Business continuity and rock-solid network security drive international growth at Swiss insurance giant

Continuing to highlight our great customer stories from the field, today we look at Helvetia of Switzerland.

Acquisition is seen as a natural vehicle for business growth, but it can also inspire other changes. What if an acquisition created an opportunity to rethink an entire approach to business continuity?

Helvetia is one of Switzerland’s leading insurance providers. Its 2014 acquisition of rivals Nationale Suisse made the business even bigger, but created a headache: how to consolidate four data centers into two?

The challenge provided the IT team with a blank piece of paper. For a company used to making step-by-step changes, the project would allow them to make the bold move to an entirely new software-defined data center environment. This would accelerate Helvetia’s digital transformation, allowing it to make customer services faster, easier and more personal.

Business continuity in digital transformation

The VMware solution is based on the VMware NSX® Data Center. This creates a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) for Helvetia, delivering networking and security entirely in software, abstracted from the underlying physical infrastructure. In a single stroke it makes Helvetia more efficient and more agile.

In addition, VMware vCloud Suite® is an enterprise-ready private cloud software that brings together the industry-leading VMware vSphere Hypervisor and VMware vRealize® Suite cloud management platform. vRealize Suite provides developer-friendly infrastructure (supporting VMs and containers) and a common approach to hybrid and multicloud.

 

vRealize Network Insight is a component of vRealize Automation, and can be very critical in the ability to manage NSX and SD networks for performance, reliability, and compliance of infrastructure.

Andreas Hagin, Helvetia’s Lead Engineer, IT Infrastructure had some very kind words about this fantastic combo:

“From my perspective, VMware vRealize® Network Insight™ is a must-have, giving us visibility of the complete virtualized infrastructure, and accelerating our digital transformation.”

 

“The market is changing and time to market is critical. We have to be fast to market in a multichannel world. We now have the computing power, and agility, to handle all of this.”

Today, Helvetia has two active-active data centers in the Zurich area (a part of the country with less risk of earthquakes than Helvetia’s home city of Basel). The entire project was completed in 18 months.

The new software-defined infrastructure strengthens business continuity, delivers a more efficient infrastructure and means Helvetia can be faster to market with new services. The IT function is more efficient; Helvetia’s team is maintaining more services with the same headcount. Also, it will be easier to integrate new acquisitions or scale up infrastructure in support of growth areas of the business.

 

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