The Hartford Chooses IBM for Private Cloud Infrastructure in $500M Deal

By Laura Stotler

The Hartford Financial Services Group is making the move to the cloud in a $500 million deal that will give a major boost to IBM’s cloud play. The group has entered into a six-year agreement for a private cloud infrastructure based on IBM’s PureFlex Systems that will help The Hartford to better manage its data while reducing operational expenses.

The deal is significant for IBM, which has been ramping up its cloud business over the last several months by forging partnerships with players like OpenStack and AT&T. The company will be providing services related to the mainframe, data storage and backup systems for The Hartford, which maintains data centers in both Hartford and Boulder, Co.

The PureFlex Systems cloud infrastructure will be built into both data centers, enabling The Hartford to buy and pay for its computing resources through the Internet. This setup will also offer the insurance company a more efficient way to manage customer data as well as policy information and claims data.

“Insurance companies, large financial institutions have tremendous amounts of data,” said Philip Guido, general manager, IBM Global Technology Services, North America. “We believe that understanding and gaining insight from the vast amount of information will provide competitive advantage."

Big data has been a key component of IBM’s cloud strategy, and the company acquired file transfer specialists Aspera late last year. That integrated technology helps secure and speed up the transfer of massive data files throughout the world.

"Our experience working with thousands of clients on big data projects tells us that companies can better compete and win when they can quickly extract value from massive volumes of data," said John Mesberg, vice president, B2B and commerce solutions, IBM.

The Hartford decided to make the move to the cloud based on that very reason, hoping to specifically craft its insurance using claims data, market and customer information gleaned from big data repositories. The insurance experts also realized that cloud technology has matured and felt the cloud should be an integral part of its technology investments moving forward.

"The partnership with IBM will help The Hartford implement a strategic technology infrastructure that will provide us with greater agility and offer us more flexibility and transparency as we continue to grow our businesses," said Andy Napoli, president of consumer markets and enterprise business services at The Hartford. The company is also hoping to increase operational efficiencies and improve its competitiveness through use of the cloud.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Contributing Editor

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