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Antares operates a well-regarded syndicate at Lloyd’s that underwrites a diverse range of specialist risks – including property, casualty, marine and aviation – on a worldwide basis. Its vision is to provide clients and business partners with an efficient, effective service and a consistent approach to risk transfer. For this reason, it places great importance on sound business continuity provision and has a longstanding partnership with SunGard Availability Services.
IT manager Vicky Grimshaw explains, “In this day and age, we can’t afford not to have access to our in-house systems, email or intranet – without them we can’t agree or pay claims. Any downtime could reflect badly not only on our own reputation but also that of the Lloyd’s brand.”
Any prolonged period of downtime would have serious repercussions for Antares. This would lead to reputational damage and financial loss – potentially preventing Antares from underwriting if systems were down. This would be particularly damaging during December, the most crucial month for its numerous January renewals.
As a SunGard Availability Services customer since 1999, Antares has long recognised the importance of ensuring it remains available to do business and invests in SunGard’s business continuity services including Electronic Vaulting and Workplace Recovery. Vicky Grimshaw, IT manager for Antares syndicate at Lloyd’s comments, “SunGard gives us excellent service. We have had various incidents over the years and SunGard has always been very quick to respond and more than ready to help when we’ve needed them. I have confidence in their technical ability.”
Although to date Antares has not yet needed to invoke in a disaster, in line with good practice it tests its systems annually. However, as its data volumes increased, the firm found recovery from backup data was taking an inordinate amount of time. The underwriter was forced to allow a five-day window for a routine test to ensure it could recover all its data and rebuild comms links so that the firm’s multiple servers could talk to each other. There had to be a better way.
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