Czech Insurance Company Inc. is a universal insurance company with a long and rich tradition in both life and non-life insurance. Since the reintroduction of the competitive environment in 1991, it became the largest insurance company in the Czech insurance market. Czech Insurance Company care about 3 900 employees and 6 000 sales representatives in more than 700 sales points. It also manages over 9 million contracts, representing approximately 40 percent of all policies in the Czech Republic. Total premiums Czech insurance companies in 2009 exceeded 38 billion crowns. International rating agency S & P in its regular assessment of this year reaffirmed the current Czech insurance rating of A+. Czech insurance company that has continued to the maximum rating that can get in the Czech Republic. Czech Insurance Company is part of Generali PPF Holding BV which operates in 14 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Generali PPF Holding manages through its subsidiaries, assets of $14 billion and in the region, serving more than 10 million clients. Specifics of insurance with them, of course, bear the increased demands on functioning information technology, not only in terms of their reliability, but also on their availability both within corporate environments and for mobile users. Now they are in daily contact with clients and have all the necessary information.
When we realize that the Czech insurance company has 4 000 internal employees and an even higher number of exclusive insurance agents, it is not hard to imagine how computers are important and to manage the costs and support of their users. Logically it was required to have the level of SLA at 99,99 however, it is necessary to keep costs associated with IT control, and at the time of lingering economic crisis, the pressure on savings and to reduce total cost of ownership is even stronger.
Virtualization was the way to address the task, in terms of costs, and not to jeopardize the functioning of all the necessary systems. Therefore, it was decided to deploy desktop virtualization in the Czech insurance company and conducted a pilot project carried out by ORBIT. Any solution had to compete not only in the scale of Czech insurance company, but also on a European scale. It was necessary to find a solution that provides maximum efficiency in the use of appropriate resources while ensuring maximum availability. The foundation products of XenApp 5,0 and XenDesktop 5,0 Platinum Platinum Citrix best meet the requirements for central application delivery to the desktop, while mobile users secure access to all relevant data.” The basis of the solution will centralize the operation of applications in data centers and transition to a new way of delivering applications based on the platform virtualization, applications and desktops. These products allow Czech Insurance the independence from terminal equipment and the services we can provide, no matter where the user is located and what terminal, to be available anywhere. Along with the centralization of applications it also allows the centralization of the related infrastructure Czech insurance company,” says Zdenek Kaplan, CIO Czech insurance companies.
Many Czech (and not only Czech) Companies often delayed virtualization due to being afraid of high investment. Czech insurers show that it is largely unnecessary to worry about. Implementation of the project will bring savings because the company is aware that the return on the project is less than three years, which is an acceptable figure. Uninteresting moment here is that the savings will not only not endanger the functioning of the entire IT system, but on the contrary, increase its availability, and users get more comfortable service than ever before.
It is certainly difficult to imagine how the great demands meant managing thousands of PCs in the company. However, administrators can remotely perform a variety of interventions, sometimes personal intervention was necessary, and it obviously meant a considerable personnel costs, while this situation could create unpleasant user downtime waiting for intervention from IT. In desktop virtualization environments similar issues practically disappear. The administrator is able to make any interference with the user's environment on the server and from your job.
Reinstallation stations in the past from time to time could not be avoided in a virtualized environment, but it is a matter of seconds or minutes. Even if the problem is so extensive IT support is able to fix the problem immediately. And even regardless of whether the user is in the internal network of a company, or on the go. Managing such a vast environment through virtualization cheaper but also easier; they can effectively use their time for both users and IT staff.
"This project is extremely important to Czech insurance company - both a key part of the consolidation of IT environments, and also allows us to bring the necessary innovation to the promotion of trade and services through the transition from the current desktop environment to centrally deliver applications to end users," says Zdenek Kaplan. Now it has exited the current desktop environment appreciable benefits such as saving energy costs has occurred. Instead of using traditional desktops the company deployed thin clients. This means - in addition to the aforementioned cost savings on administration and support - also lower power consumption. It is not difficult to calculate how much savings in such a big project and with ever increasing energy prices can mean.
The project desktop virtualization and central application delivery based on Citrix and its products, XenApp 5,0 and XenDesktop 5,0 Platinum. Platinum means significant savings, which are estimated at hundreds of millions of crowns in the next five years. Greater efficiency of the functioning of IT within the firm and simpler administration will be reflected in greater availability of services for employees, including traders. Those who provided further opportunities to reach customers, offer them greater convenience services, naturally increase what is most important for Czech insurance company, the volume of contracts. Introducing new functionality and lifecycle of the contract ensures that mobile users will have trouble-free digital access. This would, according to Czech insurance’s calculations, should bring an increase in the sales trader's time by up to 2%, therefore increasing customer satisfaction by more than 5 points. It's not often that savings has a positive effect in this way. But virtualization can make this happen.
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