Leading Insurer Secures a Maintainable, Efficient Middleware Environment
PaaS brings faster time to market, innovation, cost savings, efficient risk management
As this IT leader describes, “Since 2005, our middleware environment and applications grew rapidly, and like most companies, we had a legacy that was preventing continued efficiency. We were constantly dealing with a couple dozen middleware technologies—adding, removing, replacing—customization each time, constant change. Enablement was slower, the business was not happy about it, and it was leading to higher TCO. We had to find a faster, more efficient way to enable middleware.
“We saw this as an opportunity for fundamental change instead of incremental optimization. We wanted a holistic approach to reduce the legacy buildup. We wanted to optimize our cost structure for a long-term, maintainable, efficient environment. Getting onto a platform as a service (PaaS) was the objective.”
“IT colleagues wanted standardization, optimization, flexibility, choice, reduced cost, and so on. So, we made a very careful consideration. We investigated our cost structure, software license model, and internal data center versus public hosting—all the tradeoffs.
“People were talking about platform services, but enterprise offerings were very limited. They didn’t play well in internal data centers, and they required fundamental changes to our applications design, code, and hosting. The organization was looking for an expert in this space. Integration was a major requirement, but I can’t have a platform service choking my business transactions, so number one was stability and availability.
“Over the years, we had this good relationship with TIBCO. Together we’ve improved technology, and that kind of partnership was important for such a critical project. We saw that TIBCO Silver® Fabric would require only minimal change to our environment and provide a big lift to existing systems. Having the same software managing both virtual and physical environments was extremely important. It gives us flexibility to optimize large workloads on physical resources and small workloads in the virtual environment. That’s important for an enterprise.
“After we implemented, we did a benchmark and confirmed our decision. We saw the server footprint optimized, human skill getting simpler. Silver Fabric provides the freedom to choose any technology, which gives us competitive advantage and cost efficiency.”
Faster Time to Market, Better Business Results
“Normally, it would take us 10 months to optimize and test new middleware technology. After the Silver Fabric implementation, we added new technologies to the stack within a couple of months. Another example: we enabled several technologies that are leading the industry in providing customer-friendly offers. The entire solution is brand new, and we had the go-to-market test within four months.
“Now we are concurrently working on three middleware technologies and shooting for all of them within six months. That definitely is a major improvement. When you can do that kind of thing rapidly, it yields better business results.”
Innovation and Competitive Advantage
“Silver Fabric allows us to build a brand new integration technology environment to jumpstart a project in two hours. In the past, we needed 10 business days. It provides a managed environment leveraging continuous integration testing for different technologies. We can develop smaller pieces and continually test, which is a more predictable way to deploy. Speed is part of quality. But it’s almost not so much about speed as about how confident you are that you’re competitively viable. If you just copy what someone else has done, that’s not competitive advantage. You do something unknown, that naturally carries uncertainty. Silver Fabric allows us to shorten the cycle of test and learn. That’s going to yield a better, faster business solution.”
Highly Efficient Risk Management
“We have a much better capability for managing risk in our environment now. Several months ago, we patched the entire production environment for several hundred servers in an eight-hour window over a weekend without any application downtime. Before, it would have taken several months.”
Cost Savings from Eliminating Over Provisioning
“When a natural disaster hits, our claim volume goes through the roof. The way we supported that before was just provisioning the peak. And most of the time, because the application is extremely important, that over provisioning is second to nothing. It will suck away your power and floor space. Silver Fabric allows me to react to workload on demand without over provisioning hardware.”
“We see a better future from now on. I’m looking for Silver Fabric to go far beyond infrastructure operational efficiency. I think it’s going to give us a major lift in how we deliver software solutions for the business. It’s probably going to take a long time to get there, but at least we have the foundation.”