Takaful Adopts Microsoft System Center
KUALA LUMPUR (11 February 2014) – Malaysia’s premier Islamic insurance company, Takaful Malaysia is reaping the rewards of its decision to adopt Microsoft System Center 2012 to manage its IT infrastructure and end-user computing. Previously outsourced to a major IT company since 2008, Takaful Malaysia believed there was room for progress and wanted to improve response time, increase business agility and better value for money. This was overwhelmingly achieved when Takaful Malaysia brought its IT infrastructure outsourcing back in-house and turned to Microsoft System Center, experiencing a 40 percent improvement in response time and 27 percent in cost reduction. The greater control and better return-on-investment has given Takaful Malaysia the confidence to pioneer new strategies and IT services to support the company’s overall business plan.
Takaful Malaysia, which provides general, life, and health insurance to over one million customers, maintains its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and has 31 branch offices nationwide. For Takaful Malaysia, IT plays a key role in providing the business with a competitive edge. “In our business, IT is what differentiates us from our competitors. We are on the constant lookout to improve our IT infrastructure to better support our employees in their job, which in turn allows us to provide better services to our end customers,” said Patrick Wong, Chief Information Officer of Takaful Malaysia. “Our employees rely on top-grade IT services to accomplish that, thus fast and effective IT support is central to their success.”
Commenting on the adoption, Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, said, “We are extremely proud that Takaful Malaysia has joined a growing list of organizations that has chosen Microsoft as their preferred technology partner – a reflection of the strong credibility we have with major enterprises. We are committed to helping companies get the most out of their IT investments to improve efficiencies, which ultimately leads to helping them grow their business. As one of the largest and most established insurance service providers in Malaysia, Takaful Malaysia’s choice of implementing Microsoft System Center has cemented its status as a forward-thinking and technology-leading company.”
Redynamics Asia System Management Sdn Bhd, a systems integrator based in Petaling Jaya and also the only pure play Microsoft System Center, Hyper-V and Cloud Specialist in all Asia, deployed the solution for Takaful Malaysia. “We are delighted to be the deployment partner for such a major player in the insurance space in Malaysia. We worked very closely with the Takaful Malaysia’s IT team to find a solution that enables a more agile, efficient and robust IT infrastructure for the company, and managed to deploy it all within Takaful Malaysia’s timeframe and budget parameters. As a result, Takaful Malaysia is now reaping the benefits of its decision to bring IT in-house,” said Raymond Chou, Managing Principal Consultant of Redynamics.
The deployment included System Center Service Manager, which serves as the main service-management tool for incident and problem resolution. It logs and tracks employee requests and gives Helpdesk personnel the information to prioritize them as logically as possible. To automate standard requests, Takaful Malaysia also deploys System Center Orchestrator, which uses workflows to assign tasks to available IT engineers. To help the engineers monitor the health and performance of applications and servers, and to manage desktop and notebook configurations, Takaful Malaysia deployed Microsoft System Operations Manager and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager respectively. Lastly, they used System Center Endpoint Protection to secure the integrated platform.
Automation Eliminates Manual Intervention, Allows Faster Response Time
With the previous IT service provider, there was often a delay in response to service requests because of the manual intervention that is needed. It was also a struggle for the top management to monitor the performance of the provider against service level agreements (SLAs) because reporting was also done manually. “We examined three different solutions that would enable us to automate IT service desk and infrastructure support for all operational systems internally, and needless to say, System Center came out tops,” Patrick explained.
With System Center, the 950-odd employees at Takaful Malaysia are the main beneficiary. System Center also incorporates tools that help employees resolve their own IT issues, partly through publishing quick-fixes from similar-type requests. The increased automation means IT staff can respond to problems much faster. “Overall, we’ve reduced our average resolution time by 40 percent,” reported Patrick. As for managing PCs and servers, it now requires far less effort, and the IT team can track IT inventory, deploy software and enforce compliance more easily. Automated workflows have also eliminated many manual Helpdesk tasks, so IT support staff receive instant notifications of priority tasks. “As the CIO, I also have a dashboard that shows me exactly how all systems are performing and instantly alerts me to any breach of our SLAs. If anything goes wrong with our core systems, it tells me straight away. Now I feel much more in control; I know the health of my IT services at a glance.”
Greater Efficiency Leads to Significant Cost Reductions
Under the previous IT service provider, managing the IT environment required over 24 on-site staff and 6 tower leads to manage these engineers. Regrettably, these tower leads did not understand the business, leading to wrong decisions. Takaful Malaysia’s decision to bring IT infrastructure management in-house allowed it successfully reduced the total IT staffing requirement by 7 headcount. Factoring in the licensing costs, that is an overall 27 percent reduction in IT infrastructure and support expenditure.
“We analyzed all the costs – including licensing and staffing – on the basis of three-year and five-year time spans, and compared the costs of managing IT in-house with System Center as opposed to extending our IT infrastructure outsourcing contract. When we factored in everything, it was clear we could manage our IT more cost effectively in-house – and do a better job!” enthused Patrick.
Improved Business Agility Enables Bold Ambitions
Takaful Malaysia has been reinvigorated by the greater control it now has over all IT. With total control over its IT environment, the company’s technical experts are now able to develop a more agile IT infrastructure – extending IT systems to healthcare partners to make collaboration seamless, and enabling corporate customers to self-manage policies. Patrick said, “IT no longer plays a peripheral role in an organization’s business. In fact, it is a key enabler in driving a company forward. To do this successfully, we need better automation, visibility and control. CIOs want all systems information at their fingertips so they can see the entire health of IT services, wherever they are.”
However, this could not be done last time to many limitations with its previous IT service provider’s monitoring capability, policies and their management’s inability to understand customer needs. “Our decision to implement System Center has clearly made a difference. Now we can expand IT to help Takaful
Malaysia to differentiate itself in the marketplace,” said Patrick. “We are building Portals to enable corporate customers to manage their own insurance policies themselves, and working on integrating core applications with hospitals. My team and I can be much bolder and ambitious now, because we are far more confident in our IT infrastructure management and have control over SLAs performance. This has increased our ability to support our business plans tremendously. At the end of the day, that is what matters most.”
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