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Financial institutions

Invitech provides KÖBE with expert IT background
 

KÖBE (Central European Insurance Society) is the largest Hungarian-owned insurer, specialising in non-life insurance. Since its foundation in 1996 the company has been steadily developing, and by now has become a key player in the domestic insurance market. It has eight sites, turnover exceeds 10 billion Hungarian forints and the number of clients has reached 180,000. In its more than 20 years of operation the company’s number one priority has always been to satisfy its clients. As a reliable IT partner, Invitech has provided professional assistance in this regard for the past six years.

KÖBE, the safest decision
KÖBE provides customised retail insurance solutions, whether it is home or vehicle insurance or insurance for specific life situations. Of course, several options are available to business clients; apart from our wide range of individual and fleet vehicle insurance solutions, they may also take out corporate asset and group personal insurance. As the consecutive winner of MagyarBrands title, since 2011 the Society has been recognised five times among the Hungarian brands. And by winning the Superbrands and Business Superbrands awards again in 2015, after 2014 KÖBE became the only Hungarian insurer to have received both Superbrands awards besides MagyarBrands. One thing is for sure: a huge amount of information is available to those wishing to choose the most suitable service from KÖBE’s wide offer; however, little is known about the IT background needed for the reliable operation of the company.

Stability, reliability – common fundamentals

For outstanding results, a partner establishing a perfect background for consistent development is needed. When selecting the IT partner of the insurer, reliability, flexibility and stability were considered as main factors. As Invitech relies on the same principles, the common foundation led to a fruitful relationship.

“We decided to partner with this Hungarian service provider offering ICT solutions based on the previous common experience. Our relationship with Invitech goes back a long time and it reached the volume we are currently at in our collaboration gradually, step by step. Invitech is largely flexible and, for us, the identification and accurate description of customer needs are similarly important,” said Béla Mede, CIO at KÖBE.

Customer needs in focus

KÖBE strives to customise not only insurance portfolios to meet customer needs but this is the main aspect also when establishing the operation processes. Accordingly, the past years have witnessed significant investments to service the clients with administrative and IT background involving state-of-the-art technology. Invitech provides professional assistance with this in the form of communication and data centre services that can continuously guarantee the smooth operation of the insurer both now and in the future.

“By relocating to the data centre at Kozma utca, KÖBE purchased availability of such quality and high level in the form of a service that it could not have realised as an investment – and also it would have been unreasonable to do so. Besides, the transformation of the IT infrastructure serves as a good base to cover the costs related to co-location, i.e. server hosting in the data centre,” added CIO Mede, summarising the biggest advantage of their collaboration with Invitech.

Erste Bank Hungary Zrt. services its clients through 124 branches and 400 ATMs in Hungary. Together with its subsidiaries, the bank covers the whole scale of financial services, including deposits, investments, loans, advisory services and leasing. Regarding the number of clients, branches and ATMs, the company belongs to the three largest players of the Hungarian bank market.

Erste Bank Hungary Zrt. looked for an IT service provider for data centre installation that could provide dedicated cage-based server hosting – i.e. the sever is physically well-separated within the server park – plus security for the whole data asset and EMC, i.e. protection against electromagnetic disturbance. The area of the necessary data centre was completed within only two months, including the establishment of the complete optical and copper network required for the operation of server machines.

The relocation was performed by a team of 30 persons experienced in the movement of such equipment, and they did it within 24 hours; Invitech fulfilled every special security requirement to the fullest extent. Another important criterion to be met by the solution provider was the provision of strong provider redundancy and high-standard computer room service. Ever since the installation, Invitech has been providing its partner with a service quality complying with the highest international standards.

The relationship between Erste Bank and Invitech is not a recent one: this bank was the first financial institution in Hungary to provide free Wi-Fi to its clients in all of its branches. The Wi-Fi devices necessary for this, their operation and the broadband Internet connection are all ensured by Invitech.

Special IT needs in the bank sector

For the players of the financial sector, the reliable operation of the information and communications systems – including IT security – and redundancy are crucial, as these make it possible to ensure business continuity in the case of an unexpected service malfunction. The past years have seen increased trust in IT service providers who can ensure circumstances meeting the highest-level security requirements to their clients. Not surprisingly, more and more banks are placing their back-up data centre, basically their data asset, in external server rooms. Budapest Bank also applies this solution and Invitech could fulfil the extremely strict specifications of the financial institution to the fullest extent.

“The operation of a bank is based on a stable and reliable IT infrastructure. Besides meeting the international requirements set out in the call for tender, this was one of the most important aspects during our tender in December 2014. Finally, the tender was won by Invitel, Invitech’s predecessor, as it satisfied the tender requirements both professionally and in terms of the capability for implementation. I am glad about establishing a data centre which meets the expected security requirements in all respects and serves as a solid basis for the course of business at Budapest Bank,” said Bálint Kelemen, CIO at Budapest Bank, summarising the reasons for assigning the back-up data centre of the financial institution.

The server room fulfils special, unique requirements

By the second half of 2015, Invitech completed the room for Budapest Bank that had been built right from the basics to meet the highest international standards. Among the requirements, energy efficiency was given particular emphasis. The professionals provide for the energy supply of the server centre and its cooling with a special air-conditioning system from multiple sources and with sufficient back-up. It demonstrates the reliability of the Invitech data centre that ever since its opening in 2009, there has been no basic infrastructural service malfunction affecting the clients.

The room designed for hundreds of IT devices was completed in four months and the whole computer room was relocated in 24 hours, with special security measures and Invitech’s active involvement. The servers and the devices were relocated by a team of over 60 persons in seven turns, using three high-capacity trucks. Several special requirements were imposed during the transport, for example a manufacturer specified the angle of inclination of a particular device. Concurrently with the relocation, the 14-kilometre copper and optical network of the computer room was completed. Invitech’s professionals are highly experienced in tasks relating to the establishment of data centres with special needs and the relocation of servers; today it is hard to imagine any requirement the company could not fulfil to the greatest extent.