We would like to tell you about all the new and exciting things that happen here at Socrates Systems. Its not all just about work, we are a busy bunch in and outside the office!
ITIJ Awards...and the winner is Socrates!
After being nominated for a second year in a row for the “Specialist Service Provider”, we are very proud to announce that Socrates Systems have won!
Jody accepted the award in complete shock and is extremely honoured to be able to accept this in person at the ITIJ awards in Barcelona. He has thanked the team back in the UK and looks forwards to sharing the award with everyone!
We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported Socrates over the years and we look forwards to continuing to work closely with our clients, providing innovative insurance systems within the industry.
Big data is becoming more and more important and having systems designed for the industry to make best use of data is vital to the industry and this company does just that.
After a busy Summer, developing new systems and with the arrival of some new team members, we felt it called for a night out! We opted for something slightly different this time but kept it interactive by signing up for a Cocktail making class at Dirty Martini.
It was a really fun night, albeit a few sore heads the next day. We split into 2 teams, where we made each other’s drinks; there were some interesting flavours, one of the Socrates favourites was the Blood Orange.
We were honoured when Worldwide Insurance Solutions approached us to build a system, to provide insurance for Tesla Motors in the Middle East. This project was a little different from the travel insurance systems, which Socrates are recognised for, but was exciting none the less, especially for the car enthusiasts in our team!
Tim Joins Socrates!
Timothy has been working in the IT industry for the past 6 years. He started his career as a web hosting technical support agent and then quickly progressed to a systems administrator. His excellent troubleshooting skills, ability to work well under pressure and calm approach enable him to tackle even the most demanding of situations.
Likes: Sauna, Chicken, Football
Dislikes: Sea, Olives, Rugby
For the second year in a row, we have been nominated for the ITIJ’s “Specialist Service Provider of the Year” Award 2017.
This is only the second year Technology Providers are able to take part in the ITIJ Industry Awards which will be held on 9th November 2017 in Barcelona.
Just Travel Medical
Just Travel were given the opportunity to provide an add-on medical solution for a client. Being Just Travel’s existing supplier of their travel insurance system, we were able to provide a dedicated medical screening platform within just 3 weeks.
The Socrates Medical Portal is a perfect online solution, designed for market, providing independent medical cover to existing travel insurance policies.
As last year was such an enjoyable event, we decided to return to Food @ 52 for our Christmas Party. Due to the size of our group, we were lucky enough to be placed where it all started; Emily and John’s beautiful home, which gave the experience that extra, personal touch.
This time around we opted for the Southern Indian menu, where we prepared and cooked a variety of dishes across 3 teams. With unlimited wine, plenty of spice and access to the host’s musical instruments, it made for a memorable and fun evening.
The ITIJ Awards
As you may already be aware, Socrates were nominated for the ITIJ’s "Specialist ServiceProvider of the Year" Award 2016.
And the winner is...Passport Card!
While Passport Card won the award, it was a brilliant evening and a greatexperience.
A note from Socrates:
"To be shortlisted in the awards, especially as this is the first year TechnologyProviders are able to take part is a huge testament to everyone at Socrates and I’mincredibly proud. It’s a huge achievement and even better knowing we were nominated byour clients who voted for us and encouraged us to take part in the awards... What abrilliant endorsement and thank you to everyone who voted for us."
"We will make sure we continue to push forwards with the development of our systems,keep you updated with technology and industry trends, including security and above allmake sure we don’t let you down!"
Socrates Online Version 2 coming soon!
We have been working hard behind the scenes to get Socrates Online Version 2 ready for later this year.
Socrates Online was first launched six years ago; constantly evolving, Socrates Online hascome leaps and bounds since the original build. We pride ourselves on always striving tomeet and adapt to client needs. Taking our experience and knowledge in the industry,particularly over the past six years, we have taken what we have learnt and put it into thenew Socrates Online v2 system, providing faster performance in policy management, responsivefront end experiences, seamless integration with third parties and simpler scheme managementusing Google docs and much, much more – we’re very excited to see our new system inaction.
Version 2 is easier to use than ever, and even quicker to upgrade thanks to a Socrates OnlineStore, where you will be able to view our detailed repository of all the additional featuresand upgrades available in v2.
We’ve been nominated for the ITIJ’s “Specialist Service Provider of the Year” Award2016.
This is the first year Technology Providers are able to take part in the ITIJ IndustryAwards which will be held on 3rd November 2016 in Berlin.
To say we’re honoured is a complete understatement. We would like to say a big thank youto everyone who voted for Socrates. Being nominated for the ITIJ’s “Specialist ServiceProvider of the Year” Award is something we never expected, especially given the widespectrum of Technology Providers in the Insurance Industry that deserve to be includedas finalists. To be nominated as one of three is a huge privilege and we’re completelyblown away!
