Case Study: Gabsten Technologies ensures Sasria’s data is always on and always available with managed services offering
25 Oct 2019
Access to data is critical for any business, but if you are South Africa’s (SA) only short-term insurance provider of special risk cover, a data loss event could prove catastrophic. Sasria SOC Ltd provides unique cover against risks such as civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism to all individuals and businesses that own assets in SA, as well as government entities. A lack of control and visibility into how their data was being managed, stored and protected resulted in backups failing, leaving the organisation at risk. When a significant incident occurred and they experienced a challenge with restoring their Microsoft Exchange data on their system, they turned to Gabsten Technologies to assist.
Five critical systems within the Sasria organisation are backed up to ensure that core business operations can be recovered in the event of a disaster. However, backups had been failing while overstretched resources were busy with operations and daily tasks. This resulted in unsecured data and a lack of business continuity in case of a disaster. Eventually a significant incident occurred in the form of hardware failure and subsequent inability to recover the data on the Exchange server. This meant that nobody was able to access their email and business operations became highly challenging
“Our issues resulted from the lack of a strategic assistance to manage our data in case of a crisis, which was a massive risk for the organisation. While we utilised the services of a backup provider, we had no contract and no service level agreements (SLAs) in place. When a Priority 1 incident occurred in January 2019, we were unable to restore our Exchange data, significantly impacting our ability to do business. We turned to Gabsten Technologies to assist,” explains Sam Nkosi, Chief Information Officer at Sasria.
Sasria’s immediate requirement was to recover their lost Exchange data. Gabsten was able to restore business to an operational level within just two hours. However after discussion, it became clear that the organisation also required a data management service provider. This would ensure that backups were completed effectively and efficiently and that the business could recover quickly in the event of data loss or a disaster. When Gabsten came on board Sasria was experiencing failures with their backups. This was resolved and backups are now successfully completed twice a day. The disaster recovery plan and strategy are under continuous review to ensure alignment with Sasria’s requirements and global best practice.
While Sasria had a robust Commvault platform in place, they were lacking the skills to manage their data effectively. Gabsten now provides Sasria with a full managed service offering and has become a trusted advisor to the organisation. We have weekly calls and monthly meetings to ensure our services are aligned with their needs. We also provide skills transfer and training to enable them to make informed decisions regarding their data. Through this we are working to empower them to better protect and take control of their data,” says Chris de Bruyn, Operations Director at Gabsten.
With effective data management in place, Sasria is now fully protected from incidents and data loss events. They also have peace of mind that a trusted service provider is proactively looking after their data environment to ensure that they can protect their data and keep their business running. With further engagement, Gabsten is assisting Sasria to further improve recovery times and enhance disaster recovery, bringing systems in line with global best practices.
“Gabsten is more than a service provider, they are a trusted and strategic partner that we can rely on for our backups and disaster recovery. We receive constant feedback from them and hold monthly meetings to ensure we are able to effectively and efficiently manage our organisational data. This means we are able to give our EXCO assurance with confidence that our data is secure and we would be able to operate in a case of disaster. They also advise us on other solutions we can implement to make us more effective and give us insight into the pros and cons of moving to the cloud for our organisation,” says Nkosi.
“Ultimately our experience with Gabsten has taught us that data management is not just about technology. We had the right system in place from a leading provider according to Gartner, however, only after dealing with Gabsten we realised that the service provider makes all of the difference to realising the full value of your tools. Their service was excellent during our crisis and continues to be of an exceptional standard,” he concludes.