A multi-line insurance company serving thousands of individuals, families, and businesses across Montana and Wyoming, Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company has been providing financial peace of mind for customers with competitive, quality products and services for over 65 years.
Through its history, Mountain West has seen a multitude of industry, regulatory, and technological changes, alongside the challenges they pose to legacy IT environments. When the company conducted a modernization analysis across their IT landscape, Marcus Curley, AVP of Information Technology, realized the project was large enough to require a partner execute his vision for efficient, responsive department infrastructure that could meet the needs of both internal and external customers.
Curley’s team identified gaps in technology infrastructure, cloud and platform skill sets, day-to-day management, application management, security posture, and disaster recovery practices. To drive IT modernization, find and capitalize on efficiencies, and partner as a leader in departmental change, Mountain West chose managed services from Lunavi.
In 2015, Lunavi dug in with its proprietary discovery process SpotLITE (Listen, Implement, Test, Execute), taking a deep look throughout Mountain West’s IT environment to uncover a wholistic picture of the company’s IT operations, infrastructure, and software.
“I appreciate the proactiveness of Lunavi's recommendations,” said Curley. “They are very knowledgeable and anticipate our needs in a way I didn’t think was possible from a vendor.”
After an initial fiber upgrade that improved internet connectivity to support Mountain West’s 600-plus employees across Wyoming, Utah, and Montana, the team moved on to executing larger projects throughout the technology stack.
Lunavi migrated Mountain West from legacy communication applications to cloud-based Microsoft Office 365, and worked with Mountain West to replace their aging enterprise phone system. The two companies worked together to conceptualize, build, and deploy a hybrid cloud platform for production IT systems. From multi-tenant private cloud hosting, traditional colocation, and on-premise resources comprised the infrastructure layer; with support of various platforms and applications.
Creating a hybrid architecture allows Mountain West's evolving ecosystem to change more easily and lessen the impact on production workloads, end-users, or the customer base that relies on that insurance software during critical and sometimes emergency situations. As Lunavi identified areas to gain efficiency or implement backups, administrators were able to collaborate with the Mountain West IT staff to design, test, and implement additional components.
“After working with Lunavi, we have saved or repurposed hundreds of thousands of dollars over our three year relationship.” said Curley. “On top of that, we’ve grown our own expertise with successful knowledge transfer and stepped up security. I am eager to see how our collective efforts continue to propel us towards being more agile and stable.”
Regular hands-on status meetings, ongoing evaluation of the entire Mountain West IT ecosystem, and a belief in challenging personnel to always be proactive and keep customer interests in mind have all helped to create a relationship that continues to evolve along with Mountain West’s business. The companies also share a general ethos of integrity, transparency, and doing right by customers.
“Together, we’ve made dramatic improvements to our core IT platforms and service delivery. Lunavi has capable, confident, and caring staff; I always trust they have our best interest in mind,” said Curley. “In an era where IT departments are tasked with doing more with less, Lunavi does not feel like a vendor. They are part of our team, and they help us stay both operationally and strategically efficient. Our policyholders rely on us when they are experiencing challenges, and it’s our job to be there for them. Lunavi plays a large part in helping us fulfill our promise.”
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