perhaps the most significant benefit SCM has experienced since switching to cloud communications is the ability to provide mobilized staff with local presence anywhere in the country—almost immediately, when disaster strikes. As one of the most prominent players in Canada’s insurance industry, SCM has provided support to towns that suffered large-scale fires and cities impacted by massive water damage—disasters affecting hundreds of thousands of people.
In catastrophic events like these, the speed and responsiveness of claim handlers can mean everything to the victims. And it helps to know that the person helping them is nearby too. With their new cloud communications solution—and the ability to set up employees anywhere with a phone number local to the disaster region—SCM is in a better position than ever to provide fast, personal support to its clients when they need it most.

RingCentral Video: Adding a valuable new element to company communications

As Mike also points out, SCM’s staff and management team recently began using RingCentral Video, and being able to add both a face-to-face component and screen-sharing capability to their communications is translating into operational benefits companywide.
Because RingCentral Video makes it so easy to schedule a video call, or just start one on the fly, we’re using it across the board for our team meetings and even talks with clients. Those video calls are making our communications so much richer and more meaningful—which matters now more than ever.

Mike Ackroyd

Chief Information Officer
“In the short time we’ve been using it, I’m already seeing our teams across SCM find interesting ways to use RingCentral Video to improve their work,” he says. “People are using the video component to enhance client meetings, to collaborate on team projects, and just to bring coworkers closer together after they’ve spent so much time remote.”
As an example of this, Mike and team have found ingenious ways to use RingCentral Video to keep the IT team feeling connected. Joseph Lalla, SCM’s VP of IT Support Services has set up what he calls his ‘Office Hours,’ where he keeps his RingCentral Video open for a set time and lets anyone join to speak with him privately about whatever they want—work questions, challenges, even golf. “What’s great about RingCentral Video is that I can allow one person in at a time, have that conversation, and keep anyone else who wants to chat in the waiting room until we’re finished.”
The feedback from staff has been extremely positive. The team appreciates being able to connect face-to-face in a private, informal setting, something many of them haven’t been able to do much since the pandemic began.
When I set up my RingCentral Video office hours to let members of my team talk with me informally about whatever was on their minds, the first person who came in was an employee I hadn’t been able to visit in person for some time. He just wanted to chat, catch up, and regain that sense of team. So that’s what we did.

Joseph Lalla

Vice President, IT Support Services

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