At Socrates we’re passionate about our systems, the service we provide and moving forwardwith technology; it's rewarding to know our clients agree.
Thank you again for your vote and we would like to wish the other finalists good luck;we’re really excited to be part of this year’s first Technology Award.
From Jody and everyone at Socrates.
WIS: Multi-Currency now selling in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar
Following the success of launching their selection of insurance products in Oman, WIS have now extended their Travel Insurance services out to Kuwaiti, Bahrain and Qatar.
We are extremely excited to see our systems being used Worldwide!
Far East Cover
Following the success of their other brands, Ancile Insurance asked Socrates to design a whole new travel insurance brand for them, aimed at people travelling to the far east - hence the name Far East Cover!
Socrates went for a symbolic logo, using the Chinese Lucky Coin and the Asian belief of the Red String of Fate as the main elements. The colour scheme gives an oriental feel with orange, red and green. The website is eye catching and colourful and was yet another quick turnaround for Socrates.
MS Amlin Underwriting
We have developed an online underwriting system for UK retail brokers to access to MS Amlin products.
Once logged in the broker is are able to quote terms to their clients, bind cover and view all documentation no matter when or where they are - all you need is access to the internet.
Socrates were given the brand, colours and logo and using these created a design that fits in with the company style, but true to our core values we had our own input and have built something unique to this area of the company.
Daniel joins Socrates!
We would like to welcome the latest developer to join our team, Daniel!
Daniel graduated from Staffordshire University with a BSc Hons in Web Development, and has worked previously in the e-commerce sector.
Likes: 50's-80's music, collecting vinyl records, retro computing
Dislikes: Colplay, seafood, traffic
After waiting patiently for the maze to be ready, the day finally came to take part in the Crystal Maze in London.
The experience felt very authentic and our Maze Master was certainly a character! We all took part in the challenges and it was a great team building exercise. Even though the competition looked more prepared than us kitted out in their sports gear, we managed to get the most crystals!
WIS: Oman Network
After recently launching the WIS B2B platform, operating predominantly in Dubai, WIS wanted to extend their services to the Oman network. This was exciting news for Socrates, as it meant that our developments were now not only international but functional in multi-currency.
PJ Hayman: Free Spirit Launched
From working with PJ Hayman over the last year, we were honoured that they had entrusted us to build a new quotation system for their existing, well established brand - Free Spirit.
This system was an exciting build for us, as it allowed us to push the limitations that many providers in the medical sector of Travel Insurance face, as they offer cover for most medical conditions and are not restricted by age limits.
We are pleased to say that the launch has proven to be a big success, so much so that Free Spirit have now branched out and offer their product on various affiliate platforms.
Makesure came to Socrates Systems to build a new site for them where the medical screening could take place directly on the site. on the 1st December 2015 the new Makesure site went live seeing an immediate increase in sales partially due to being able to process sales completely through the website without the need to call anyone.
A fresh new look and responsive design Makesure were very pleased with the new site especially as their historical data was imported into the new site so there was no loss of data with the transition from their old system to the Socrates Online platform.
Socrates decided the brand was in need of a little refresh, so we have been working behind the scenes to show you our new look, including the website and ticket system!
Inspired by the artwork we have in the office, we kept the theme fresh and bright colours with some texture with a triangle pattern! We also updated the logo by simplifying it down to just the iconic SS.
We love it and hope you do, too!
Christmas Party: Food @ 52!
This year, Socrates decided to do something a little different for the Christmas Party. Food at 52 is a unique cooking class in London, where everyone takes part in making the food and you eat it all at the end, with free flowing wine throughout.
We made the Italian menu, with a variety of lovely dishes including making our own fresh pasta and some yummy biscotti for dessert. We all enjoyed it so much we are already planning to go back for next year’s Christmas party. The food tasted great, even if we do say so ourselves!
James Bond Event
Socrates celebrated the release of the new James Bond in style! Starting with a cocktail reception (shaken, not stirred!) aboard the Silver Sturgeon on the river Thames, we also enjoyed gourmet nibbles by Jamie Oliver as we enjoyed the view.
As part of the experience, we took part in a fast paced speedboat chase along the river. Everyone came off looking very windswept and interesting.
We then made our way to the main event– Spectre at the IMAX! After collecting our popcorn and sweets we took our seats, in awe of the size of the screen. Everyone had a great time, even if one of the Socrates team (we won’t mention any names) did take a little snooze halfway through!
As a much overdue celebration of multiple team birthdays, we decided to take a trip to London for the evening to visit the Big Easy, a restaurant famous for its BBQ food.
After ordering a platter big enough for all of us to share and making sure our bibs were on, we got stuck in to the delicious food. There was something for everyone, from corn bread muffins to lobster mac and cheese!
