A fresh start is sometimes exactly what an enterprise needs to modernize data infrastructure and shift processes to a forward-leaning, digital-ready framework. Such was the case with Unilever Federal Credit Union when it recently decided to relocate its main campus, and embrace a managed services solution.
Unilever FCU is a full-service, single-sponsor, non-profit financial institution that is owned by its members and governed by an elected board of directors. Its Corporate Credit Union is Alloya Corporate FCU. This organization provides a range of credit union services, such as compliance guidance and managed services solutions through a partnership with CBTS.
New data environment included key requirements
To bring its services in-line with today’s digital economy, Unilever FCU had to fulfill a number of requirements for its new data environment:
- Deploy its own network infrastructure. To ensure both operational efficiency and meet regulatory requirements.
- Upgrade its data resources. To accommodate rapid growth and the development of new products and services.
- Implement an in-depth data protection strategy. To support the needs of a modern financial institution.
But since every challenge is an opportunity, Unilever FCU seized on this project to implement a wholesale reimagining of the existing data center infrastructure.
Client operates in heavily regulated environment
A key challenge for any financial institution is meeting the regulatory requirements imposed by both regional and national authorities.
In UFCU’s case, this involved maintaining stringent levels of security and data availability, while also developing new services to provide members greater flexibility for their banking needs. This became increasingly difficult to do with aging infrastructure.
Solution leverages managed services model
In consultation with both Alloya Corporate FCU and CBTS, Unilever FCU decided to switch to a managed services model using a hybrid data center and networking infrastructure solution. In this way, the company benefits from:
- A high-availability cloud for all production.
- Data protection.
- Backup and disaster recovery services.
- A full suite of services for remote network monitoring and management.
CBTS has expertise to support complex managed services projects
A project of this magnitude requires a deep understanding of infrastructure needs and the emerging business objectives they will ultimately support. CBTS worked closely with UFCU to first design the environment, and then to define the ongoing responsibilities to maintain a tested and proven data ecosystem.
CBTS provides a cohesive solution
We began by assessing the current environment and establishing a set of success-based business objectives. We then developed new policies to guide the design and deployment of a new secure network.
For production workloads, we established a high-availability, multitenant cloud with managed backup and disaster recovery services across multiple CBTS data centers. This places primary production environments within a fully managed, high-availability CBTS cloud. A secondary offsite offers backup and full data replication for Disaster Recovery applications. This environment is subject to complete documentation and annualized testing.
The solutions allowed CBTS to assume responsibility for managing and monitoring key functions, such as network authentication based on group policies developed in conjunction with Unilever. In addition, our experts guided the client’s IT staff on the proper way to pull reports for auditing purposes to ensure regulatory compliance. CBTS oversees any and all third-party integrations and other support needs for the new environment.
Solution meets client’s needs, helps drive business outcomes
Today, Unilever FCU enjoys a state-of-the-art data ecosystem with redundant, secure and universal Internet-based access. We also provided a letter of attestation proving that UFCU is committed to ensuring full protection against downtime and data loss. We work with both UFCU and Alloya to continuously refine regulatory documentation to address stringent compliance requirements.
And as a fully managed environment, Unilever FCU can now relieve its internal IT staff of the day-to-day burdens of operating a data center to focus on more productive pursuits involving the delivery of outstanding member services.