Keal Technology is a leader in the Canadian Insurance industry, offering solutions for Brokers. We are proudly Canadian, supported by our parent company Vertafore, the leader in modern insurance technology.
Our history dates as far back as 1876 with a company called Melvil Dewey who invented the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system, the classification system that still bears his name, when he was twenty-one and was working as a student assistant in the library of Amherst College. His work created a revolution in library science and set in motion a new era of librarianship. Melvil Dewey well deserves the title of father of modern librarianship selling what is now known as Broker Management Systems (BMS). In 2000, the Melvil Dewey company had gone through a series of acquisition with CGI being the latest owner. Keal purchased the BMS division from CGI in 2000.
Thanks to the vision and perseverance of Keal’s leader Pat Durepos, himself a broker by profession, he saw in Keal a company that could evolve to what it has become today; a Canadian Leader in Broker Management Solutions, delivering custom-made, reliable and functional solutions that meet the needs of Canadian Brokers in a personalized and respectful business environment.
Keal has offices in Toronto, Montreal and Grand-Falls, with remote offices located throughout Canada, allowing a local presence and support for our Canadian Brokers.
Keal’s history is one of constant growth and innovation:
- 1997, Keal enters into a business arrangement with CGI Group to install CGI’s TABS (Total Automated Broker System).
- 2000, Keal acquires the Insurance Broker Management System division from CGI.
- 2002, Keal launches SIG, the new flagship broker management software to replace Signassure. SIG boasts the most powerful, open architecture available and offers unlimited integration capabilities to scale to brokers existing and future needs, regardless of how varied.
- 2007, Keal became the first BMS vendor in Canada to acquire Gold Certified Partner status from Microsoft.
- 2016, Keal joins the Vertafore group of companies, increasing resources to enable speed to market for software solution for the Canadian Independent Broker distribution.
Consider yourself a ‘History Buff’? Keep reading to find the evolution of the broker management system from 1876 to date.
The Evolution of the Broker Management System
The business of brokerage management systems has a long history! The original systems were based on recording techniques and statistical analyses and date back to 1876. Take a look at how far they’ve come:
• 1876 Melvil Dewey (of Dewey Decimal System fame) founded the Library Bureau
• 1929 the Library Bureau became the Recording and Statistical Corporation
• 1963 Statistical Corporation was taken over by Sperry Rand
• 1971 Sperry Rand became Real Time Corporation
• 1982 Real Time Corporation launched T.A.B.S (Total Automated Broker System)
• 1985 Memotec Data Inc. took over Real Time Corporation
• 1988 Memotec purchased the rights from Agena Corporation to market and support the Premier Broker Management system (sunset in 1998)
• 1991 Memotec acquired Teleglobe Canada and was renamed Teleglobe Inc.
• 1993 Teleglobe purchased the rights from Agena Corporation to develop a Canadian version of their Agena for Windows broker management system
• 1997 Teleglobe purchased Veilleux Informatique Inc. acquiring its VISA insurance broker management system. Keal still supports this system in Quebec
• 1997 CGI Group took over Teleglobe
• 2000 Keal acquired CGI’s Insurance Broker Management System division
• 2002 Keal launched SIG, the new flagship broker management software to replace Signassure
Melvil Louis Kossuth Dewey was born on December 10, 1851. His family was poor, and lived in a small town in upper New York State. Later he cut his first name to Melvil, dropped his middle names and, for a short time, even spelled his last name as Dui.
He invented the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system, the classification system that still bears his name, when he was twenty-one and was working as a student assistant in the library of Amherst College. His work created a revolution in library science and set in motion a new era of librarianship. Melvil Dewey well deserves the title of father of modern librarianship.
Dewey changed librarianship from a vocation to a modern profession. He helped establish the American Library Association (ALA) in 1876; he was secretary of ALA from 1876 to 1890 and president during the 1890/1891 and 1892/1893 terms. He co-founded and edited Library Journal. He was a promoter of library standards and formed a company to sell library supplies, which eventually became the Library Bureau. He was a pioneer in library education. In 1883, Dewey became the librarian of Columbia College (now Columbia University) in New York City. While there, he founded the first ever library school on January 1, 1887. In December 1889, he became the director of the New York State Library at Albany, retiring from that position in 1906.
His range of knowledge and work was wide and varied. He was a pioneer in the creation of career opportunities for women. In his later years he helped create the Lake Placid Club, a leisure center in the Adirondacks. Dewey was also a spelling reformer. Some of the early editions of his classification scheme were presented in reformed spelling, and his original introduction written in reformed spelling was reprinted in the Dewey Decimal Classification through Edition 18.
Dewey died from a stroke on December 26, 1931. Seven decades after his death, he is still primarily known for the Dewey Decimal Classification, the most widely used library classification scheme in the world.
While Melvil Dewey was living in Boston, Massachusetts, he founded the Library Bureau in 1876. The Bureau supplied library materials such as index cards, vertical files and loose-leaf binders. It is through this bureau that Dewey standardized the size of library index cards (12.5 cm by 7.5 cm).
