For more than 80 years, one trademark has been associated with the highest customer loyalty of any consumer brand in U.S. history. Any guesses? It’s The Gerber Baby – the very picture of health and vitality. The result of a 1928 contest by the Fremont Canning Company to find the perfect child’s face to represent its new baby food campaign, The Gerber Baby has become synonymous with happy, healthy babies. But in 2011, Gerber began searching for a new baby to represent its brand promise to start healthy, stay healthy – in essence, the brand grew up to reflect today’s way of life.

One could say the same principle applies to the technology that now runs Gerber Life Insurance Company, the branch of the Gerber Products Company that provides quality life insurance, especially for young families on a limited budget. With more than $50 billion of life insurance in force, Gerber Life Insurance Company helps provide financial security through 3.5 million insurance policies. The company’s IT environment — once based primarily on a mainframe — now encompasses a distributed infrastructure running dozens of critical applications, powering interactions and digital transactions with customers and agents.

“We reached a point in our journey where we recognized that our digital business infrastructure had grown beyond what our technology team could recover within our targeted recovery time objectives,” says Eric Bulis, SVP of Operations and CIO of Gerber Life Insurance. “We needed to do two things: recover from a disaster in a short time frame, and manage the associated costs. Engaging a managed service DR provider was really the only option that made sense from a business perspective.”

Today, as part of a Managed Recovery Program (MRP), Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) has contractual responsibility for Gerber Life’s IT disaster recovery program. Sungard AS’ people and expertise combine to meet Gerber Life’s specific requirements for data protection and system recovery. The service includes extensive planning, process design and testing. Continuing program management ensures full recoverability, even with constant IT changes over time.

Gerber Life established high-level goals for the MRP service: to resume servicing customers within one day following a disaster, and to resume sales and other operations within two days following a disaster.

“Sungard AS came to the fore with the right kind of project management and engineering talent,” says Bulis. “They’ve proven themselves in terms of fulfilling our expectations for cost, scope of services, and delivery. When they say ‘managed service,’ they mean managing the whole service, from top to bottom, and they continue to do so for us.”

Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you have to give up a healthy diet – or rely on hand-me-down technology. Read the full case study on Gerber Life.