iCims

iCims is a first in Insurance Cloud Computing administration in Southern Africa for use by any Insurer, Underwriting Manager, Administrator or Brokerage House. The way the world is moving with data and technologies is into the Cloud where software and its use is provided as a service (SAAS), making it more affordable and on a pay as you use basis. In layman’s terms it means moving your business (no matter how big or small) into a professionally and securely hosted environment, accessible from anywhere, anytime and anyhow via any internet connection.

Why iCims?It’s not difficult to see why the world is rapidly moving to the Cloud, nor better reasons for you to do the same:

  • Data security
  • Lower costs
  • Easy access
  • Leading technologies
  • Peace of mind

iCims effortlessly brings you use of the most advanced and leading insurance administration platform at a fraction of the usual setup, maintenance and deployment costs. It also ensures your business runs with and remains on the latest and greatest technologies and hardware that is never out-of-date, and you won’t even notice – it’s seamlessly future proof!

No more need for upgrades to hardware every 2 or 3 years, no more new servers and laptops, no more new desktops, no more expensive software licensing costs. All you need is an internet connection and any desktop, laptop or tablet and you have instant high speed access to your office and environment. As your business grows so will your I.T. environment and “horsepower” be increased to accommodate the growth.

In addition to this you have access to services and processes that every I.T. infrastructure requires only now at a fraction of, or simply no cost. Peace of mind is standard with a guarantee of specialists performing these services from maintenance and backups through to full disaster and recovery.
No more IT worries, crashes, theft and potential security breaches…and you only pay for what you use!

Cardinal offer iCims through a professional data centre offering cloud and hosting solutions. The process to get up and running is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. The Cardinal technical experts set up your business environment with its very own iCims implementation, in a secure and quarantined environment.
  2. One of Cardinal’s 15 national support and training consultants in your area will meet with you for training, one-on-one personal attention and support.
  3. Connect with whomever you wish and your business is up and running!

Please note that Cardinal does not share databases and infrastructures between iCims clients for economies of scale typical of a bureau or hosted environment. iCims clients rather have their very OWN separate and secure database, and a separately contained operational environment so no other entity can adversely interfere with or affect your environment in any way what so ever. This is a unique offering of iCims!

Contrary to the uneducated, this is not a concern but rather an enormous strength – for a start, internet banking is in the Cloud!
Professionally hosted data centres and the cloud are looked after by a multitude of security specialists and professional’s expert in this field. They are far more akin than most private business could ever dream of, of the threats of hackers and the need for firewalls and anti-virus protection.

The cloud is expertly regarded far more secure than any individual business could dream of achieving independently, and from a data maintenance and backup perspective the various data centres it is hosted in are nothing short of world class.
The beauty of iCims is that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere and via any device:

  • Tablet
  • PC
  • Laptop
  • Cellphone

All you need is any type of internet connection. Concerns of no access to the internet are concerns of the past with reliability, cost and speeds constantly improving on a daily basis. One merely requires an ADSL, or similar, backed up with a 3G second option in the highly unlikely event the internet may go down.
You determine exactly who will have access to your system, and you will have full control to both activate and deactivate any user at any time. What a user can see and do is setup within the system security of Cims3.

UMA’s and Insurers utilising iCims may provide brokerages and various channels to market with instant access to their system and products. Likewise brokerages may allow UMA’s and Insurers access to quote, process claims, approve business, authorise endorsements, etc.  all governed by the Cims3 authorisation levels and workflow.

Policyholders can also have access to view their personal details, policies, claims status, financials and electronic documents, all through a website interface customised to your very own professional look and feel. Every insurance product is available on iCimsCardinal is accredited by and centrally distributes, supports and maintains all of the leading insurers of South Africa as well as hundreds of UMA’s, cell captive and Value Added Product offerings.