The Library Bureau was also a pioneer in providing unique services to businesses, such as filing, indexing and analyzing.
Subsequently, in 1929, the company was re-named the Recording and Statistical Corporation.
Recording and Statistical Corporation
In 1929, the Library Bureau was reorganized and re-named as the Recording and Statistical Corporation, offering data processing and analytical services to a diverse clientele internationally.
The Sperry Corp. had a long history. Elmer Sperry (1860-1930) was an inventor with more than 360 patents to his name. He formed the Sperry Gyroscope Co. after inventing the Gyroscopic compass. The company was bought by North American Aviation after World War II, which then spun off part of it as the Sperry Corp.
Remington-Rand had formed out of the original E. Remington & Son, the firearms maker, and had slowly evolved into a products company that made sewing machines and farm equipment. Christopher Sholes talked the company into making a QWERTY typewriter, and in 1886 the venture was spun off into the Remington Typewriter Co., which later merged with Rand Kardex and a slew of smaller firms to form Remington-Rand in 1927.
In 1955, Sperry Corp. merged with Remington-Rand to form Sperry-Rand. It subsequently changed its name to Univac and formed an Information Services Division based in Ontario.
In 1963, the Recording & Statistical Corporation was acquired by the Univac Information Services Division where it remained until 1971.
Real Time Corporation
In 1971, Real Time acquired the Univac Information Services Division.
In 1974, Real Time acquired Datapro Ltd. Real Time was a privately owned company while Datapro was publicly owned. To preserve the public status of DataPro, a new corporation, Real Time Datapro Ltd., was formed.
In 1977, Real Time Datapro acquired Welby Computer Services Ltd., Ottawa, and in 1984, they acquired the software firm Kendrick, Clarke Inc. which developed insurance agent and broker systems for operation on IBM equipment. As a result, Real Time became a major supplier of data processing services to the insurance industry with more than 400 clients across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
Real Time inaugurated the first agency batch accounts system in 1954; and Real Time intelligent computer terminals have been in agents’ and brokers’ offices since 1976.
The Total Automated Broker System (T.A.B.S.) was launched to medium to large insurance brokers as a comprehensive online system in 1982.
Memotec Services Corporation was founded in 1977. They focused their attention on international communications and were an active member of the CCITT (now ITU-T) committee that developed the X.25 Packet Switching recommendation, an international standard for data transmission. Their first X.25 product, the MPAC2000, was launched in 1978, making the Company one of the first to market with a product conforming to the newly released standard.
In 1979, they merged with Groupe Memotec Inc. and Systèmes Memotec Corporation to become Memotec Data Inc. They expanded rapidly. By the end of 1982, they had opened offices in the United States, throughout Europe, and in Asia. By this time, Memotec Data was recognized as an industry leader in packet switching technology, and they commanded a major share of the market. By the mid-1980s, Memotec Data’s customer base included major corporations throughout the world.
In December 1985, Memotec Data acquired Real Time Datapro Ltd. In 1988, Memotec purchased rights from the Agena Corporation in the United States to market the Premier Broker Management System in Canada. This application later replaced T.A.B.S and became the foundation for Keal’s flagship application, SIG.
Teleglobe Canada was the telecommunications arm of the Canadian Government and the sole provider of international telecommunications in Canada. It was acquired by Memotec Data in 1987 and re-named Teleglobe Inc. as a division of Memotec Data. In 1990, the Memotec corporate name disappeared as the corporation split into divisions under the Teleglobe name. Four years later, Teleglobe and its Products and Services Division parted company. Memotec Communications was spun off as an independent, publicly owned organization and no longer has any ties with Teleglobe.
To manage the insurance brokerage software, a wholly owned subsidiary called Teleglobe Insurance Systems was created, operating three business units: Insurance Brokerage Systems & Services, Insurance Information Services and Insurance Company Systems & Services. The Insurance Brokerage unit installed and supported Premier and T.A.B.S., which provided Teleglobe’s 700-brokerage clients complete policy, claims and financial-management systems all in one integrated package.
In 1993, Teleglobe Insurance Systems purchased the right to develop and market Agena’s, Agena for Windows broker management system. This was a state of the art client-server system running on Windows NT and using a Microsoft SQL database. Teleglobe Insurance Systems re-named the product Signassure, installing the first client in June 1994.
In September 1998, Teleglobe Insurance Systems withdrew support for Premier and concentrated on T.A.B.S. and Signassure.
CGI was founded in 1976.
In October 1997, CGI acquired Teleglobe’s Insurance Systems from Teleglobe Inc. and close to 4,000 staff members.
CGI is a North American leader in information technology (IT) services, with state-of-the-art expertise in three complementary areas of specialization: information systems, telecommunications and management.
CGI is the largest Canadian independent firm to offer a complete range of end-to-end IT services. It is among the leading providers of consulting services, which include business process engineering, systems integration and outsourcing services. CGI was the first information technology services company in North America to achieve ISO 9001 certification for its project management framework. The company has a strategic partnership with Bell Canada, whose telecommunications expertise and value-added network complement CGI’s expertise in IT services.
And the rest is history!