To help it deliver a rapid response to policyholders in times of need, insurer Groupe France Mutuelle aims to keep its business systems available and running smoothly around the clock.
Working with DeltaDB, Groupe France Mutuelle moved its core insurance administration system to the IBM DB2 platform.
80%saving on licensing and administration fees lowers total cost of ownership
30%faster analysis of high-volume data supports smooth-running business processes
Full ROIexpected in less than two years
Business challenge story
Supporting critical systems
Policyholders depend on Groupe France Mutuelle to provide assistance in times of illness and injury. When its clients need help, they expect the company to administer policies effectively and process claims quickly.
To provide fast, reliable customer service, Groupe France Mutuelle relies on CSC GraphTalk A.I.A., its core insurance administration system. To run effectively, this system requires secure, always-available access to large volumes of customer and claims data.
Jean-Yves Pignier, CIO at Groupe France Mutuelle, comments: “GraphTalk is at the heart of our operations. In addition to managing our insurance contracts and billing, almost all of our other business applications are connected to it via web services. As so many processes depend on this system, if it runs slowly or unreliably, it can have a big impact on customer service. So our priority is to keep GraphTalk—and its underlying database platform—running reliably around the clock.”
In the past, Groupe France Mutuelle ran GraphTalk on a database platform provided by a major IT enterprise vendor. Jean-Yves Pignier comments: “We didn’t experience any real problems with performance, but there was room for improvement. For example, although we were always able to complete daily data processing within the available eight-hour window, we were struggling to hit our target of six hours.”
The company’s major concern, however, was the cost of running GraphTalk on the existing database platform. As a mutual insurance company that focuses on providing value for its members, keeping operations as cost-effective as possible is an important goal. Keen to lower IT costs, the company identified database virtualization as a potential option.
Jean-Yves Pignier remarks: “When we started looking at virtualization, we found that the software licensing conditions for our existing database made it unaffordable for us. That’s when we decided to look for an alternative database management system.”
Leading the way
Groupe France Mutuelle worked closely with IBM Business Partner DeltaDB, IBM and CSC to run a proof of concept (PoC) to assess the feasibility of migrating GraphTalk to IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows. Following the success of the PoC, the company decided to proceed with a full deployment.
Jean-Yves Pignier recalls: “As far as we know, we are the first company in the world to migrate GraphTalk to IBM DB2. As an early adopter, we wanted to demonstrate to ourselves that the migration would be worth the risk. The PoC gave us confidence that all parties could work together to make the project a success.”
During the PoC, Groupe France Mutuelle was keen to test several innovative features of the IBM DB2 configuration. In particular, the company was eager to take advantage of IBM DB2 High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR), which is designed to help improve availability by continuously replicating data between primary and standby databases. Jean-Yves Pignier notes: “With HADR, we will be able to switch over to the standby database much more quickly and easily than we could before, which will help minimize disruption to services if there is an outage.”
The company also implemented IBM Data Server Manager to help database administrators (DBAs) monitor and manage performance. The solution collects and analyzes performance data from the DB2 database instances, which helps to give Groupe France Mutuelle’s DBAs faster, more comprehensive insight into database health than they had before. Real-time and historical monitoring deliver a high-level view of database performance, while automated alerts enable DBAs to take a more proactive approach to managing that performance.
“The support and encouragement we’ve received from DeltaDB and IBM has been wonderful,” adds Jean-Yves Pignier. “As well as doing a lot of testing to prepare for the migration, they also ran informative training workshops for our DBAs. And even now that we manage the database ourselves, it’s reassuring to know that the DeltaDB team is always there for us should we have any questions or encounter any issues.”
Saving time and money while accelerating access to dataWith IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows, Groupe France Mutuelle feels that it has gained the perfect platform to support its mission-critical GraphTalk system, while helping to reduce its operational costs.
Jean-Yves Pignier comments: “By migrating our core insurance administration system to IBM DB2, we have cut licensing and database administration costs by over 80 percent—a very significant saving. Moreover, high licensing costs were a major roadblock to database virtualization with our previous database. With IBM DB2, we’re in a good position to explore virtualization in the future, which may lead to further cost savings.”
He continues: “Using IBM Data Server Manager to monitor our DB2 landscape also frees up the DBA team’s time. This means that they can spend less time on troubleshooting, and more time proactively boosting performance.”
With support from IBM and DeltaDB, Groupe France Mutuelle completed the migration project on time and within budget. Looking at the project as a whole, the company expects to achieve a complete return on investment after the first year.
Jean-Yves Pignier adds: “Performance was not our primary goal, but we have been delighted to find that DB2 runs our high-volume data analytics jobs 30 percent faster than our previous database. We are not only hitting our daily processing target of six hours—we are also seeing increased application performance, helping our users work more productively.”
He concludes: “Above all, we feel that we can rely on IBM DB2 to keep our most critical business systems online 24/7, helping to keep customer services running smoothly.”
About Groupe France Mutuelle
Headquartered in Paris, Groupe France Mutuelle is a mutual insurance company that specializes in health insurance. Founded in 1936, Group France Mutuelle now serves around 130,000 policyholders.
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DeltaDB is an IBM Advanced Business Partner headquartered in Maisons-Alfort, France. Specializing in IBM DB2, DeltaDB supports its clients in designing, implementing, maintaining and optimizing their information systems. To learn more about products and services from Delta DB, visit: deltadb.com