With more than 200,000 customers SMA Group manages in excess of 20 billion euros worth in assets, making security and business recovery high priorities. The credit union needs to confidently rely on a flexible and scalable IT infrastructure, which is able to adapt to its continuous growth and guarantee record recovery time.
- Highly responsive contingency plans ensuring availability of IT infrastructure within 4 hours, user recovery within 24 hours and complete resumption of activities within 72 hours.
- Activation procedures which are permanently ready and reviewed twice a year.
- Ability to develop the processes and scope of business recovery, based on the growth of SMA Group.
- Tracking and visibility of equipment, hosting and performance indicators.
- Shared User Support
- Shared IT Support
- Data Replication
With insurance turnover of 2.4 billion euros and more than 3,200 partners, in France SMA Group meets the insurance needs of more than 200,000 clients and members through a set of professional indemnity insurance solutions (construction and other sectors), personal insurance (life insurance, savings insurance, retirement insurance, personal protection insurance, health insurance and social risk insurance) and property insurance (car insurance, construction site insurance, home insurance, premise insurance).
SMA Group consists of 2 mutual insurance companies:
- SMABTP (specialists in liability insurance and property and auto fleet insurance for the construction sector)
- SMAvie (specialists in personal insurance, life insurance, savings, retirement and financial planning)
Developing and evolving and reliable contingency and recovery plan
Marked by a strong culture of reliability and quality service to customers, SMA Group invests significantly in the security of its IT infrastructure and employees' working environment. The ability to react quickly and efficiently in the event of a crisis, and to ensure a timely recovery, is a highly important strategic focus for SMA Group.
Working together with Sungard AS for 20 years, the SMA Group wanted to put in place a contingency plan covering two key areas:
- IT Support
- User Support
The recovery and business continuity plan also had to be flexible and scalable in order to keep pace with SMA Group's growth. This was all the more important when SMA Group accelerated its modernization and development strategy, which included constructing a new head office in 2017 and starting a digital transformation project.
Workplace continuity and safeguarding of IT infrastructure
With consolidation of a large part of the SMA Group team in its new Parisian head office, the company has significantly strengthened its user contingency plan. Sungard AS has provided a complete working environment at its recovery center in Montrouge, including 180 individual dual-screen workstations and video conferencing rooms. The center is constantly available for SMA Group teams and this guarantees them a recovery time of less than 24 hours.
The Sungard AS site also hosts some of SMA Group's IT equipment and infrastructure, including storage and backup arrays. Data is replicated on a VTL between SMA Group's production site in Orléans and the Sungard AS site in Montrouge.
In the event of an attack, infrastructure is available in less than 4 hours and complete recovery is guaranteed in under 72 hours.
Resilience, security, visibility and flexibility
"Contingency plans are a very important matter for SMA Group. We are investing so that our procedures and activation plans are ready at any time, in any situation – though we are working just as hard to ensure it does not happen. We are actively developing these two elements with the support of Sungard AS, who understand how to develop highly flexible solutions and continuity services, to ensure these always adapt to our changing needs." comments Christopher Lucas, CTO of SMA Group.
Twice a year, Sungard AS and SMA Group conduct thorough tests over several days in order to guarantee the complete availability and reliability of the business continuity framework. Technical tests are also carried out whenever changes are made to SMA Group's IT infrastructure and tools.
"These regular tests give us full confidence in the effectiveness of the contingency plans we have in place, and also place us in 'real-life' scenarios, so that we're always prepared to react quickly and effectively in the event of an incident or stoppage," highlights Christopher Lucas.
The evolution and development of the contract is also a key factor for SMA Group. "The great flexibility of the framework simplifies our working relationship with Sungard AS and facilitates the evolution process. Our contract includes constant, organic growth and a close understanding of our needs. Finally, we benefit from visibility of our equipment and detailed reports on hosting and performance indicators. This tracking capability is very important for us and allows us to monitor our recovery platform in the best way possible", concludes Christopher Lucas.
We benefit from visibility of our equipment and detailed reports on hosting and performance indicators. This tracking capability is very important for us and allows us to monitor our recovery platform in the best way possible.