The Suncorp Group, specialists in diversified financial services, recently partnered with NetApp with the intent of improving its storage platforms and environment to foster a culture of innovation and unlock the untapped human capital that lay within. After a string of more than 50 business acquisitions and a major merger, Suncorp was left with 16,000 employees with five different divisions, a number of unique brands, and an IT infrastructure that was complex and provides a barrier to growth. Suncorp realised that in order to move forward, NetApp would be required to help achieve greater business flexibility and efficiency, and help to materially change the way Suncorp would work.
Jeff Smith, CEO of Suncorp Business Services, stated; “We have a strong belief that the companies we partner with are companies that we aspire to be like. From the start NetApp has been built on innovation and has always believed in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with a single goal in mind: customer success. That is where we wanted to be.”
By collaborating with NetApp, Suncorp was able to migrate 80% of its IT environment onto a shared infrastructure, creating a large virtualised private cloud. Combined with new innovative methodologies and processes, this shared infrastructure provided the foundation for improvements in efficiency, flexibility, velocity, and the overall success of Suncorp’s business.
Just one example of Suncorp delivering more impact in less time through increased IT efficiency is the fact that the business was able to completely revamp its online banking platform in a minimal amount of time and for significantly less than the industry average of $150 to $300 million. Also due to product innovation in the Internet and mobile channels developed on its shared infrastructure, Suncorp has been able to increase the level of insurance business done online from 10% to 40%.
Suncorp was able to consolidate from seven data centres into two, reduce the number of servers from 4,000 down to 300, and move from a storage environment that contained thousands of disparate storage platforms down to a single virtualised, shared infrastructure. To optimise this share infrastructure, NetApp worked closely with Cisco and VMware to provide Suncorp with a highly flexible Secure Multi-tenancy infrastructure that enables the different business units within Suncorp to share the same storage platforms while the information remains isolated and secure.
Suncorp has significantly saved on space, power consumption, and cooling costs due to its smaller data centre footprint. Integrated with IT efficiencies in other areas that free up time and resources to focus on what the business needs next, overall IT costs have been reduced by 30%, providing Suncorp with the added flexibility to fund development projects and deliver three times as many business capabilities as before, ultimately enhancing the customer experience.