Founded in 1983, Berry Palmer and Lyle (BPL) Global specialise in insuring investments against political risk, in particular insuring large financial institutions and banks against instability on a global scale. With the company being Head Quartered from their London office (with further offices in Paris, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and soon Geneva) they have grown over the last 35 years into the global market leader in political risk insurance. By its very nature, the business is one that requires vast amounts of data and information, much of which is highly sensitive, requiring it to be stored securely but also regularly accessible to data controllers and developers within the business.
BPL is an independently owned company which gives them the freedom to put their customers first in every instance, so much so that the company is driven by the mantra of always acting exclusively for the customer. This mentality is one that we wholeheartedly share at Solar Communications which is why culturally the two companies have been a good fit working together for a number of years.
“We can always rely on Solar to be ahead of the curve in providing new and innovative technologies”
BPL had a large amount of customer and market data which they needed to back up, store and access regularly. To facilitate this, they operated two independent solutions. As the business has grown and expanded, the legacy platform became unmanageable, due to its complex nature and problematic interface. This meant that only a few specialists within the business were able to fully utilize the platform, making the process very inefficient. To meet their needs, BPL needed to deploy a physical appliance at their business premises, storing data on a weekly basis which became a cumbersome, manual and costly exercise, with it still being difficult to recover data. With the lack of internal knowledge, supporting the system was always an issue which is why they believed installing their own on-premise software would lighten the burden on their team of users. Whilst this made the system more accessible across the business, they found that the data compression was poor and data recovery took too long. The process was inefficient from start to finish.
Having worked with Solar for several years already, they knew that Solar would be able to meet the needs of their business with an effective solution and regularly engaged with Director of Disruptive Technology, Jason Evans about the latest innovations of the market. Having already overcome their storage challenges with a Pure Storage solution, Solar provided the answer to their data protection and recovery needs with a complimentary service based on Rubrik technology.
Solar’s Rubrik as a Service (RaaS) gave BPL the opportunity to streamline their backup processes through a single, simplified solution eliminating the need for the multiple outdated, legacy technologies they had in place. Solar’s RaaS solution was delivered as both on-site appliance with Private Cloud backup, providing further business resilience and a bullet-proof disaster recovery solution that can even be tested regularly via scripts without any manual intervention. The additional features of monitoring and performance management with live reporting through a single, simple web portal set the Solar solution strides ahead of the competition.
One of the biggest problems BPL faced was the limited user knowledge which meant tasks were only able to be carried out effectively by a small number of users and it was a long process, making the whole thing very inefficient. By bringing RaaS into the business, which allows users to search based on timestamps, taken at regular intervals, with an easily searchable cataloguing system, the task became faster and was accessible to a much wider user base in the business. Data controllers or developers, no matter their skill level, were able to access the files they needed through the user-friendly interface resulting in the first of many quick wins.
A further benefit BPL has found is that Solar’s RaaS has the ability to integrate easily with other technologies within their business, which, coupled with the open APIs available gives their development team the flexibility to customise the platform, tailoring the system to the exact needs of the business. They now have an agile solution which provides them options to scale as their business grows.
Finally, and for many businesses, most importantly, Solar’s RaaS has instantly realised huge cost savings for BPL – in fact, when it comes to back up, BPL has seen a 50% reduction in running costs. For many, the cost is a particularly vital point to consider when choosing a new solution, in the case of BPL they always seek to provide world-class service to their customers and realise this often comes at a steep price tag, so when it became patently evident that they could get the ‘fantastic’ Solar RaaS at a fraction of the cost, it made sense to proceed immediately. From discussing the POC, testing and having a production system in place took less than 5 weeks and has allowed BPL to decommission their legacy systems.
The IT landscape is vast, both in terms of technology and providers which is why it is very easy to find yourself lost. BPL work with the very specific mentality of only choosing to work with suppliers who are agile and responsive to the constantly changing technology landscape. BPL felt that Solar had the technology to meet their needs and having already formed strong relationships in the past, knew they were would be able to effectively deploy and support the solution as their trusted partner.
“We can always rely on Solar to be ahead of the curve in providing new and innovative and technologies to the marketplace and by doing so they have helped keep our business ahead of the competition. They have consistently offered us fantastic service, from initially helping sort out the ShoreTel telephony platform our previous partner had badly implemented, providing data storage solutions with Pure Storage (which improved efficiency as well as offering immediate cost savings), to providing this latest in backup and recovery technology which we are more than happy with. When we realized the difference Solar’s RaaS would make in our business, we jumped at the chance and we are now looking to deploy further solutions with Solar, the next in the form of a Silver Peak SD-WAN solution!”
Adam Koleda, Director of IT, BPL