The Business Challenge
Life will never be free from uncertainty, but when uncertainty is minimized, life can be maximized. Ameritas strives to help customers enjoy life by reducing uncertainty, helping grow assets and protecting what is most cherished.
“Big Data is a priceless commodity in our industry,” said Jeff Martinson, director of IT at Ameritas. “It helps us develop innovative products and services that differentiate us in a highly competitive market. Big Data also 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 Big Data to calculate risk. If the information isn’t available, they may miss their deadlines, which impacts 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.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Availability Suite helps Ameritas maintain complete and total availability of Big Data, enabling the company to 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.”
Complete availability also translates into serving customers efficiently when claims are made, and offering products and solutions the market and 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, enabling Ameritas to protect more than 1,600 VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines quickly and reliably by backing them up from ONTAP storage snapshots.
In addition, Veeam tests the recoverability of backups, which ensures that critical business data will be available should it 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 legacy backup solutions, resulting in significant annual 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 Cloud Data Management and NetApp ONTAP deliver,” Martinson said. “Hands down, they’re in a class all their own.”
- Maintains total availability of Big Data to meet customer demands
“A prerequisite for success in our industry is maintaining complete and total availability of Big Data,” Martinson said. “Veeam and NetApp ONTAP let us extract data at any moment in time, giving us a competitive edge in the market.”
- Saves time, enabling automation of additional business processes
“Veeam and NetApp ONTAP integrate fully, enabling us to reallocate staff time from backup and storage management to system design and automation,” Martinson said.
- Delivers significant IT infrastructure savings each year
“Veeam was less expensive than legacy backup, resulting in significant savings,” Martinson said.