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Liberty Mutual revamps IT to drive insurance industry innovation

 

Who is Liberty Mutual

  • Industry: Insurance
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Size: 50,000+ employees

 

Fire, hurricanes, tornados, auto accidents—when emergencies strike, people expect their insurer to be there. Liberty Mutual Insurance, a global Fortune 100 insurance organization and one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the United States, is working with Cisco Services to optimize their infrastructure and proactively minimize business disruptions to live up to their customer promise. By improving the uptime and stability of their network, the company built a more resilient, reliable and secure technology foundation. This resulted in many millions of dollars in operating expenses (OPEX) savings, and millions more in revenues previously lost to outages. Today, Liberty Mutual is reinvesting those resources – both IT staff and cost savings – into new solutions that deliver enhanced customer experiences and fuel faster business innovation.

Managing growing complexity

Over the last decade, Liberty Mutual has been among the world’s fastestgrowing insurers, doubling in size through acquisitions and customer growth. This was an enormous achievement. But undergoing so much growth, so quickly, also created a siloed and complex infrastructure, and an unstable networking environment.

“With more than 7,000 network endpoints across 500-plus locations in the U.S. alone, we had to address complexity,” said Mark Cressey, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IT Hosting Services, Liberty Mutual. “We needed a standardized technology foundation and a proactive approach for implementing new releases, bug fixes, and other network changes. Not just to improve infrastructure resiliency, but to free us to focus on new customer services and international expansion.”

Liberty Mutual leaders recognized that the status quo couldn’t continue. It was time to re-think their environment from the ground up. They turned to Cisco Services as their trusted partner with the global expertise, and technology depth and breadth, to help successfully implement a transformation strategy.

 

Rebooting the infrastructure

Liberty Mutual had long used Cisco networking equipment, but they needed more than basic product support and network fixes. They wanted a trusted advisor that would help them optimize their infrastructure and deliver full-circle support for the entire environment. Working with Cisco Services, the company embarked on a massive transformation project encompassing:

  • Cisco Network Optimization Services (NOS) for a top-to-bottom audit of their data center, video, mobile, security, and networking environment. Liberty Mutual looked to Cisco NOS experts to help them improve productivity and reduce operational risks by standardizing and automating processes.
  • Cisco NOS hardware and software strategy recommendations to reduce downtime, improve ROI, and enable faster innovation and infrastructure agility to address new technology adoption.
  • Cisco Technical Services to minimize business disruption through dedicated access to expert engineers including a High-Touch Operations Manager (HTOM) and a High-Touch Technical Support (HTTS) team.
  • Cisco Managed Services to proactively manage and preempt network issues. Liberty Mutual aimed to maximize performance and mitigate risk for the entire network environment through Cisco’s Managed Services Network Operations Center (NOC), including management of thousands of devices across hundreds of locations.

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It was an ambitious effort, and it delivered major results. Cisco NOS experts provided analysis, recommendations, and remediation to help Liberty Mutual simplify their IT environment and minimize disruptions, while delivering efficient, integrated, and automated services. By optimizing their infrastructure, and ensuring data and security compliance, Liberty Mutual was able to lower costs, reduce outages, and roll out new services faster. Combined with Cisco Technical Services personalized support, the organization created a world-class network foundation built for performance, redundancy, and ease of expansion.

By implementing Cisco recommendations, the company reduced high-priority incidents by 60 percent. At the same time, they achieved a 100 percent change management success rate—up from 50 percent previously. This saved millions in revenues previously lost to outages.

Bringing on Cisco Managed Services to manage the data center and network environment also brought major benefits, including minimizing business disruption even as Liberty Mutual’s network grows and changes. In just four weeks, Cisco Managed Services had securely onboarded thousands of Liberty Mutual devices. Although a third were from third-party vendors, Cisco took on sole responsibility for ensuring their uptime and performance. They reduced highpriority incidents, service requests, and trouble tickets by an order of magnitude. Together, these changes reduced operational costs by many millions of dollars and generated a 162 percent return on investment.

We have a true working partnership with Cisco. Whether we’re doing new engineering, operational work, or planning for change windows, the Cisco-Liberty teams are working side-by-side... By teaming with Cisco to help augment our staff, we have been able to focus on solving complex problems faster and drive our innovation agenda.

Mark Cressey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IT Hosting Services, Liberty Mutual

A turn towards innovation

The biggest benefits of working with Cisco Managed Services will accrue in the coming years, as Liberty Mutual reaps the rewards of IT teams that can focus their resources on innovation. Instead of spending much of their time fighting fires, internal teams are now launching proactive projects to grow the business. They’re implementing call center upgrades, video streaming, and new online capabilities like click to-chat. They’re migrating to the public cloud. They’re releasing new code into production daily. And they’re reducing operating costs by automating processes.

In the next two years, the company’s ambitious plans include having 60 percent of workloads operating in the public cloud, having 75 percent of IT staff writing code, and eliminating many millions of dollars worth of recurring manual activities from the business.

“In the past, we were focused on network administration and change management processes,” said Cressey. “Today, we are spending more of our time on value-added activities. There have been several events over the past year that put our technology infrastructure to the test. The stability and performance of our systems speak for themselves, and I know I’m getting value from Cisco Services.”