Cent Systems digitalises in the Swiss Cloud
Geo-redundancy in Switzerland sought; flexible and efficient managed services found. The Swiss digitalization service provider Cent Systems AG has successfully outsourced its entire IT infrastructure—including operation, maintenance and support—to ITpoint ORIA Prime Managed Services.
For companies with highly digitalised processes, the constant availability of systems and data is a primary concern. Thus, it makes sense that Cent Systems’ clients—mostly insurance companies and health insurance providers—insist on constant system availability. Their business processes should never be burdened by the input management of emails, physical mail, apps, etc. However, Cent Systems had another reason to operate its core IT infrastructure internally: its clients need a secure, geo-redundant secondary system with a disaster recovery plan. What’s more, they also demand that their sensitive personal data be kept confidential—under no circumstances should it leave the country! In short, in order to satisfy its customers, Cent Systems needed a readily available and secure system housed in a second data centre and located at a safe distance.
The challenge: Geo-redundancy, security & flexibility
Cent Systems’ approach to new IT opportunities is to first examine them for their cost-cutting potential and then use them consistently. This strategy allows the digitalization specialist to offer its input management services at competitive prices. Cent Systems’ management team soon realized that maintaining their own secondary system was just too expensive. The costs for system support would have been financially unjustifiable.
Thus, they needed to find an external solution—one that was located at a safe distance from their current system, efficient, and immediately available. Due to the company’s size and the scaling possibilities available, the shared cloud model was a good option. However, caution was key: Cent Systems digitises invoices and receipts for clients in the healthcare sector, and these documents contain sensitive personal data which must be processed and stored in Switzerland. Therefore, guaranteed data management in Switzerland was and remains Cent Systems’ non-negotiable requirement for its cloud partner.
The company evaluated all the possible providers that fulfilled their «geo-redundancy» and «Swiss cloud» criteria and ultimately narrowed down their options to four providers. One of these final four was ITpoint Systems AG with its ORIA Prime Managed Services concept, which came recommended by KPT, Cent Systems’ parent company.
For CEO Adrian Tschannen, the second most important criteria were flexibility and quality managed services. Outsourcing Cent Systems’ IT infrastructure to ITpoint/ORIA was just one part of the company’s major ongoing IT renewal project. But Cent Systems’ first collaboration with ITpoint reinforced Tschannen’s trust in the company’s ORIA Prime Managed Services. The systems proved stable from the beginning, and ITpoint was flexible to work with.
Therefore, Cent Systems’ management team decided—in the middle of its ongoing large-scale IT project—to outsource its IT infrastructure and operate the new application in the ITpoint Shared Cloud from day one. This was a deviation from the original plan, but with good reason: switching to ITpoint brought immediate benefits, especially for Cent’s difficult software renewal sub-project.
Cent Systems procures its complete IT infrastructure as a managed service from ITpoint. ITpoint is responsible for all operations and its service levels are guaranteed. Working with ITpoint means:
- Full service: service desk, 2nd-level support, monitoring/reporting and service management
- A highly secure, 24/7 monitored cloud environment
- Application and data stored and secured in two Swiss data centres (guaranteed data management in Switzerland)
- Cent Systems’ preferred support-readiness: Monday to Friday 7:00 - 19:00 (5 x 12)
- An internal liaison at Cent Systems to report service and change requests to ITpoint
- A proven recovery routine for emergencies
- Contracts for secure service levels (availability, response and recovery times)
By outsourcing to ITpoint, Cent Systems achieved its goal of geo-redundancy in the highly secure Swiss cloud. What else has Cent Systems gained from the new system? After a full year of outsourcing, Adrian Tschannen is still thrilled with the flexibility of ITpoint’s ORIA Prime Managed Services, as well as its guaranteed system stability. In terms of flexibility and stability, ITpoint significantly outperformed the other potential service providers. «During the proposal phase, the people at ITpoint indicated that they would be flexible with their managed services, and they have proven themselves over and over again. It’s really impressive,» says Adrian Tschannen, who has experience in the IT field himself.
- System stability and maximum flexibility
In Adrian Tschannen’s experience, other providers were quick to turn down their request for flexibility on the grounds that it would force them to sacrifice system stability. «ITpoint offers both: they’re very flexible and very stable. I don’t know how they do it, but evidently, they can. We have had nothing but good experiences.»
- Agile basis for the renewal and expansion of core applications
Depending on the demands from the software/business side, Cent Systems is able to change its server configurations, routers, etc. at any time. Step by step, the new core application was put into operation in the ORIA Cloud. Cent Systems was even able to cancel services it had ordered at ORIA and save on those costs!
- Savings on internal IT resources
Since Cent Systems fully outsourced its IT infrastructure in the summer of 2017, the company has been able to free up financial resources for other projects in their general IT renewal.
- Transparent IT costs based on use
Managing Director Adrian Tschannen likes the fact that Cent Systems only pays for the managed services it actually uses. This is very different from the fixed IT ownership cost block model they were using before outsourcing. ITpoint calculates the IT costs for components/subcomponents on a monthly basis. «Everything is very transparent and financially feasible,» explains Adrian Tschannen.
For him, this positive experience has confirmed that his company made the right choice by choosing ITpoint as its flexible and cost-transparent infrastructure partner. Not only does ITpoint handle daily operations, it also offers IT opportunities for the future. For example, Tschannen sees text interpretation solutions as a new opportunity to increase efficiency. Not only do these applications scan incoming communication, they are also able to reliably recognize text content and automatically forward it to the responsible specialist. And of course, the security and encryption of data remain important issues.
Interview with Adrian Tschannen
CEO, Cent Systems AG