If you are a brokerage or channel to market using iCims you will potentially have access to over 250 independent product providers, and currently in excess of 2500 different products. PLEASE NOTE: Cardinal does not hold nor have the authority to offer agencies with the product providers. ONLY AUTHORISED AGENCIES will activate the product for the brokerage wishing to use that product and these agencies must be approved between brokerage, administrator and product provider.

Getting products onto the iCims & Cims systems Cardinal and its Cims products have always empowered Insurers, UMA’s and VAP providers with the most efficient means of designing and creating your own products, seamlessly and effortlessly, with or without actuarial black box rating, and with all the required underwriting rules, wordings, validations and excess structures.

Becoming part of the Cardinal network gives product providers an invaluable and effortless marketing channel through over 200 independent brokerages, UMA’s and Administrators all utilising Cardinal’s Cims systems, and currently processing in excess of R 6 billion in annualised Gross Written Premium. More importantly Cardinal’s deployment model and vanilla product structure gives product owners control of their product and rating at a single distribution point!

CREATE YOUR PRODUCT ONCE – DISTRIBUTE IT TO HUNDREDS!! The product is created once, signed off and can then be deployed to every channel or brokerage using iCims, Cims2 or Cims3 systems and throughout South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Namibia. Future maintenance and changes to the products thereafter is centrally controlled by the product owner and Cardinal and is seamlessly updated in every agency environment at the click of a button!

iCims gives all product providers an unbelievable distribution channel to all Cims brokerages. Once the product is built and signed off, the product provider can market it to the entire Cims database with split second activation for approved agencies. Sharing of data & access to data, Cardinal provides data extracts in the prescribed formats to the product providers in the required formats. All reporting and extracts may also be scheduled to run automatically at selected intervals. Cardinal is also a strong supporter of the industry initiatives to achieve real-time data switching and efficiency.

The Cims design and high level of security supports UMA’s, Insurers and brokerages the ability to log into respective Cims databases and work effortlessly together on the same Cims system however restricting access on to that entity’s related business and processes.

To request a demo or to find out more about iCims, please contact us on 083 310 5340 or complete the form below.

Cardinal Website - Request iCims Demo

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Am I sharing a database and system with other businesses?
No, you have your very own separate database and system. iCims is not an Administrator nor a Bureau, it is your very own environment where you authorise exactly who can or cannot access your system and perform what tasks.

What functionality will I have when remotely accessing the iCims via a tablet, or any other device?
All of it! You will have all the inherent functionality of the Cims system – from underwriting, quoting, renewals to lodging and administering claims through to full financial administration. You will have seamless access to the entire system.

Is it cheaper than creating my own environment?
The cost of ownership is less when adding up the inherent inclusions. Besides this, the peace of mind and the way iCims works will enable your business to be more efficient. iCims and its inherent charges will shrink or grow in sync with your business requirements and demands, rather than large upfront costs on a guesstimate for the next 3 years! Aside from the calculable cost, there is risk, security and peace of mind which are as valuable until the day they are compromised!

What if the internet goes down?
Internet reliability is better than ever before with more and more players and reliable service providers entering the market and offering a variety of methods of accessing the internet. Despite this, if your primary internet connection is down for some reason, then you merely require a backup connection such as cell phone 3G, wireless, ADSL etc to access iCims as a short term temporary backup in this unlikely event. The majority of businesses cannot operate efficiently when the internet is down regardless, so this is now your only point of failure with highly unlikely occurrence – a great deal less risk without also having to worry about networks, databases, PC’s, IT specialists!! All you now need is an internet connection.

How will power failures and load shedding affect iCims?
Positively! An additional advantage to iCims is that it is hosted in a world class data centre with UPS’s and power backup facilities, as well as redundancy across multiple geographic sites. So if the power goes down in your area you can still continue working on iCims as long as you have an internet connection e.g. 3G and laptop or tablet access.

What about security & virus protection?

