Quincy Mutual

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QUINCY MUTUAL GROUP Case Study

A TWOFOLD APPROACH TO MANAGING ESSENTIAL INSURANCE INFORMATION

CHALLENGE:

A New England-based insurance company seeks a modern, digital solution to its data backup requirements but still hopes to maintain a “gold-copy” offline, on data tapes.

VALUE:

  • A unique, hybrid data management plan that’s tailored to the organization’s specific needs
  • 100 open media tapes and six long-term closed containers stored in a secure offsite facility
  • An e-vaulting digital backup program that enables faster recovery and efficient business continuity in the event of disaster
  • A backup system that supports the company’s hybrid server configuration
  • Founded in historic Quincy, Massachusetts in 1851, Quincy Mutual Group stands as one of America’s oldest continually operating insurance carriers. Originally conceived in the Nineteenth Century as a fire insurance company, Quincy Mutual has since expanded to cover several forms of property and casualty insurance for over 200,000 policyholders. Known for its home, auto and small business services, Quincy Mutual and its independent insurance agencies cater to a variety of New England markets from Maine to Rhode Island and New York. Still, the company is proud to serve its native state and currently employs about 225 staff in its Quincy office alone.

    With so many markets in play and so many diverse clients to support, Quincy Mutual naturally chose to engage in a robust data management plan for several years. Believing that protecting critical data offline was perhaps the best and most reliable forms of data backup, the organization established an offsite tape-vaulting program, with Iron Mountain serving as it’s third-party consultant. This plan enabled Quincy Mutual to save company and customer information to hard-copy tapes on a daily basis. It also allowed the company to send these tapes to a secure offsite facility while maintaining a documented chain of custody. Offsite tapes could then be held for Quincy’s preferred retention period of 15 years, which provided added peace of mind in the event of unexpected litigation procedures or the re-occurrence of an old claim.

    “We like Iron Mountain. We trust them. The services that they were able to offer us seemed to be better than the competitor, especially when it came to internal technology. There are not a lot of companies out there that can handle backing up data.”

    MICHAEL ANDRADE IT MANAGER, QUINCY MUTUAL GROUP

    Although Quincy Mutual was happy with its tape vaulting system (and still maintains an ancillary tape backup program for 100 open media tapes and six long-term storage containers to this day), the forwardthinking company recently found itself in search of a streamlined, more technologically-advanced solution to its backup demands. As the company became increasingly aware of mainstream “cloud” services, internal advisors decided to explore options to modernize their process by backing up to the cloud. But there was one, potentially challenging problem: Quincy Mutual Group had long since chosen to use a hybrid server configuration network system to house all of its mission critical data.

    Sadly, not many e-vaulting service providers could accommodate this older, yet perhaps more resilient server. “All the data lived on a hybrid server configuration. It was key that we have someone who could understand and could help us get that data backed up,” Michael Andrade, IT manager for Quincy Mutual, remarked. Clearly, without a third-party solution that could actively manage their system, Quincy Mutual was in danger of trailing behind the emerging business curve.

    Not surprisingly, a cloud backup provider with these capabilities proved hard to find. “When we brought up our hybrid server configuration to other third-party candidates, they‘d go silent on the other end of the phone,” a frustrated Mr. Andrade observed. But when Quincy Mutual put in a call to Iron Mountain, the line didn’t go silent. Instead, data backup experts at Iron Mountain readily agreed to construct a plan that would bring the Quincy Mutual’s data management process up to date and supplemented their offsite tape program. “We didn’t replace our tape backup with this technology,” Mr. Andrade said, adding, “we used it to enhance our tape backup, which is great for us, because instead of losing a whole day’s worth of data and business in the event of an unforeseen problem, we now have cut that down to maybe a half day or even less because we’re doing electronic backups throughout the day.” Indeed, a series of digital backups each day would serve to reduce any gaps in restoration should the unthinkable occur and Quincy Mutual’s operations are suspended. In addition, this new, fortified, two-pronged backup system came with an extra bonus—it was overseen by a name Quincy Mutual already trusted.

    Since the implementation of its cloud backup program with Iron Mountain, Quincy Mutual has been able to rest secure in the knowledge that, should they experience a disruption or disaster, Iron Mountain systems can have the insurance carrier back up and running at a remote location in a matter of hours. This plan represents a “huge convenience” for the company, Mr. Andrade said. “We’ve…had a longstanding, great business relationship,” he observed. “We’ve toured Iron Mountain’s vault a few times and can appreciate how safe our data is, it was just the right choice for us to stick with Iron Mountain.”

    While implementing the service proved challenging, Iron Mountain’s support team worked with the customer to get it done. Mr. Andrade reported that Quincy Mutual’s assigned Iron Mountain technician was “always available” to help surmount any network “hurdles.” He also said that a customer relationship associate was constantly on hand to answer Quincy Mutual’s long list of questions about backup schedules and restorations.

    After the initial data upload, Quincy Mutual’s information has been effortlessly synced to Iron Mountain’s encrypted Internet connection, and backups continue to hum along on a daily basis. Though entirely content with Iron Mountain’s support of their hybrid vaulting program, Quincy Mutual has possible plans to move to a single digital backup plan in the not-too-distant future. If and when that decision is made, Iron Mountain will be waiting to help them take the next step.


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