When you hear the word “Aflac,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably not a global investment organization. In fact, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus) is more than just a health insurance company with a white fluffy duck as a mascot.
Aflac, Inc. is the leading provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S., and of individual life insurance policies in Japan. The company develops relevant voluntary insurance products and sells them through expanded distribution channels. Their policies cover more than 50 million people worldwide.
For the past 30+ years, Aflac managed its investments with separate organizations in Japan and the U.S., each with their own computing infrastructures. But when the financial crisis hit in 2009, the company formed Aflac Global Investments (AGI) to consolidate investment management and systems into a single organization and platform.
It soon became clear that the broader computing environment of Aflac – designed for the insurance business – wasn’t the best fit for an organization operating 24X7 in the global financial market. That’s when AGI turned to Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) – the leading provider of critical production and recovery services – to configure and deploy a tailored cloud solution spanning two Sungard AS data centers.
The resulting infrastructure supports AGI’s business-critical applications and meets stringent requirements for security, availability and disaster recovery – all with the cost advantages of public cloud. From customized cloud services to system and data recovery services with data replication and disaster recovery testing, the Sungard AS team worked closely with the AGI to understand their needs.
“They customized the infrastructure and their processes to support our specific business requirements,” said Ravi Radhakrishnan, Director of Global Investments Technology, Aflac. “Our move to cloud was a necessary evolutionary step, and working alongside Sungard AS…we now know all the important details to consider.”
Today, AGI’s cloud environment supports around 150 users across AGI locations in the U.S. and Japan, including investment professionals, as well as staff in administration and accounting. The business has a high degree of confidence in system availability and business continuity, and regular disaster recovery testing is built into the Sungard AS service.
Aflac’s brand reputation may be associated with a little white duck, but their information technology is grounded in the cloud. For more information, visit https://www.sungardas.com/en/resources/case-studies/aflac-global-investments-case-study/.