As the Aflac Global Investments (AGI) organization took shape in 2013, it was clear that the broader computing environment in Aflac — optimized to serve the needs of the insurance business — was not an ideal fit for an organization operating in a 24x7 global financial market. Aflac gave AGI the go-ahead to transition to a completely independent IT platform. It was an opportunity that’s rare in any business: to start with a clean slate, unencumbered by legacy systems and capital assets, and have the freedom to select the best possible computing and service model to support the business.
AGI began building a new technology stack, integrating best-in-class commercial applications and custom-developed applications across the entire investment flow — from modeling and decision support through trading, accounting, and reporting. While building its software environment, AGI sought bids from major cloud hosting suppliers. A key requirement for vendor selection was to provide a proof-of-concept environment for testing and validating the solution against AGI’s stringent requirements.
“We wanted the cost efficiencies of a public cloud, but with the added security, management support, and disaster-recovery capabilities typical of a private cloud,” says Ravi Radhakrishnan, Director, Global Investments Technology.
Passing the Test
As one of four suppliers invited to respond to the bid, the Sungard AS team worked closely with AGI to understand and accommodate the custom requirements. This included hosting Aflac-owned security hardware in collocation cabinets at two Sungard AS data centers, meeting AGI’s aggressive schedule for operating system and application updates and patches, and achieving an aggressive recovery time objective (RTO) should a disaster occur.