Business Challenge

For insurance brokers, margins are tighter than ever. How could CRM Group help small and mid-sized insurance brokers access enterprise-class IT solutions without onerous capital costs?

Transformation

IBM Global Financing allows CRM Group to buy the infrastructure needed to offer IT services to its clients through monthly installments—enabling CRM Group to minimize its upfront cash outlays.

Results

Enables

brokers to deploy enterprise-class IT solutions without high capital costs

Helps

CRM Group finance the new infrastructure it needs to expand internationally

30%

increase in revenue growth projected by attracting new clients

Business challenge story

Targeting business growth

The growing popularity of the digital channel means it’s easier than ever to purchase insurance products directly—and insurance brokers are under pressure to protect their margins.

CRM Group, a leading developer of broker management systems, realized it could offer more companies the benefits of its Insusoft solution if it could help them avoid the need for an upfront investment in IT infrastructure.

Roland Maes, CEO at CRM Group, explains: “Increased emphasis on self-service means that liquidity is becoming a challenge for many of our target clients. To empower brokers to choose our service, we needed to help them gain access to the supporting hardware and software without committing large amounts of capital.

“We realized that if we could purchase the infrastructure instead of our clients and offer them a service that lets them pay for it monthly, we could bring more sophisticated solutions within their financial reach. However, we were in a similar position of not wanting to sink our own capital into hardware.”

Thanks to our relationship with IBM Global Financing, we can reinvest our cash flow in value-added activities rather than locking it away in hardware.

—Roland Maes, CEO, CRM Group

Transformation story

Delivering affordable financing

CRM Group engaged IBM Global Financing to make its business model a reality through affordable, predictable financing for non-IBM servers and PCs. To help CRM Group align its costs with the revenue the new solution would generate, IBM Global Financing offered CRM Group a loan to cover its investment in the IT equipment.

“Our partnership with IBM Global Financing opens up our software to many smaller companies that wish to avoid tying up precious capital in IT equipment. The financing solution ultimately enables our clients to deploy the platforms they need to support Insusoft without significant capital costs,” Maes says.

“Working with IBM Global Financing is easy and efficient. We provide our clients with new infrastructure, our clients pay us our agreed service fee each month, and we use a portion of that income to pay IBM Global Financing each quarter—that’s all there is to it. We have been working with IBM Global Financing for a long time now, and we really value the relationship: in fact, we just signed our third contract with IBM Global Financing for additional non-IBM servers.”

Results story

Reaching more clients

With IBM Global Financing at the foundation of its Insusoft offering, CRM Group is making its solution accessible to companies of all sizes.

“Investing in hardware is costly—not least because businesses often need to renew their platforms every three years,” Maes adds. “By financing equipment with IBM Global Financing, we also get a cost-effective route to upgrade at the end of the contract. Our ability to offer a comprehensive, cost-efficient solution makes it far easier to attract new clients, and we predict our revenues will grow by up to 30 percent in the coming years.”

After the success of its solution, CRM Group is preparing for international growth.

“We aim to extend Insusoft to clients across Europe,” concludes Maes. “To achieve our goal, we need to deploy new data centers to meet governance requirements and boost our investment in software development. Thanks to our relationship with IBM Global Financing, we can reinvest our cash flow in value-added activities rather than locking it away in hardware.”

business logo

About CRM Group

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Waregem, Belgium, CRM Group provides solutions tailored for insurance brokers of all sizes. With an offering that includes software, hardware and services, the company helps its clients to avoid the cost and complexity of building and managing their own infrastructure and focus on their core competencies.

Solution components

  • Global Financing
  • IGF
  • IGF: IT Financing - IBM SW
  • IGF: IT Financing - IBM Services and Project Financing
  • IGF: Inventory Financing

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Global Financing, please contact your IBM Global Financing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/financing