Worldwide Insurance Solutions approached Socrates Systems, looking for a B2B solution, to provide Agencies in the Middle East market with a simple to use booking process.
We were given a blank canvas for the brand, which was great, as it allowed us to take full control over the brochure site look and feel, showcasing WIS’s services.
This is very exciting for Socrates, as it is our first international ecommerce development and we are extremely proud to be working with Worldwide Insurance Solutions.
White Horse came to Socrates for a Thomas Cook quote engine to provide travel insurance predominately for after sales from their currency exchange bureau’s. Discount vouchers were produced and put in Thomas Cooks retail shops up and down the country.
The site had instant success with the scheme in June 2015 running into the busy summer months.
This was another quick turnaround for Socrates, from mockups to a live site in just 4 weeks.
Diabetic Travel Insurance
PJ Hayman partnered with Diabetes.co.uk to offer Travel Insurance specifically for people with Diabetes.
This was a good opportunity for us to build a unique quotation system targeting specific medical requirements, in conjunction with the other services that Diabetes.co.uk offer.
Amy Joins Socrates!
We are pleased to welcome another member to the Socrates team!
Amy graduated from De Montfort University with a BA Hons in Graphic Design, allowing her to pursue her passion for Art and Design. Always on the look-out for a new project or creative hobby, she has previously worked on freelance projects, and is excited to apply her skills with Socrates in the forever-growing world of web design.
Likes: Disney,Cats, Arts & Crafts
Dislikes: Seafood, Bad Driving, Ice Skating
The Atlantis System Launch
Ancile Insurance Brokers have been a client of Socrates since the beginning and in 2013 they asked us to build a platform where they can manage multiple brands, affiliates, white labels and a call centre.
Socrates took the opportunity to start from scratch on a totally new system to make brand management easy and fast and was codenamed Atlantis. Historical data accessibility was critical to this project and something that Socrates worked closely with Ancile from the start.
The Atlantis system handles 13 brands from Goodtogoinsurance.com, insurewithease.com to Yourtravelcover.com and over 300 affiliates. Their brands are also on all the major aggregators creating over 350 quotes a minute. From launch Ancile were able to continue renewals from historic policies as well as to manage and service mid-term adjustments on policies seemlessly.
Now Travel Insurance
Less Clicks Ltd. wanted a new vibrant brand to target aggregators at a competitive price while aiming at the younger market. Now Travel Insurance was created to fill this purpose.
Their branding is clean and stands out from a lot of the traditional insurers on the aggregator sites.
The quote engine was built on the Socrates Online platform and within a month was up and running. The quick turnaround for the site was a challenge for everyone involved from setting up payment gateways to testing the rates.
The launch date of the 1st July was a successful one being at the beginning of the busiest 2-month period of the year.
Avanti Travel Insurance Launch
Avanti are the recent proud winners of not one but TWO awards for outstanding customer service in travel insurance! Socrates were honoured to be given the task of creating their new online quote system that uses a bespoke Socrates Online System.
The website is a clean and easy to use experience and one Socrates is very proud of.
Socrates welcomes Toyin!
Toyin started his career in Finance & Accounting, working in The City for banks and Financial Institutions such as JPMorgan before he turned his talent to developing trading and risk systems. In 2008 Toyin decided it was time to try something completely different and became a full time martial artist, teaching and training in karate for a living! He learnt new web technologies in his spare time and it wasn’t long before he was leading projects and developing again.
Likes: Go Karting, Cooking, The Stone Roses
Dislikes: Marmite, Fly Tipping, Joey Essex
PJ Hayman B2B Launch
We pleased to announce the launch of PJ Hayman B2b site.
P J Hayman are travel insurance and scheme specialists that have been providing Brokers and other intermediaries facilities since 1990.
This e-commerce system allows Brokers and Agents to obtain quotations, issue cover, effect renewal and present risks to the Underwriting team across a range of schemes.
Eric Joins Socrates!
Eric graduated from MIU (USA) BSc Magna cum Laude in Computer Science and MA in Professional Writing, then delved into the publishing and translating areas. He has returned to programming for the past ten years as a web developer.
Eric Likes: Movies, Iceland, Wood carving
Eric Dislikes: Conflict, Noise, Air Conditioning
Adam Joins Socrates!
Adam is a self-taught programmer with a keen interest in the internet, Open Source software and development.
Adam Likes: Dr Pepper, My Little Pony, Open Source Software
Adam Dislikes: Mashed potatoes, Commuting
Socrates sponsors the ATII networking event!
This Association represents intermediaries who specialise in Travel Insurance in the UK, whether they be working with businesses or selling direct to the public.
The ATII works closely with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) travel committee, and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), liaising with them of matters relating to travel insurance.
We are looking forward to an evening of networking, cocktails, and Jody's speech!
