Fidea Ready For The Future With Own Independent IT Infrastructure

Case study

In 2012, Fidea continued down its path as an independent insurance company. The firm further developed into an independent Non-Life insurer active on the Belgian market. Developing its own brand-new IT infrastructure and migrating from the old to the new environment was aimed at giving a firm foundation to Fidea’s growth and independence. After a thorough selection procedure, Fidea chose Tyneso as its IT partner in setting up and completing the IT infrastructure project within six months.

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The Challenge

“This project was both very ambitious and challenging” says Koen Van Bogaert, Solution Support Architect at Fidea. “Being active in the financial sector implies high infrastructure, hosting and security requirements. Our new IT infrastructure must optimise our service. The storage and security of our corporate data, as well as of our customers’ data, must continue to be safeguarded in this respect.”

The entire IT solution complies with the guidelines issued by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) and the National Bank of Belgium. To complete this project, Tyneso set up a private cloud solution across various data centres for Fidea. In this regard, Tyneso relies on the carrier-neutral data centre and services of its partner, Interxion.

Steven Tytgat, Tyneso’s Managing Director: “Six years ago, we got the idea to offer private cloud services to our customers. Interxion seemed to be the best partner to support us in this endeavour. It is the most reliable and best-equipped data centre offering an unrestricted selection of connectivity providers.”

Tyneso and Interxion provided an integrated, complete solution in terms of network, data storage, security, hosting servers and data back-up for Fidea’s new IT infrastructure.

The implementation of a completely new and independent IT infrastructure based on a private cloud environment was an enormous assignment. Yet thanks to the expertise, flexibility and support provided by both Tyneso and Interxion we were able to complete this project within six months.

Solution

First, a new network infrastructure was set up and Tyneso installed a fibreoptic connection for high-speed data traffic. Another connection, with Fidea’s business servers located elsewhere, was also set up.

Both the distance between the data centres and the redundant connection satisfy the strict standards imposed by the FSMA and the National Bank of Belgium. Fidea benefits from a fast response time with just 2 ms latency, which is also good for the new VOIP telephony infrastructure implemented by Tyneso.

“Our network performance and neutrality remain assured” adds Koen Van Bogaert. “With Interxion, we can choose from more than 80 leading national and international carriers, Internet Service Providers and content distribution networks.”

Tyneso also provided shielded and expandable internet connectivity with well thought-out security for filtering content, blocking malware and complying with strict financial policy rules.

In addition to this, Interxion ensures the physical security of the data centre. In order to safeguard availability, Interxion’s data centres are designed based on the Uptime Institute’s guidelines, specially trained security staff is on-site 24/7, and the data centre is ISO and BS certified for information security. Moreover, a sophisticated power supply plan ensures that any black outs in the power network will not have an impact on Interxion’s customers. This is one of several reasons why Tyneso opted for the Interxion data centre.

Both Tyneso and Interxion work according to a business continuity plan which guarantees the deduplication and redundancy of servers and internet connections, as well as the continuity of Fidea’s systems and services, without losing sight of the stipulated recovery times. The timing and scenarios for these recoveries are tested at regular intervals.

Lastly, Interxion’s data centre also hosts Fidea’s website. If necessary, the website’s capacity can be quickly expanded. Tight security is guaranteed by means of a web application firewall, and Fidea can also count on round-the-clock support from Tyneso and Interxion should anything go wrong.

Thanks to the new IT infrastructure, Fidea is now working through a virtual private cloud solution from Tyneso. Tyneso’s flexibility, the scalability of its cloud set-up and the good interaction with Interxion mean that Fidea benefits from multiple advantages, a significant one being the speed of emergency response.

“For example, should we need to urgently increase our storage capacity or internet connectivity, all we need to do is place an order with Tyneso, which has already made agreements with Interxion in this regard,” explains Koen Van Bogaert. “This means we don’t have to go through a whole new purchasing procedure every time. And because both companies work with specialists, we don’t have to worry about the network, security, the power supply and cooling, or back-ups. We can completely focus on our service to customers.”

Thanks to its independent and private IT infrastructure, as well as its stable position on the Belgian market, Fidea is ready to further develop its independent position on the national insurance market.

About Fidea

Fidea presents itself as a Non-Life insurer for retail clients, the selfemployed and businesses. The company applies a differentiated distribution approach and sells its policies through independent insurance brokers as well as within the framework of bank and insurance collaboration via the Crelan and Delta Lloyd Bank distribution network. Fidea offers high-quality insurance products at market prices based on the needs of its client target groups. In addition to its head office in Antwerp, Fidea also has a regional office in Namur. The company currently employs around 360 people. In 2009, Fidea received an award from the City of Antwerp in celebration of its 100th anniversary. www.fidea.be