A Week in the Life: Joe Hainstock, Zing Developer
22nd February 2021
When Bennetts, a specialist motorcycle insurance provider, was sold by Saga, the race was on to migrate its legacy IT estate onto a new platform.
Anyone who’s been involved in a major enterprise technology migration will know that that this is far from straightforward. No matter how good a solution you choose, you still need to ensure that the existing system is untangled properly and the new one is set up the way you want it.
For Bennetts, the clock was ticking when it made the decision to select Twilio in October, as it needed to have its 100-strong agent team fully operational on a new platform by January 2021.
I spoke to head of IT development Ian Scrivens about the key challenges and how they overcame them.
“Bennetts is one of the oldest names in motorcycle insurance and everyone who works here is passionate about biking and serving the two-wheeled community,” he said.
“From the outset we knew we wanted to build a platform that was flexible and robust, but more importantly made it easier for our agents to have high quality customer interactions – because that’s a core strength of our business.”
Head of IT Development at Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance
At Zing, we usually approach a challenge like this with at least a two-day onsite Discovery workshop, to uncover all the technical and business challenges and develop the shared plan and goals for the upcoming implementation. But since this happened in COVID we had to take a different approach with Bennetts and decided to run a week-long series of 2-hour remote sessions.
Talking to both Ian and our own team, this was the bedrock that we built the platform on, working through any niggly challenges before they came serious problems.
“It’s funny how we talk about being unable to forge strong connections with people on video calls, but that wasn’t our experience here at all. Culturally and systemically, there was a perfect fit between the two teams and it wasn’t long before we felt like a single team.
“Having our own multi-function project team meant there was voice from every part of the business. Also appointing project owner (business analyst, Sylvie Bernadac) as a first point of contact for the Zing Project Manager ensured a smooth implementation.”
Ian also talks about the difference between ‘build vs buy’ and selecting Twilio in the first place.
“We took a really good look at the market and, whilst many solutions from other vendors are highly regarded, we were soon won over by Twilio. Being designed natively as a cloud solution, it’s built the right way to start with and the ‘LEGO-like’ nature of it means when we want to create something new the answer is always, ‘yes we can’.”
The Bennetts legacy infrastructure was based on Saga’s platform and included Intercom webchat. Now, that has all been moved across to Twilio Flex, integrated with Calabrio’s workforce management solution.
“Having it all working on one platform means we’re not limited by technology platform – if all our agents are on one system it means we can run a multi-skilled agent team from any location.”
Now the migration has been completed, Ian is looking forward to what else can be achieved.
“We’re not short of ideas to take this forward. Our ‘Day 1’ requirement was matching the capabilities of what we had before. We’ve done that in a tight timeframe without any major issues at all. Now the team is brimming with ideas of how to make this even better, so we hope this is the start of a much longer partnership with Zing.”