CASE STUDY

Drivers History leverages managed hosting to assist insurers

Ever wonder who sees that speeding ticket or any other driving infraction you receive? The police or sheriff’s department, of course. Your state’s motor vehicle department for record keeping. And Drivers History.

Drivers History is a company that maintains a database of traffic-related public records on millions of drivers in 17 states. That valuable information is provided to insurers and other purveyors of consumer data so they can assess driver risk.

Pioneering the collection of trafficrelated open public records in 2002, Drivers History initially targeted the legal industry, which it still services. In 2006, the company realized its data would help auto insurance carriers assess driver risk, specifically assisting in underwriting and insurance adjustment claims support. Once the company began working with the top 25 auto insurance companies, the data it collected skyrocketed.

continues to climb — there were 247.9 million in the U.S. in the July–September period alone1 — the need for Drivers History data continues to grow. This helps explain why the company handles anywhere from 15 – 30,000 transactions a day. It also has ranked on Inc. magazine’s roster of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for two years in a row.

Partnering for business solutions

Looking to update its infrastructure to support company growth, Drivers History needed IT services that increased its speed and agility, reduced expenses, minimized risk and ensured resiliency for both the company and its customers.

Drivers History decided to look for a managed hosting provider and cast a wide net. Sungard Availability Services Managed Hosting emerged as the favorite option, offering several advantages, says Robert Mayo, Drivers History’s Chief Information Officer. “We were pleasantly surprised at Sungard AS’ pricing model,” initially worrying that Sungard AS’ overall price would prove too expensive for a small, startup type company.

But the Sungard AS price was competitive and when Mayo and his team surveyed clients, Sungard AS’ strong name recognition and reputation proved a deciding factor. Sungard AS also met critical privacy standards and had the strong infrastructure in place across the country, which Drivers History sought.

According to Stephen Esposito, President and Chief Executive Officer, “Sungard AS’ name recognition was absolutely huge. When we told our customers that we were moving to the Sungard AS active environment, they said, ‘OK, next topic.’” Esposito cited Sungard AS’ infrastructure, security, redundancy and response time as key advantages.

Strategic approach

Mayo expected the implementation process would take longer than it took. “Overall, implementation went very smoothly,” says Mayo. “Sungard AS and its engineering team are first-rate.”

Now, Drivers History is processing transactions 24/7 and “is online all the time,” he says, adding that he was a “wreck” worrying that something might go wrong when they activated the switch to the Sungard AS environment. “We didn’t miss a beat,” he says, “performance has been wonderful.” In fact, he adds, response times have improved 100 percent from the previous infrastructure.

Mayo says the network was the biggest change in environment since the company was using the same databases and application servers — although the configuration was more complicated. Balancing Drivers History’s data load geographically between the two data centers in Philadelphia and St. Louis delivered a value-add, he remarked. Mayo’s IT team led by Chief Architect Jim Gentilin co-developed with Sungard AS’ engineering group a fully redundant active-active architecture ensuring the highest level of availability. “The engineering team at Sungard AS was great to work with,” says Gentilin. “Their innovative ideas combined with great experience helped to ensure a terrific outcome.”

Conclusion

Esposito notes that Drivers History sits on an “incredible” database of information. The company predicts it will close on its 200 millionth vehicle violation in 2014 and will move all that information to a data warehouse by 2015. That will allow the company to conduct data analytics and identify patterns and trends. Already, it has hired additional employees with industry-specific knowledge to look at potential new products related to data.

For Drivers History, the around-theclock managed hosting services that Sungard AS provides allow Mayo and his IT staff to focus on new products and develop new software code to help build the business and not worry about network or server outages.

“Before, we had to be the chief cook and bottle washer of the environment,” Mayo says. “All of those services are being provided and we can grow without fear, onboard new customers and know that the entire infrastructure is watched and monitored.”

There’s been one other special outcome for Drivers History. “Using Sungard AS demonstrated to the industry our maturity, competence and capability from a computing technologies’ standpoint,” Esposito explains. “We have tremendous confidence we can talk to the top five auto insurance carriers and describe this environment while feeling capable and confident.”

Results
  • Improved performance with >100% improvement in response times
  • 24/7 managed hosting with geographic load balance and disaster recovery
  • Flexible and scalable infrastructure to enable rapid growth

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