EXL: Moving Towards a New DR Model

    July 16, 2020

    When customers rely on you to manage their critical business processes, their success— and yours—rides on IT resiliency. And as more of those processes become digitised, IT resilience becomes even more critical.

    Referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, now is the time when digital technologies are being integrated into every process that makes a business run. But many companies have not yet achieved the outcomes that digital transformation promises.

    EXL is changing that. Combining its business process management and analytics experience with digital technology expertise, the company is now a strategic digital transformation partner to its customers, guiding them through their digital journeys.

    Headquartered in New York with offices around the world, EXL is a leading operations management and analytics company that helps clients build and grow sustainable businesses. By orchestrating their domain expertise, data, analytics, and digital technology, EXL looks deeper to design and manage agile, customer-centric operating models to improve global operations, drive profitability, enhance customer satisfaction, increase data-driven insights, and manage risk and compliance.

    Three years ago, EXL began making some transformations of its own, specifically in disaster recovery (DR). Sumit Priyani, Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL, explains how IT resiliency is integral to the services it provides to customers and the challenge this poses.

    “From enterprise applications and analytical tools to digital platforms and products, we host a wide range of digital services in our data centre,” Priyani says. “The uninterrupted availability of these services is critical to our customers and cannot be compromised, but the cost to deliver the DR services we need to provide them with has a direct impact on our profitability.”

    “That’s why we put a strategic technology initiative in place to look at ‘pay as you consume’ cloud services for DR. We wanted to optimise our costs, modernise our technology stack and transform our DR operating model, but without impacting the quality of service our customers expect.”

    EXL has been a Sungard AS DR client since 2013. When the time came to shift from a hosted to a cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution, Priyani wanted an environment that was equally reliable, secure, and scalable, with even more demanding recovery time objectives (RTOs). Once again, they chose Sungard AS.

    While EXL has production workloads running in its own data centre, many of their own and their customers’ workloads also run in the AWS cloud. So, choosing Cloud Recovery-AWS and CloudEndure for real-time data replication made perfect sense.

    “We chose AWS because they’re ahead of the curve from a cloud services and capabilities standpoint and Sungard AS was prepared and ready to automate our AWS workloads for recovery,” explains Varinder Dhupar, Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology at EXL. “We found CloudEndure to be the best product for seamless replication to AWS. It has the intelligence to manage both physical and virtual workloads that run in our environment.”

    Sungard AS brought us the best technical architecture, design and operating model—automating the entire recovery, monitoring and reporting process for us— then packaged everything together as a fully managed solution.

    Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL

    Today, Sungard AS is completely accountable for managing the DRaaS solution, providing the end-to-end, single-partner experience EXL wanted. From design and configuration to implementation and testing, Sungard AS consultants worked with EXL closely through a six-month solution process. When it came to EXL’s data security requirements, key resources from AWS and CloudEndure were brought in.

    “Sungard AS designed a unique DR architecture that gives us direct and tight control over the AWS stack. They manage the environment on a day-to-day basis to deliver upon their recovery SLAs, but without having access to the data layer on our AWS account. It’s a flexible solution and a win-win situation for us both,” adds Dhupar.

    In addition to surpassing RTO and RPO goals, securing data privacy and advancing cloud adoption, EXL met its primary objective: to lower DR costs. As the market for digital services and data analytics grows, the cloud-based recovery environment in place today will make supporting new workloads in the AWS environment easier, and with a minimal amount of lead time required.

    “As our footprint expands and more digital innovations come into play, we’ll be hosting and consolidating more services into our data centres, and our DR needs will change, as well,” Priyani says. “Now, we’ll be able to deliver and scale these services at the right performance levels and with the right security, enabling us to deliver the best transformation services to EXL customers.” To learn more about EXL’s cloud initiatives with Sungard AS, read the EXL case study.

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