Munich Re operates in all insurance sectors and has around 45,000 employees across all continents. Its business is based on three pillars: reinsurance, direct insurance and Munich Health. The group combines direct and reinsurance under one roof, generating a profit in 2012 of €3.211 billion with income from contributions of around €52 billion. Income from contributions of approximately €28.2 billion from reinsurance alone makes Munich Re is one of the world’s leading reinsurers. Munich Re is particularly sought after as a risk carrier when solutions are required for complex risks. Experience, financial power, efficiency and first-class service make the company the first point of call for all risk-related matters.
As part of its sourcing strategy, Munich Re aimed to hand responsibility for its EMEA data center operations to an external provider. This includes infrastructure and application-related services that are provided on the basis of SLAs and consistently aligned towards ITIL. The aim here was to reduce costs significantly while retaining the quality of services.
The efficient provision of these services is based on the operating model tailored by Fujitsu to the specific requirements of Munich Re. It combines onsite experts with a dedicated customer team in India, offering all the benefits of a global IT service provider.
Fujitsu’s operational responsibility covers the following services:
Fujitsu therefore bears complete responsibility for the quality of operations. It takes over the entire incident management process, the implementation of changes and tasks and supports design and build activities (which remain the responsibility of Munich Re) required in projects. This means that Fujitsu is Munich Re’s strategic partner in its European data centers for providing and developing central data center services.
Fujitsu has developed an operating model for Munich Re that is tailored to the company‘s specific requirements.
A systematic “industrialized IT“ strategy has been implemented with a view to reducing costs and improving quality. For this purpose, Fujitsu formed a team with two focal points and locations. On the one hand, product experts on site in Munich focus on transferring new requirements from services to operations and support design and build tasks in Munich Re projects. On the other hand, the offshore department in India keeps the data center running around the clock without interruption and to the contractual standard. Formalized exchanges between all participants (design, build and run) safeguard communication and thus the continuous optimization of processes. The “manager on duty“, the central point of contact, acts as the interface to Munich Re in the operational environment. They are available at all times (24x7), speak German and have specific knowledge about the reinsurance company‘s IT operations.
The “manager on duty“ communicates directly with the remote operations team and is the first point of contact in escalation processes. If required, Munich Re can contact additional experts for specific questions and projects in Munich.
“Our visits to India allowed us to satisfy ourselves of the very good professional qualifications of the offshore team. We were particularly impressed by the outstanding on-site awareness of the significance each individual IT service has for Munich Re‘s daily business.“
Dr. Andreas Thomé, Head of System Operations, Munich Re
Four years ago, Munich Re was on the hunt for a strategic partner to take over operations in its data center, with a clear division of responsibilities providing the framework. IT strategy and design were to remain with Munich Re. Responsibility for operations was placed in the hands of the provider based on Service Level Agreements with measurable key figures.
Fujitsu stood out as a provider that had already had a long-term, successful partnership in running data centers for Munich Re. However, it also impressed through the way that all employees involved focused intensively on Munich Re‘s requirements and developed a tailored solution. In addition to a persuasive offering, the cards fell in Fujitsu‘s favor thanks to testimonials from other satisfied customers.
During the further development of the partnership – the basis for the early extension of the services – Fujitsu worked closely with Munich Re to develop a collaboration framework that both supported Munich Re‘s sustainable efficiency goals and provided the foundation for Fujitsu‘s long-standing involvement with Munich Re.
The services to be performed are based on ITIL v3, the current version of the de facto standard for IT service management. The ITIL rules describe all processes necessary to run an IT infrastructure, the organizational structure and the tools required. On this basis, Fujitsu expanded upon Munich Re‘s existing IT service management.
The key to significantly reducing costs lies in utilizing Fujitsu‘s global delivery capacity.
Standard processes such as first- and second-level incident management are provided from India, and not just from a shared service center (as is often the case), but by Fujitsu employees who form a team dedicated exclusively to Munich Re and who identify strongly with the company. Munich Re thus benefits from the cost advantages of global service delivery without having to compromise on quality. This is made possible by Fujitsu‘s approach of industrializing service processes before incorporating them into the global supply chain. Within the specified SLAs, the resolution rate in incident management is almost 100%. Internally, the IT managers at the insurance company regard themselves as service providers for the individual specialist departments. Thanks to globally standardized services, the internal IT team can now help out the departments much faster and much more efficiently.
Complete system operations from a single source is not just an ideal starting point for building up and maintaining standardized operational documentation. For the first time, Munich Re is benefiting from the fact that the vast majority of run tasks have been bundled with one provider who is responsible for coordinating other providers and manufacturers in the event of more complex incidents. For Fujitsu, this is essential for fulfilling two of Munich Re‘s key requirements: continuously improving services through optimization processes and identifying potential for innovation on an ongoing basis.
It is their aim and mutual undertaking to perpetually increase operational efficiency in such a way as to compensate for the future growth of the systems to be managed at Munich Re and ensure that costs remain projectable and within budget. As a leading developer and manufacturer of IT infrastructure components, Fujitsu is excellently placed to extract further benefits from the standardization of IT components and to drive the continuous development of IT process automation together with Munich Re.
“We have taken the first steps towards automating IT processes in collaboration with Fujitsu. This will help us to harness future growth potential in the face of stagnating IT budgets. Automation is also a key aspect of our on-premise cloud strategy.“
Karl-Heinz Neumann, Global IT Infrastructure Services Officer, Munich Re
Outsourcing all infrastructure operations did not just enable Munich Re to cut its total cost of ownership for system operations. It also allowed the company to achieve high cost transparency and planning reliability in data center operation activities. Various billing options provide the necessary clarity on costs.
These include flat rates for defined services and billing based on specific units. This smart accounting model achieves both the best possible predictability and responsibility for costs that is shared with Munich Re. This joint responsibility aims to sustainably increase efficiency, supported by the introduction of automated workflows that relieve the burden placed on operations by routine tasks. In this way, increases in quantity can largely be compensated for while retaining the existing personnel.
“Choosing the right provider was a strategic decision for us.“
Dr. Rainer Janßen, Chief Information Officer, Munich Re
Outsourcing data center operations gives Munich Re‘s IT team the necessary leeway to concentrate on strategic matters. The company‘s own IT experts now have the time to plan and implement projects, provide optimal support to business processes and thus to further the company as a whole.
In Fujitsu, the worldwide insurance group has selected a partner that not only has great innovative strength, but is also a global player. After all, the global standardization of the IT landscape is a core issue for the IT managers at Munich Re. By preparing its internal IT team for a global sourcing concept, the insurance company has taken a decisive step in this direction.
Fujitsu is an IT service provider that also scores highly due to its own large and comprehensive portfolio of hardware and solutions. Fujitsu demonstrated this by integrating its own backup/restore solution. Based on ETERNUS CS High End and the NetBackup application from Symantec, Fujitsu devised a backup/restore environment that not only uses the present solution to eliminate existing performance problems, but was also able to exceed the challenging data throughput and performance targets. Thanks to the existing operational team, this solution was transferred to production within the scope of the established processes without impairing ongoing operations. And the majority of operations were conducted from India by Fujitsu‘s offshore team.
“Fujitsu‘s backup/restore solution has enabled us not only to solve existing problems, but also to introduce an exceptionally high-performance and stable environment.“
Dr. Andreas Thomé, Head of System Operations, Munich Re
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