We are proud to announce another member of the Socrates family - Laurie Sheail
Baby Laurie is finally here! Although we knew Mikey was having a beautiful baby girl, the name was a much kept secret. We are pleased to finally be told the lovely name and welcome Laurie into the Socrates family.
In true Socrates style Laurie was kitted out with converse goodies for those days when she is at work in the office.
Congratulations to Mikey and Jo!
A bit of healthy competition is always good
September 2013 - Written by Sasha
We all met at Rye House kart raceway along with the head guys from Epic IT (who had all their own kit!). I was nervous and excited to say the least.
After the safety talks all 10 of us we were off! The first lap was the worst as it was slippery and I think I span the car in about the first 10 seconds, along with Mikey!
Around the race I counted that Jody had lapped me 11 times! I knew I wasn't anywhere near winning but just experiencing the race track was fab.
The race ended and we were all on a massive high as we went back to the changing rooms. Then after much laughter and chat the results were announced.....3rd Ben Cooper, 2nd Chris Koumourou from Epic IT, 1st......JODY BROOKS. So we beat Epic IT this time, I wonder if they will get us back?
p.s. I came 7th out of 10 so at least I wasn't last on my first go!
Sat Insure goes live!
Sat Insure is a satellite equipment insurance provider based in Northampton.
They came to Socrates to build a new online CRM and sales platform to replace their existing offline system. The new system handles all of Sat Insure's existing customers and claims and integrates with their public facing website which has also been modernised.
Socrates provided the facility for salespeople to set up regular direct debits as well as credit card payments. Claim handlers can also book engineer appointments and send out replacement parts directly through the system.
Sentinel Independent Financial Advisers live!
Sentinel is a leading firm of independent financial advisers providing expert advice and exceptional levels of service to individuals and businesses. They offer a complete financial planning and wealth management service that is built around the individual needs of their clients.
Wanting a traditional look to their website, Sentinel still needed to feel current. So being up for the challenge, Socrates put their spin on traditional and created a design that says quality and modern all in one.
Along with the website, we have also created the logo and stationery to make sure the brand is carried throughout all levels of communication.
Jody and Nic have a girl
Baby Emily is finally here! After a lot of guessing, it's lovely to finally welcome a beautiful baby girl into our family.
In true Socrates style Emily was kitted out with converse goodies for those days when she is at work in the office.
Congratulations to Jody and Nic!
Doodson have a new product that's rocking!
Socrates have built a quote process for their media & entertainment side of the business that is fully integrated into the other Doodson sites built by Socrates. It lets them create quotes and manage policies for their media and entertainment products. It has some very clever back end functions such as a fully bespoke quote engine, mid-term adjustments and creating reports.
The product also covers equipment and liability insurance for bands, events, event promoters, stage riggers or anyone else involved in the setup of events. They also offer employer's liability insurance as an extension of cover.
Mikey gets married!
We have all been looking forwards to it for ages.... and it's finally here!
We love any excuse to all get together and what better way than one of our Socrates family getting married!
Michael and Jo's wedding was a lovely day with a 1920's art deco theme (we love a theme!) We all braved the snow to Tewinbury Farm to watch Mikey make his vows. This was followed by yummy food, lots of toasting and an evening of Karaoke!
Doodson have a new product that's taking off!
Socrates built a quote process for their model/remote controlled aeroplane insurance product that has been integrated into their existing site. We have been careful to maintain their look and feel throughout the new quote process.
We built a back end to go with it that is full of bells and whistles along with the additional functionality that can create a bespoke cover product based on the client's requirements.
A new member of our team!
We are pleased to announce a new addition to our team. After many interviews we finally found the best person for the new web development post, Ben Barber!
Ben is proving to be a brilliant team player and shares a passion for smooth running websites. He has fitted in well with our Core Values and we know he will enjoy being part of the Geek Team!
Ben is a self taught developer who started out with a keen interest in making websites and the way they worked. He had his fist popular website at the age of 15 and has continued to grow his expertise with passion since then.
Likes: Tottenham football club, Running, Writing code, Hot and spicy food
Dislikes: Badly structured code, Salad cream, Mayonnaise, Traffic jams
Socrates attends PHP 2012 conference
Rasmus Lerdorf was the opening speaker at the PHP 2012 Conference with"A look at PHP in 2012". Rasmus is known as the creator of PHP, the scripting language Socrates write its websites in. The talk was a broad overview of the language, from its origins as a set of Perl scripts for updating his personal website to its current status as the predominant server-side language on the web.
It was great to hear the new features in PHP 5.4, as well as the future of the language. Rasmus is at the cutting edge of practical PHP deployment and is probably the best-placed person to discuss the challenges that face the language as we move into 2012.
We had a great day and have lots of notes to go through.