NFP is a brokerage and consulting firm delivering complex insurance solutions to clients worldwide. When COVID-19 struck in 2020, NFP had the flexibility, mobility, and resilience needed to protect its own employees and clients. Having already started its cloud journey with Microsoft 365 E5, NFP was well-positioned to transition employees to remote work and support its global clients without missing a beat. As it transitions to a future hybrid work environment, NFP doubles down on Surface devices, Microsoft Managed Desktop, and solutions to enhance employee mobility, productivity, and data security.
Focusing on integrity and trust
While many organizations struggled to support their workers and customers at the outset of the COVID-19 shutdown, NFP was ahead of the game. Having already begun its digital transformation from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud with Microsoft 365 E5, NFP wanted to adopt a fully interoperable, lightweight device for all company employees. It chose Surface Laptop 3 with Microsoft Managed Desktop, and also successfully deployed a variety of other Surface devices, including Surface Pro 7, Surface Book 3, Surface Go, and Surface Hub 2S. NFP is particularly excited about Surface Laptop 4 and is standardizing the device across the company as it moves forward. “We have many individuals who spend a lot of time in front of clients,” notes Mark Grosvenor, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at NFP. “We also collaborate across offices; employees may go from one office to another to work with different teams. With Surface Laptop, employees have the mobility to more securely work anywhere.” When the pandemic struck, NFP was poised to support employees through the transition and still focus on delivering the best service possible to clients.
“All of our 6,000 employees went from the office to a 100 percent working from home environment almost overnight,” says Grosvenor. “While our competitors were trying to figure out how to enable remote operations, we were helping our customers because our technology just worked.”
Since NFP had already moved to the cloud and deployed modern workplace solutions, employee teams could focus on helping clients navigate new opportunities when they became available, such as new stimulus packages, to ensure they were first in line. “It was a huge win from our perspective,” Grosvenor continues. “Rather than having to focus on keeping endpoints secure and productive, our IT team got to collaborate with the rest of the organization to solve our customers’ challenges.”
Taking advantage of mobile technology to empower employees
The relationship between NFP and Microsoft began years ago. NFP executives and sales teams were early adopters of Microsoft Surface Pro, and they loved the experience. With the device, they were able to not only work from anywhere, but could also communicate complex insurance and consulting solutions to clients. Soon after, the company began its cloud journey and employees embraced Office 365 and its suite using Microsoft Teams.
Now, with Surface Laptop 4, employees can take their workplace with them—they can access the same applications and networks they use in the office. NFP is retiring alternative hardware solutions in favor of consolidation around Surface Laptop. As they do so, employees can show clients that they deliver, and use, only best-in-class products—starting with their own technology. That was one reason the Surface Laptop 4 HD camera proved an important selling point for the sales teams. “We do a lot of virtual meetings. The clarity and image quality of the Surface Laptop camera is huge,” says Grosvenor. “In addition, the form factor of the device is very sleek. It shows very well.”
Although the company had anticipated a slow rollout to gradually introduce employees to Microsoft Teams, the pandemic acted as an accelerant. Employees found the Teams meetings features offered timely and powerful advantage in connecting and collaborating with colleagues, sharing documents, and driving productivity during difficult times. And onboarding and adoption was quick and straightforward. Grosvenor says, “Now 75 percent of our users are on Teams, and since it is very intuitive, we didn’t have to spend a significant amount of time training employees.”
Caleb Noel, Senior Vice President, Operations at NFP, is particularly enthusiastic about Teams Rooms: “Teams Rooms is a technology I’m really excited about that gives us the ability to bring people who are physically together, together, but then also pretty seamlessly incorporate people who are working remotely.”
Device management in the cloud enhances security
Security is essential to all businesses, particularly in the insurance industry. NFP handles a lot of confidential information, both about companies and individuals, and its data must be highly secure. That’s why the company chose Microsoft Managed Desktop as an end-to-end device management solution. It not only helps protect the company’s data security and network security, but it also increases employees’ mobility and productivity. And in combination with Surface Laptop 4, NFP can take advantage of chip-to-cloud security features provided, managed, and maintained by Microsoft.
As NFP looks to the future, it plans to expedite the rollout of Surface Laptop devices and purchase a laptop for every employee by the end of 2021. “As we migrate to a hybrid office environment, where we have employees working on-site as well as remote, the tools we provide will be enormously important,” says Noel. “Microsoft has given us a great suite of products to facilitate that.”