Microsoft System Center | Mutual & Federal
AVeS Cyber Security
IT Automation for one of SA’s leading short-term insurers
Mutual & Federal is the oldest short-term insurer in southern Africa with a history that dates back more than 180-years. As one of the leading players in southern Africa’s short-term insurance landscape, they demonstrate a proud tradition of service, quality, and substantial product range. Mutual and Federal had a very specific driver that required a complete understanding of how the capabilities offered within Microsoft System Center could reduce overhead cost whilst offering a complete solution under a single-licensing structure.
This understanding has allowed AVeS to integrate various previously independent applications, such as System Center Operations Manager, Systems Center Configurations Manager and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, into a single application stack via System Center Service Manager.
By utilising the CMDB (Centralised Managed Database), AVeS was able to interact with the on-site staff to create workable relationships between configuration items – such as workstations, monitors, and other standard IT equipment – and work items such as incidents and change requests. This has allowed administrators and help desk staff to action calls and see the direct relationship between users and their allocated assets. The availability of relevant information at their fingertips has consistenly ensured a speedy recovery of any associated work items.
As always, one of the key drivers for any service-based desk should be to remove complexity and to provide a scalable solution that can lower overhead cost throughout the organisation. Orchestrator has enabled operational staff to complete tasks by generating automated request offerings instead of requiring manual user-input. The user-based inputs are captured and then fed throughout various runbooks within Orchestrator.
The automated request offerings have allowed Mutual and Federal to effortlessly release tasks to management levels for approval. These offerings can still be truly understood should a department request an association of cost to the services or applications that users requested. With the additional integration of System Center Operations Manager, we have allowed the organisation to maximise not only the default pro-active response strategy offered by the product, but also the confidence in its IT automation potential. Should a service become degraded, the associated call will be logged immediately to ensure that the required SLA agreement is met. Furthermore, the appropriate staff, who have to take ownership of the process, will be allocated through automatic call forwarding and escalation.
“The automation aspect of this deployment truly provides a wonderful insight into Microsoft’s thinking,” says Charl Ueckermann, Managing Director of AVeS. “It’s a massive step in the right direction. You can clearly see how Microsoft is positioning itself by allowing organisations to offer on-demand IT services, remove administrative complication, as well as allow their users and management staff to make informed decisions to what applications they want and use.”
“We have enjoyed this deployment and hope to be active within the organisation for a long time to come to ensure that the solution is always simplifying and automating the various processes,” says Ueckermann.
AVeS combines expert knowledge and services with leading technologies to provide comprehensive information security and infrastructure solutions. Working off 15-years of migration strategies, as well as effective designing of various platforms, we pride ourselves in offering an out-of-the-box approach to many tricky situations in which companies find themselves. We create a multi-phase approach to the technologies, streamline business spend and ensure compliancy with regard to IT infrastructure.