Malaysian insurance company, Takaful Malaysia, previously had outsourced IT Infrastructure Management and End-User Computing since 2008 to a major IT company, but wanted to improve response times, increase business agility and value for money.
Hence in 2013, they brought IT Infrastructure Outsourcing back in-house with Microsoft System Center 2012. With greater visibility and more jobs automation, it managed to reduce response times by 40 percent, while lowering IT infrastructure management costs
by 27 percent. With greater control, the CIO has the confidence to pioneer new IT services to support Takaful Malaysia’s business plan.
||When we brought IT infrastructure management in-house … we successfully reduced our total IT staffing requirement by seven headcount. With all the people and licensing costs factored in, we’ve made an overall saving of 27 percent.
| Patrick Wong
Chief Information Officer
Working out what IT to outsource is a constant dilemma for chief information officers (CIOs). As telephony becomes part of IT and cloud services proliferate, deciding which services to maintain in-house, and which to hand over to service specialists becomes
ever more complex. One company that’s recently reversed its
course on IT outsourcing is the composite insurance company, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad. Famous for being the first insurance company in Malaysia to offer 15–20% no-claims rebates, Takaful Malaysia prides itself on staying at the forefront of IT capabilities.
In 2013, however, the company decided to review its long-standing IT outsource agreement with one of a major IT company.
“In our business, IT is what differentiates us from our competitors,” says Patrick Wong, Chief Information Officer, Takaful Malaysia. “Our employees rely on top-grade IT services for their productivity and collaboration applications, as well as line-of-business
applications for insurance claims processing and customer service management. Fast and effective IT support is central to their success.”
Patrick believes his current IT outsourcing partner could not respond fast enough to service requests, partly because each of the IT request somewhat had to have some manual intervention. He struggled to monitor performance of the IT outsourcer against service
level agreements (SLAs) because reporting was manually produced by the IT outsourcer too.
His executive colleagues also wanted their IT to be more agile. They wanted to extend IT systems to healthcare partners to make collaboration seamless, and enable corporate customers to self-manage policies. With limited control over the IT environment,
however, the firm’s technical specialists were reluctant to experiment because working with IT outsourcer, everything to them is money.
“We did an internal assessment that by bringing all our IT infrastructure management services in-house, we can gain control and ensure our systems are sufficiently robust to pioneer new integrations,” he says. “To do this successfully, however, we need better
automation, visibility and control. And I wanted all systems information at my fingertips so I could see the entire health of IT services, wherever I am. However, with the existing IT partner, this cannot be done due to many limitations with their monitoring
capability, policies and their management’s inability to understand customer’s needs. Everything to them is chargeable.”
Technical specialists at Takaful Malaysia examined three technologies that would enable the firm to automate their IT service desk and infrastructure support for all operational systems internally: needless to say, they have shortlisted and selected Microsoft
System Center 2012.
“System Center has the most modern look and feel,” says Patrick. “It also provides much better opportunities for integration. With System Center, I can monitor all applications from one console and our IT Helpdesk staff can examine systems performance in
real time. We can also give all our technical specialists remote access and mobile access to systems-management tools.”
Patrick and his colleagues analyzed all the costs, including licensing and staffing. “We did the sums on the basis of three-year and five-year time spans, and compared the costs of managing IT in-house with System Center, as opposed to extending our IT infrastructure
outsourcing contract. When we factored in everything, it was clear we could manage our IT more cost effectively in-house—and do a better job.”
The deployment included System Center Service Manager, which serves as the main service- management tool for incident and problem resolution. It logs and tracks employee requests and gives Helpdesk personnel the information to prioritize them as logically
as possible. To automate standard requests, Takaful Malaysia also deploys System Center Orchestrator, which uses workflows to assign tasks to available IT engineers.
To help them monitor the health and performance of applications and servers, Patrick and his colleagues deployed Microsoft System Operations Manager, and to help them manage desktop and notebook configurations, they also deployed Microsoft System Center
Configuration Manager. Lastly, they used System Center Endpoint Protection to secure the integrated platform.
Thanks to trusted Microsoft partner – Redynamics Asia, the transition was smooth and with as little downtime as possible. Redynamics Asia, with their deep understanding of the full potential of the solution, made sure the systems were up and running, providing
strong support throughout the process.
The Redynamics Asia team was chosen because of their vast experience and deep knowledge on Microsoft System Center, proven by the multiple awards and testimonials they received from similar engagements, clearly setting them apart from other vendors.
||We can be much bolder now, because we are far more confident in our IT infrastructure management and have control over SLAs performance.
| Patrick Wong
Chief Information Officer
By bringing IT infrastructure service back in-house with Microsoft System Center 2012 tools, Takaful Malaysia has increased efficiency, reduced costs and improved overall business agility.
More efficient IT support
With System Center, managing PCs and servers requires far less effort. The IT team finds they can track their IT inventory, deploy software and enforce compliance more easily than when they had to work through an outsourcing partner. In addition, automated
workflows have eliminated many manual Helpdesk tasks, so IT support staff receive instant notifications of priority tasks.
Costs reduced by 27%
Greater efficiency has reduced costs significantly. “With our previous IT service provider, we paid for over 24 onsite staff to manage our environment and 6 tower leads that manage these engineers. However, these tower leads do not understand our business
and thus making wrong decisions,” says Patrick.
“When we brought IT management in-house with System Center we successfully reduced our total IT staffing requirement by seven headcount. With all the people and licensing costs factored in, we’ve made an overall savings of 27 percent on IT infrastructure
and support costs.”
Faster response times
According to Patrick, the general workforce is the main beneficiary. System Center incorporates tools that help employees resolve their own IT issues, partly through publishing quick-fixes from similar-type requests.
However, increased automation also means IT staff can respond to problems much faster. “Overall, we’ve reduced our average resolution time by 40 percent,” reports Patrick.
Greater control and insight
Patrick also attributes fast resolution times to better overall control. “As CIO, I have a dashboard that shows me exactly how all systems are performing and instantly alerts me to any breach of our SLAs. If anything goes wrong with our core systems, it
tells me straight away. Now I feel much more in control: I know the health of my IT services at a glance.”
Increased business agility
With greater control over all IT, Patrick and his team are more ambitious. “Now we can expand IT to help Takaful Malaysia to differentiate itself in the marketplace,” he says. “We are building Portals to enable corporate customers to manage their own insurance
policies themselves, and working on integrating core applications with hospitals. We can be much bolder now, because we are far more confident in our IT infrastructure management and have control over SLAs performance. This has increased our ability to support
our business plans tremendously.”
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