Case Study

HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd finds partnership approach takes the pain out of recovery

HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd is part of HCL Technologies, a 32 year old global technology and IT company employing 90,000 professionals worldwide. HCL focuses on transformational outsourcing and has evolved from being a provider of traditional BPO services to delivering next generation business services to Fortune 500 companies spanning a wide range of industries.

With so many clients relying on HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd services, unavailability of critical systems even for a fraction of a second would have serious ramifications. As well as having a devastating effect on customer service, it could lead to direct financial loss through breaches of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and FCA Conduct Risk guidelines. Ann Daddy, Head of IT Services for HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd, says, “Any downtime could have severe financial repercussions running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

As a longstanding Sungard Availability Services customer, HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd recognises the importance of keeping its systems running in an all-time world to meet its client commitments. Many of its SLAs with blue-chip clients explicitly require it to meet a recovery time of 24 hours while for others, the need to meet output-based targets means the firm has zero tolerance for downtime.

Like most businesses today, HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd is heavily dependent on its critical IT systems, all of which are interdependent. Its ALPS platform, for example, is crucial to run clients’ life and policy accounting systems and any system failure would seriously affect the service it gives end customers. Paul Barrow, Deputy COO of HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd explains, “Downtime would mean we were unable to deal with queries into our Contact Centre, handle death claims, pay annuities and claims payments or deal promptly with policyholder queries. People today expect instant answers and we need continuous availability to access the vital information we rely on.”

HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd is one of the leading players in the life and pension market and with stock prices fluctuating on an hourly basis, the inability to perform key functions around unit pricing and fund management on behalf of clients or failure to meet Stock Exchange deadlines would have grave financial consequences.

“Partnership doesn’t begin to describe the relationship that has formed between our two companies. We’ve worked proactively and productively together towards a common goal.” Justin Harrington, COO, HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd

Then there are the company’s statutory obligations relating to Conduct Risk – running the business in such a way that there is no detrimental effect on customers. If HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd could not handle calls or deal with queries efficiently it could be fined for a breach. Ann Daddy says, “As an organisation, our key focus is on risk management, risk mitigation and making the end customer’s experience a good one by having the information we need at our fingertips.”

As part of its efforts to ensure uninterrupted operations, HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd conducts annual recovery tests, which used to involve bringing some staff over from India, incurring considerable travel and subsistence costs in the process. Sungard AS suggested HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd would benefit from its Managed Recovery Programme (MRP) in which Sungard AS takes responsibility for the full recovery lifecycle, providing a contractually guaranteed recovery time during testing and disasters.

We developed the service after witnessing customers repeatedly struggle with their disaster recovery (DR) tests. The majority fail due to the difficulty of keeping DR plans up-todate in the face of constant business change – hardly surprising when just one change per system per month can result in more than 10,000 configuration changes before every annual test. We recognised we could apply our decades of expertise and experience of performing recoveries and managing critical systems to eliminate an unnecessary pain point for our customers. What’s more, we are able to manage HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd tests and recoveries at a far lower cost and risk than they could ever hope to achieve themselves.

The enhanced service Sungard AS provides means HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd can now perform recoveries with a smaller number of staff needing to be physically present at the recovery centre. As a result, HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd has benefited from ongoing cost savings of more than £50,000 a year and has dramatically improved recovery times by at least 50%. Equally importantly, as Ann Daddy points out, “One of the many benefits of Sungard’s Managed Recovery Programme is that we no longer have any single points of failure.”

Justin Harrington, COO says “He can’t praise the very professional technical team we’ve been dealing with highly enough. Partnership doesn’t begin to describe the relationship that has formed between our two companies. We’ve worked proactively and productively together towards a common goal.”

“One of the many benefits of Sungard’s Managed Recovery Programme is that we no longer have any single points of failure.” Ann Daddy, Head of IT Services, HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd

Business challenge

In the highly competitive business processing market, cost control and availability are both critical factors. HCL Insurance BPO Services Ltd needed a cost-effective recovery solution that would minimise downtime and mitigate financial loss for its clients.

Solution
  • Managed Recovery Programme.
Business benefits
  • Significantly improved recovery times by up to 50%
  • Cost-savings of more than £50,000 a year
  • Continuous improvements result in a more robust recovery process
  • SungardAS’s acknowledged expertise reassures auditors and clients alike
  • Avoids financial penalties and reputational damage arising from breach of statutory obligations
  • Fully documented recovery process eliminates single points of failure
  • Mitigates considerable financial losses caused by being offline.

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