The insurance sector in India is growing rapidly alongside new technology innovations that offer more direct and real-time services to customers. While the conventional mode of buying insurance through an agent is still predominant, consumers have rapidly adopted online channels in the past few years.
Future Generali India Life Insurance (FGILI) is keenly aware of this shift. Since embarking on its digital transformation journey in 2015, it has moved steadily towards a digitally enabled omnichannel distribution model for its insurance products. With IT-powered enhancements driving the entire customer life cycle – from discovery of information and financial consultancy to purchase, onboarding and more – the business generates a vast amount of data daily. There is an unstructured data sprawl from online customer interactions such as voice and video calls with agents and call centers, AI bot interactions and others.
For FGILI’s IT team, the expanding volume of data from multiple sources has created an increasingly complex enterprise data management landscape with hundreds of silos. As a financial services company dealing with sensitive personal data, a hybrid cloud environment with Microsoft Azure and Nutanix ensures different levels of accessibility and security as needed. External customer-facing apps that FGILI agents use to onboard customers and issue insurance policies run on Azure, which is scalable, fast and cost-efficient. Data that is more sensitive such as financial and investment applications, customer records and internal operations are stored on their hyperconverged infrastructure Nutanix Acropolis, which offers more control, security and privacy.
The challenge for FGILI is to simplify data management in their hybrid cloud environment, to enable all agents and employees to have easy yet secure access to accurate data for decision-making. While the exponential growth of data presents new challenges to data management, success in this area could help unearth a wealth of business intelligence for FGILI to understand and target their consumers better with more personalized service and promotions.
Another key business priority for FGILI is ensuring 24/7/365 data availability. In an always-on digital world, customers expect their insurer to always be available at their fingertips. A solid business continuity strategy is critical to FGILI’s success, a need that was further accentuated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The IT team needed an efficient way to facilitate remote working and customer service amidst the country’s lockdown measures, and quickly set up workloads in a new business environment to support its business continuity plans.
“We are in the insurance business, so we cannot afford to lose data. FGILI has a very stringent SLA, if not 100%, it’s 99.95% – that is the service level we offer to our customers, and we need complete business continuity. Especially in the Nutanix environment, built-in advanced replication, as well as instant VM and file recovery are important aspects we are looking out for to ensure zero downtime,” said Byju Joseph, Chief Technology Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance.
FGILI’s mission is to actively protect and enhance peoples’ lives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, health and life insurance saw rising consumer demand, and it was critical to support customers with reliable service.
For the past five years, FGILI’s digital transformation goal has been to run the business virtually, and for every insurance agent to be an independent mobile branch, offering each customer a full suite of services from a single mobile device. This foresight has equipped the business to respond quickly to COVID-19, allowing the business to kickstart its business continuity plans even before India’s national lockdown. With Veeam’s advanced replication capabilities and direct restore to Azure, Joseph’s team was able to transfer 100TB of data in a week’s time to Azure, ensuring accessibility and business continuity as its 3,500 employees began to work remotely.
“As we adapt to the rapidly evolving working conditions today, Veeam ensures that we can maintain business continuity seamlessly by protecting our remote workers’ data on our Nutanix VDI environment. I’m very happy because Veeam has always maintained stringent business continuity standards for us. Even with the challenges of COVID-19 now, we are still able to offer the same service levels to the business so our agents can serve and support their customers in this critical time,” said Joseph.
Veeam’s cloud mobility across public and private clouds truly helped FGILI maximize their return of investment in their hybrid IT infrastructure, especially so in a time when the flexibility to move data around quickly can make or break business continuity. Going beyond backup, Veeam’s powerful functions such as replication, instant VM recovery, monitoring and analytics offer FGILI the enterprise Cloud Data Management solution suite that they need.
“Veeam revolutionized our definition of “uptime” ever since we switched over from legacy solutions. We are no longer constrained by RTOs and RPOs of hours or days - we are now thinking in minutes,” said Joseph.
Veeam protects FGILI against data loss with 100% backup success rate, and 99% of recoveries as compared to 70% when using previous solutions. Recovery time has also been shortened by half from 48 to 24 hours, which enables FGILI to do backups twice a day compared to once in the past. Data protection is now more real-time to support the always-on demands of the business.
“With Veeam, data management is simple, flexible and reliable. One solution backs up our data no matter where it is and we can monitor our entire environment from a single console, giving us convenience and peace of mind that we’ve never had,” shared Joseph. “Now that we are no longer spending lots of time and energy managing our data, we can focus on harnessing the value of our data to drive our business forward. With the agility that Veeam has empowered us with, we are confident of growing our digital business in an uncertain world where change is the only constant.”
Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between three leading groups – leading retailer Future Group, global insurance group Generali Group and leading investment company Industrial Investment Trust Limited (IITL). Collectively, the group operates 117 branches across major cities across India, providing a complete range of life insurance solutions to help Indian customers and enterprises manage and mitigate risks. Since its establishment in 2007, the company has sold over 13.8 lakh insurance policies. It now employs 7,629 insurance agents across the country.
With more digital service platforms and online touchpoints for its customers, Future Generali India Life Insurance (FGILI) has generated a vast amount of data in the past few years. A key priority was to simplify hybrid cloud data management on Nutanix and Microsoft Azure, to enable all agents and employees to have easy yet secure access to accurate data for decision-making. In an always-on digital world where customers expect reliable customer service 24/7/365, FGILI also needs to deliver 100% business continuity, especially so in trying times during the COVID-19 pandemic.