Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. and its affiliated companies offer a wide range of insurance and financial products and services to individuals, families and businesses. Founded in 1887, Ameritas serves about 4 million customers nationwide.
As the insurance and financial services industries become increasingly competitive, companies must offer products and services that differentiate them and meet the needs of their customers. This is where Big Data comes in. It helps companies assess risk and set premiums, develop new products and predict customer behavior. Big Data helps companies like Ameritas provide the options their customers demand.
Life will never be free from uncertainty, but when uncertainty is minimized, life can be maximized. Ameritas strives to help its customers enjoy life by reducing uncertainty, helping grow assets and protecting what is most cherished.
“Data is a priceless commodity in our industry,” said Jeff Martinson, director of information technology at Ameritas. “It helps us develop innovative products and services that differentiate us in a highly competitive market. Data helps us predict what customers want before they ask for it, and that helps Ameritas help customers put worry behind and the future ahead.”
Martinson said risk calculation is an important part of developing new products and services.
“Our actuarial teams rely on data to calculate risk. If the information isn’t available, they may miss their deadlines, which affects our time to market. If that happens, we risk losing our customers to competitors.”
Additionally, Big Data plays a role in helping develop products and services that are designed for today’s market.
“We analyze customer data so we can offer products and services that will meet their precise needs,” Martinson said. “If that information isn’t available and we can’t meet their needs, they may go elsewhere.”
A third key use of data is in claims management.
“Our company is built on trust and transparency,” Martinson said. “We must process customers’ claims quickly and accurately to maintain their trust. Access to data helps us process claims fast and deliver the level of service our customers deserve.”
Veeam® Availability Suite™ helps Ameritas maintain complete and total availability of business data. Data helps Ameritas calculate risk, develop new products that will appeal to customers and process their claims quickly and efficiently.
“We deployed Veeam for two reasons,” Martinson said. “The primary reason is simplicity and reliability. The second reason is that Veeam integrates fully with NetApp ONTAP in our FlexPod environment, giving us complete availability of applications and data. The ability to extract the right data at the right time is immensely valuable.”
That availability also translates into serving customers efficiently when claims are made, and offering products and solutions that the market and Ameritas’ customers demand.
Martinson said legacy backup wasn’t optimal because it didn’t integrate well with the company’s NetApp ONTAP environment. Veeam integrates fully with NetApp ONTAP. Ameritas protects over 1,600 VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines quickly and reliably from ONTAP storage snapshots.
In addition, Veeam tests the recoverability of backups, which ensures that critical business data will be available should data be lost, deleted or corrupted.
“Veeam’s integration with an enterprise-class environment like FlexPod gives us a flexibility we didn’t have before, while maintaining data assurance and reliability,” Martinson added. “Veeam and NetApp are extremely strong, capable solutions on their own, but they’re even better together and they save time and money.”
Veeam and NetApp are easy to manage, allowing Ameritas to reallocate personnel from managing backup and storage to automating business processes.
Ameritas also saves money. Veeam was less expensive than previous backup solutions, resulting in significant savings.
In addition, Ameritas uses Veeam Agents for Microsoft Windows and Linux to protect data on physical servers and Veeam Management Pack™ (MP) for System Center to gain a big-picture view of the entire virtualized infrastructure - all from within the native System Center Management console.
Next Ameritas will use Veeam Cloud Connect to move backups to the cloud.
“Our goal has always been to find a single solution that can deliver full availability in our data centers and the cloud, and that’s what Veeam and NetApp ONTAP deliver,” Martinson said. “Hands down, they’re in a class all their own.”