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VMware for Scalability, Time-to-Market, and Responsiveness
By Vinod Kachroo, CIO, SE2
Compounding the problem is that some demographic groups–like Gen X and Millennials–have different expectations for speed and service than their Baby Boomer predecessors, with the younger generation demanding immediate responses in their online interactions. Used to rapid responses, this generation will abandon a transaction if they cannot execute it quickly and easily.
As the number and variety of communication channels proliferate, there are additional engagement points with customers. This creates more data that needs to be processed. Organizations need to better correlate this data in order to get a true 360-degree view of their customers. However, organizations also must ensure that they are able to scale to be available to customers on the platform of their choice.
In order to stay one-step ahead in the insurance sector, SE2 is making changes to deal with transformational changes. SE2 is a third party administrator and it’s important to us to be on the leading edge so our insurance carrier customers have the best technology that will keep them one step ahead of the competition. As a technology firm for our carriers, we ensure that while keeping costs down, we also provide the capability to scale when needed, like providing an on-demand infrastructure and support. As we scale, we still need to ensure that environments are stable and that we are still able to launch new products in a short time and can meet our customers’ needs from an on-demand perspective.
While costs used to be prohibitive, subscription models and different types of licensing models have made these technologies much more accessible.
SE2 has adopted VMware as our foundational software and our building block. In general, we use VMware to facilitate good software environment management that is rapid, scalable, and repeatable–and support our product development, promotion, and creation. We have chosen specific technologies within VMware that will not only strengthen our offering in the current state and near term, but also as we scale to give the private cloud opportunity to give our customers so they can scale on demand, in addition to the opportunity to move our customers into the public cloud as they demand it. These technologies provide ease and speed of provisioning, server and offer virtual desktop capacity through that private cloud capability. In addition, VMware enhances server efficiency and cost containment, and it saves time by automating common tasks.
VMware is now part of Dell, one of the first vendors in the computer industry to make it very simple and easy for individuals and businesses to custom configure and order a laptop or desktop. Similarly, VMware gives us the ability to enable our customers’ IT teams to configure the environment they want and we will customer build that environment. In the past, companies would order an application, build a group of servers and cobble them together and then lead the software one by one. Now, we are heading in a direction in which it would be possible to order a pre-configured SQL database that requires no human intervention to set up.
Scalability is a key component. While costs used to be prohibitive, subscription models and different types of licensing models have made these technologies much more accessible. Organizations do not necessarily have to go for an entire suite, but can instead just start small and grow, so it is no longer essential to invest a huge amount of money to get started.
Organizations of all sizes and types should already be on their way in addressing transformation or risk being at a competitive disadvantage. Those that are not investing in transformational technologies will find their time-to-market and response time suffer, and they will be less cost-efficient. Organizations that are not moving along in their transformation journey will soon be in a position where they cannot hire people to take care of aging technology and will not be able to adequately maintain their technology stack. In addition, those companies that do not get on the bandwagon now will potentially lose a big chunk of the younger market because they do not meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers.
Insurance carriers, for instance, all have similar products. The key differentiation comes down to customer service or customer engagement. In addition, for carriers to be successful in entering a new segment like the mid-market, or to target Millennials, for instance, they must ensure that they begin now–and they should consider VMware as a foundation layer that will enable them to make these new ventures a reality.