Specialist Insurer Markel International has invested in a new IBM storage solution from ICM, part of the Phoenix IT Group plc. Markel has purchased two IBM XIV storage systems to support its global business expansion programme.
The switch over to a new storage system is part of Markel’s current global IT virtualisation strategy where servers, storage and PCs will be hosted centrally in its London headquarters, and accessed from all locations via thin client terminals. One IBM XIV will store all business data at HQ, while the second will be used to fully replicate the environment at Markel's disaster recovery site to fully support its service provision and disaster recovery strategies.
ICM worked with the Markel team for a year to help it identify the correct storage solution and as part of the consultancy process, undertook proof of concept tests before recommending the IBM XIV solution.
Steve Fountain, Head of Solutions and Service Delivery for Markel International, said: “Having multiple systems and many PCs located around the world was proving to be an IT service provision and support challenge. The decision to move to one centrally hosted platform allows us to seamlessly support the corporate growth strategy by more easily provisioning new offices or integrate existing offices. It also allows us to provide an improved and consistent 'user experience' for all our colleagues; be they in remote offices, at home or travelling. Additionally, we can now implement and upgrade systems more easily, and reduce the maintenance and support overhead associated with our previous fragmented de-centralised model.
“Markel has long been an adopter and user of virtualisation technology and is proud to be continuing to take a lead in its committed and innovative approach to using virtualisation technology. The IBM XIV has already proven to be a highly resilient and high performance solution that has allowed us to replace ALL our old legacy systems without negatively impacting or adding risk to the business.” concluded Fountain.
Rob Lockwood, Project & Professional Services Director for ICM, said: “The performance and scalability of the IBM XIV was fundamental to its selection. It has been designed to eliminate the complexity of storage administration and when you are running the IT for a global enterprise such as Markel, that’s an important factor. The IBM XIV also provides a highly reliable information infrastructure with no-impact scalability for automatic capacity growth that will seamlessly support Markel’s continuing expansion plans.”
About ICM www.ICM.co.uk
ICM is the only UK IT infrastructure and business continuity services provider to offer a complete range of on-premise, off-premise and cloud-based solutions to the mid market. Its many accreditations include Microsoft Gold Partner, Citrix Gold Partner, HP Gold Partner, NetApp Gold Partner, as well as Premier Partner and Premier Hosting Partner for VMware.
ICM has more than 30 years’ experience working alongside private and public sector organisations, including Costain, Eddie Stobart, News International, Phones4U, Swinton Insurance, Thomas Cook and Welcome Break, as well as building societies, universities, local government and healthcare organisations.
ICM was formed through the merger of Servo and ICM Business Continuity Services and is part of the Phoenix IT Group plc (quoted on the London Stock Exchange). ICM employs 700 people in 23 locations throughout the UK and has an annual turnover of around £160million.
About Markel International www.markelintl.com
Markel International Limited is a specialist insurer. With offices in the UK, mainland Europe and Asia Pacific, it comprises the international operations of Markel Corporation and wrote gross premiums of $641 million in 2009. It has seven operating divisions writing business either through Markel Syndicate 3000 or through Markel International Insurance Company Limited. Markel Corporation is a US-listed business, capitalised at around $3.5 billion, which wrote gross premiums of $1.9 billion in 2009.
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