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VITIS LIFE has entrusted the management of its IT resources to POST Telecom

A leader in the world of life insurance for high-net worth clients, VITIS LIFE has entrusted the management of its IT resources to POST Telecom since it parted ways with Quintet. From the outset, one of the challenges was to make workstations more flexible by using Citrix virtualisation solutions in particular.

As a life insurance provider, VITIS LIFE offers international HNW clients solutions that are most often used for wealth structuring purposes. “Through our range of high-quality products, we currently manage EUR 2.3 billion in assets. We are a B2B player first and foremost, and we operate under the free provision of services on the main European markets. We offer tailored solutions to our private banking partners, wealth managers and even family offices – all structures that support clients with wealth planning. Even after 25 years of expertise in life insurance, Vitis Life remains a company on a human scale, with around 60 employees,” explains Pierre Alexandre Kablitz, Head of Information Technology at VITIS LIFE.

Need for responsiveness

In 2015, the company, which had developed as part of the Quintet group, was acquired by Monceau Assurances, as the private bank had decided to refocus its business operations. “This change constituted a major challenge in terms of IT resource management, which had been managed directly by Quintet up to that point,” adds Pierre Alexandre Kablitz. “We had to recover all of the resources related to our business and transfer them to a new host. We then looked for a partner capable of supporting us in this endeavour and beyond, and facilitating the growth of our business as a result of future investments by our new shareholder.” The company’s Head of IT then scoured the market to identify operators capable of supporting it through the process. “This transfer allowed us to become more autonomous in how we manage our digital resources. We were no longer dependent on an IT team for whom our projects or issues were not necessarily a priority,” he goes on. “We were looking for a partner FSP that could be more responsive and offer a better quality of service, but which could above all assist us with the management and development of our resources in a pragmatic way, without jeopardising security.”

Comprehensive support

VITIS LIFE thus turned to POST, notably on account of its ability to offer an end-to-end service. The company entrusted POST with the task of managing all of its requirements. The historic operator has established a new dedicated environment for the insurance firm and assisted with the systems transfer by collaborating with Quintet’s teams in order to mitigate risks and ensure service continuity. “Since then, POST has been managing the infrastructure, deploying user work environments for desktop and mobile, and even managing printing services,” Pierre Alexandre Kablitz notes. “Our tools are hosted at POST’s data centre, with possible connections to the public cloud for certain requirements. We rely on the connectivity, telephony and office tool services provided to us by our partner. Support is also supplied directly by the operator’s teams.”

A user-focused partner

POST and the insurance firm have forged a strong relationship. After five years of successful collaborations, VITIS LIFE has placed its trust in POST for a further three years. “POST stands out from other market operators because of its approach focused on the user rather than just the IT department. By delegating management of all aspects, right through to user support, we can focus our efforts on industry-related challenges, and on software developments especially, so we can meet our clients’ ever-changing needs,” explains Pierre Alexandre Kablitz.

Citrix Cloud Desktops: delivering flexibility

Taking back control of its IT resources has also enabled VITIS LIFE to provide users with greater flexibility, particularly in terms of how work is organised. “From the beginning, POST’s offering included the Cloud Desktops virtualisation solution from Citrix. It means that each employee will find their work environment how they left it, wherever they may be,” the Head of IT adds. “If a member of the team moves from their office to a meeting room, once they have logged in, they can switch device and pick up where they left off.” The health crisis and lockdown have demonstrated how important such a resource is at a time when all employees are encouraged to work remotely. “Everyone can access their essential tools and applications securely from home and continue working, even using a personal device. It has been very easy to navigate the wholesale shift to remote-working,” states Pierre Alexandre Kablitz. Virtual working environments are also easier to maintain. The downside is that deploying applications can eat up resources. By using such a solution, we can also reduce the number of backup positions required in the event of an incident within the Business Continuity Plan. “In the past, we had to ensure there were around 20 back-up positions to ensure business could continue if a major incident were to arise. The Citrix solution means that only two or three workstations are now required. Everyone is able to access our systems from home.”

Supporting industry changes

POST has been supporting VITIS LIFE’s growth for five years, particularly through the opening of an office in the Brussels area of Belgium, which also uses POST infrastructure. IT resources are also adjusted based on industry challenges. “Our IT systems are increasingly outward-looking. The infrastructure must be adapted to enable this, incorporating an appropriate level of security and risk management,” continues Pierre Alexandre Kablitz. “POST stands with us every step of the way, demonstrating a genuine capacity to change, listen and advise, meaning we can move forward together. Our contacts anticipate our needs and even certain deadlines linked to technology obsolescence to ensure all users experience a seamless transition.”

Looking ahead, this relationship of trust between both parties will ensure a smooth and gradual migration to cloud computing, so that the insurance company can access more effective tools, in accordance with the requirements imposed by the industry regulator.

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