Leading financial organisation adopts comprehensive managed IT and cloud-based services to reduce costs and improve resilience
SunLife Ltd has a proud history of providing financial services to the over 50s and places great importance on delivering an easy-to-manage portfolio of services and maintaining the security and privacy of its customers’ data.
With approximately one million insurance policies stored digitally and a raft of digital services now being offered to customers, SunLife saw a need to update its legacy IT systems and embrace a full cloud-based digital refit to strengthen its infrastructure and provide customers with a more efficient and resilient service.
Collaboration & Communication Services
Cyber Security as a Service
Fully Managed Support Services
SunLife required robust data storage and enterprise-level security protection to comply with FCA regulations. Further, following its acquisition by Phoenix Group, SunLife also needed to migrate new employees onto its systems and undertake a major office move for the combined workforce, without impacting on its service provision or underlying IT infrastructure.
“Our infrastructure integrates numerous partners and service providers, which creates some demanding technical requirements in terms of how we maintain the speed, scalability, resilience and security of our systems,” explained Justin Cole, Chief Operating Officer at SunLife. “We needed an IT partner that we could trust to take control and manage our infrastructure, leaving us free to focus on adding value elsewhere. We needed a managed IT solution that just worked, providing us with a robust, secure platform on which to continue to grow the business.”
With data compliance, reliability, and continuity of SunLife’s IT systems essential to its infrastructure upgrade, SunLife turned to Nasstar, previously known as GCI, for its proven technical capabilities and holistic approach to managed IT services.
“We’re impressed with Nasstar's complete offering – the knowledge of the technical team, its solutions, and the comprehensive managed service wrap,” says Cole. “The Proactive Monitoring ‘Watchpoints’ are unique in their ability to maintain our systems effectively in the background, 24/7, guaranteeing the resilience and highly-secure environment we need.”
SunLife’s pivot to a fully managed IT services environment means it now has a flexible and resilient cloud-based IT infrastructure that allows it to operate more efficiently at a reduced cost. SunLife employees have the opportunity to work remotely whilst retaining the ability for close collaboration with colleagues while leaving the responsibility of managing the IT systems to Nasstar.
With all services adhering to strict FCA regulations as well as GDPR, SunLife can be certain that it is always operating in a fully compliant manner.
“It’s vital that we don’t get complacent with our security practices, so we also use a third-party penetration tester to analyse our systems and see how they perform under potential attacks,” notes Cole. "We were able to mitigate all simulated threats, giving us peace of mind and emphasising why it was such a good decision to partner with Nasstar.”
Nasstar provided SunLife with a comprehensive range of services, underpinned by 24/7 proactive monitoring tools.
The provision of a fully managed IT service has enabled SunLife to realise the business benefits of accessing the latest technology applications and robust, secure storage solutions while handing overall infrastructure management responsibilities to Nasstar. This has enabled SunLife to redeploy internal resources to vita value-all business activities and customer experience.
SunLife uses Nasstar’s private cloud platform to run a virtualised IT infrastructure provisioned for 99.99% uptime – ensuring secure, reliable and resilient connectivity to the cloud. Additionally, the Virtual Desktop solution provides SunLife employees with easy and secure access to corporate and customer data from any location. By using Office 365’s Skype for Business solution with added Enterprise Voice functionality, SunLife no longer requires a separate telephony platform, reducing overall costs.
SunLife’s Communication strategy also needed attention. Nasstar’s GDPR-compliant SMS platform, SMART Messenger, was also implemented to make real-time communications easier with both staff and customers, with monitoring and performance analytics available to measure messaging success.
As an insurance body, and governed by the FCA, security is key to SunLife. As a long-term user of Nasstar’s Cyber Security as a Service, SunLife benefits from enterprise-grade security, automated monitoring and threat detection tools, managed from Nasstar’s dedicated Security Operations Centre. Nasstar’s Managed SIEM Service ensures that the security of SunLife’s IT environment is not only robust enough to protect customer and employee data but adheres to the finance industry’s strict regulations.
Finally, Nasstar’s Fully Managed IT Service frees up SunLife’s technical teams to focus on strategic IT issues, by taking control of daily IT support and systems oversight. Proactive monitoring tasks keep the insurer’s IT infrastructure healthy by automatically performing ongoing essential IT maintenance, reducing downtime and improving performance.