You now have the experts looking after your environment and utilising the very best available means of Virus protection and security. Your data is a great deal safer behind the expert firewalls of a professional and specialty data centre, than it is on your own network with an internet connection to it.
In addition iCims offers you your very own dedicated and secure environment and does not share a single database with multiple businesses.

Will my environment be forced to upgrade to new versions as and when they are released?
You will not be forced to receive updated versions of Cims or your operational environment as and when they are officially released. You will elect when
to receive such updates and can also request access to the iCims UAT environment for in-house testing before releasing new versions into production.

Who maintains and backs up my system?
Highly skilled experts specifically trained for this important process. General I.T. network setup and support is a very different skill to Microsoft SQL Data maintenance. They are equally important to a successful operation of this environment and are therefore performed by different specialists to gain the
most out of the environment.

When I have an issue who do I call?
We maintain a variety of contacts to handle all your queries with iCims. At least one dedicated Cardinal consultant in your area will be assigned to call on your business and train all users and answer any queries – they can be contacted at any time. In addition our consultants are backed up and assisted by our friendly and professional Cardinal help desk. The Cloud access is supported and backed up by a 24/7 help desk ensuring your access and business is available anytime anywhere in the world, you just need internet access.

What about training?
This is the personal touch from Cardinal that has always assured our clients of success post the implementation stage. Face-to-face training and support is imperative for a successful system implementation, and nobody knows this better than Cardinal and its highly professional and polite staff.
At least one dedicated Cardinal consultant in your area will be assigned to call on your business and train all users and answer any queries – they can be contacted at any time.

Does the speed of use slow down according to number of users?
Any software program will be adversely affected in performance as more and more concurrent users are added to it. The key is to ensure there is enough “horsepower” to accommodate for the additional users and this is one of the enormous advantages and attributes of iCims and Cloud Computing. The specification of the virtual hardware resources allocated to your environment can be increased or decreased in a matter of minutes and at minimal cost. As you need more “horsepower” you simply add it.

With the fast pace of technology hardware improvements, hardware is typically written off and practically worthless after 3 years. With iCims however there’s no more need for upgrading or writing off servers and PC’s if your business suddenly requires more hardware specification you did not envisage or budget for. The same benefit applies to Microsoft and other software requirements which are seamlessly upgraded as and when industry determines.

Lastly, it is imperative to know that with iCims you do not share a database or system resources with other entities using iCims. You are therefore in a secure, dedicated and isolated environment with only your systems and allocated resources to run them. You will therefore not be adversely affected by other entities changes to their system, or a user external to your business running reporting or resource sapping processes that may adversely affect you as in a shared environment.

The internet connection obviously defines the speed at which one connects, do you have a preferable service provider and will 3G access be sufficient?
Internet connectivity has become more and more reliable, cost effective and is continually improving in speed. Downtime is almost never on a national/international level and usually only limited to your offices when it does rarely occur.

Where you are now being alleviated in networks, infrastructure costs and related hassles, in turn your emphasis should move to having decent internet connectivity and a backup, should one of them become unavailable. 3G is more than sufficient for a few users to access iCims but is generally a more expensive means of internet connectivity and will become performance limited the more users concurrently using it. It is therefore recommended for single use (in the market place with tablets, laptops etc.) or as an internet connection backup.

For your physical primary location it is recommended and preferred to have a minimum of a 2 Meg internet connection, uncapped data, and this can be attained from any ISP providing either a fixed line (ADSL/Diginet/ISDN etc), or Wireless/Satellite options. It all boils down to the price vs. the speed of the line and it is best to use a service with uncapped use.

For connectivity backup, inexpensive routers can now be purchased with a failover should your primary connection go down. In such an event it will switch onto an alternate connection for business continuity such as a 3G card until your primary internet connection is restored.
Chose a reputable ISP to partner with and any will work with iCims. Business Connexion is the Data Centre and Cloud provider for iCims solution so using their internet and connectivity options will provide a more direct route to your iCims environment.