With its IT infrastructure at the end of its lifecycle, Baloise wanted a new single-source provider able to offer an integrated, high-performance and secure solution that covered all of its IT needs and met its operational expectations, in a one-stop-shop mode.
As one of the leading insurance companies in Luxembourg, Baloise is currently confronted with major challenges, particularly in terms of digitalization, cost control and customer satisfaction. To achieve these challenges, the company will move in December to the Wooden building, a more modern and functional office in Leudelange. Baloise saw the move as a good opportunity to renew its entire IT infrastructure and the technology solutions that support the business. « When IT maintenance costs exceed renewal costs, the decision to renew the infrastructure becomes obvious,» explains Jean-Philippe Quin, IT Operations Manager at Baloise in Luxembourg. We took this opportunity to sit together and define the new IT environment we wanted to implement. We wanted to make sure that we chose the right infrastructure, which was easy to maintain, efficient and operational for a large number of years, with good value for money. »
A «single vendor» approach
The goal of this project is to update the infrastructure at the storage, computing and network levels to radically simplify the platforms used while addressing capacity, performance and total cost of ownership issues. Rather than multiplying and assembling heterogeneous, individually operated and managed solutions, Baloise quickly moved to a «single vendor» approach. «This solution lets us focus on serving the business rather than IT serving IT. In short, we wanted to offload the IT teams from managing infrastructure and operations and put their skills directly at the service of development teams, in a DevOps approach. »
To deliver the best experience to both internal teams and end customers, the main challenge for IT teams is to keep up with the world’s biggest technology players. « We are constantly challenging ourselves in order to enable operations teams to consume services in the same way they would in the public cloud. And for this, the infrastructure has to become a completely abstract and invisible layer that you don’t even think about anymore. The infrastructure becomes a consumable that has to be provided at the same time to the teams that create the added value, and I’m thinking in particular of the development managers, who provide platforms, mobile applications for the customer, but also for our internal users, to offer them a high level of performance and reliability. That is the challenge. »
Open and constructive discussions
To achieve this goal, Baloise started a selection process for both hardware and service providers. « Among the players we met, Telindus arrived with the right technical platform and the necessary expertise. The approach was very human, with a great capacity of the supplier to put itself at the level of our IT teams. One of the things that really impressed us was the fact that they immediately invited the solution provider, in this case Dell, to participate in the discussions. In all the discussions, we were not just dealing with an integrator, but we found this balanced relationship between the manufacturer, the integrator and the customer. We had completely open discussions and the process was extremely quick. The simple fact that everyone sits at the same table and cares about each other’s needs at all times was much appreciated. On our side, as a customer, we were completely transparent about our various requirements, which are operability, budget, project lifespan, and our strong desire to be able to rely on a one-stop-shop and no longer have to juggle between different suppliers. »
Many challenges to overcome
Today, the project is starting its implementation phase. There are still many challenges for Baloise in Luxembourg. «In the very short term, we have very strict delivery dates to meet, considering technical elements, such as the end of maintenance on our current equipment, but also operational elements, with the installation of teams in our new building, says Jean-Philippe Quin, whose longer-term challenge is to improve time-to-market. « The insurance industry is an extremely competitive sector. When the company decides to deliver a new product or mobile application to facilitate human interaction, we need to be able to deliver the appropriate platforms and the services that make those solutions available as quickly as possible. We must also be able to support innovation, in a constant improvement process. As an IT department, on the infrastructure and operations side, we are at the end of the chain, but we are the nerve center on which everything depends.»
''We wanted to offload the IT teams from managing infrastructure and operations in order to put their skills directly at the service of development teams.''
JEAN-PHILIPPE QUIN - IT Operations Manager - Baloise
Baloise in a nutshell
Baloise offers insurance services in the Grand Duchy since 1890, for private customers (car, home, civil liability, provident and life insurance) as well as for companies, independents and liberal professions. Baloise in Luxembourg is part of the Swiss group Baloise, which is also present in Germany, Belgium, Liechtenstein and, of course, Switzerland.
Quality, transparency, respect and honesty are the values that continue to guide our approach and that have enabled us to develop stable and trusted partnerships.
More information on www.baloise.lu