Companies who choose our solutions


Case Studies

Old Mutual PLC

Hosting

Challenge:

Old Mutual plc is a leading international long-term insurance group established in 1845 and now operating in 38 countries worldwide. The company approached SI Futures to create a portal site to its various services within the group that could be accessed by both employees and external service providers.

Solution:

SI Futures designed, developed, implemented and hosted an extranet site for Old Mutual plc. To make allowance for the varying international bandwidth speeds of SA, the UK and the US, SI Futures designed the technical architecture so that it could be dual-hosted in both SA and the UK. Data replication between the two hosting sites is achieved through a combination of Microsoft SQL and Rsync scripts. South African users access the extranet via a .co.za domain, while international visitors access it through a .com domain. The site is secured through Firewalls and all data is encrypted using secure certificates. User access is built on LDAP, an open standards-based platform that allows for existing Old Mutual security systems to integrate with it seamlessly.

Results:

Old Mutual is able to share company information among its employees regardless of their location and saves time and money by bypassing the need for an expensive Wide Area Network. Users worldwide also achieve similar access speeds through the use of dual hosting. Standardised access to both the Internet and extranet sites is made possible through the integration of reverse proxy functionality within the extranet site.

Networking

Challenge:

Old Mutual plc's senior executives regularly travel between the UK and South Africa and employ personal assistants in both countries. The senior executives and their personal assistants need simultaneous access to their diaries as well as email and Internet access. Having personal assistants in two countries meant that the executives' diaries were often double-booked and Old Mutual needed a way to manage this.

Solution:

SI Futures implemented Exchange servers in the UK and South Africa, as well as a Wide Area Network with an Internet breakout using MPLS as the transport protocol. This enabled consistent Internet, email and diary access to senior executives and personal assistants in both countries, enabling them to manage their schedules regardless of where they are in the world.

Results:

Old Mutual's use of MPLS technology enabled the company to pay less for non-mission critical international bandwidth while ensuring a top level of service for Exchange server traffic. Senior executives could now access their email and appointments in both South Africa and the UK without having to reconfigure their mail clients, while their personal assistants' access to diaries in both countries avoided any embarrassing duplicate appointments.

Vuka Scuta South Africa

Challenge:

Since the latter half of 2008, Vuka Scuta South Africa (Vuka) and one of South Africa's Cellular companies had a special "bundle" on offer which enabled customers to acquire a Vuka scooter as a promotional product when entering into a specific cell phone contract.

The administration side of these promotions was a paper based system, which proved to be problematic and resulted in loss of revenue on Vuka's side.

Solution:

Vuka soon realised the paper-based system needed to be automated and that a web-based portal be created which could cater for the majority of the administration tasks involved. The aim of this portal was for improved administration and security of managing the information between the two businesses involved and to provide management with reports at any time, making it a much more efficient and professional way of doing business.

The portal ultimately allowed the cellular provider to issue electronic vouchers using a secure web page (HTTPS). Once a voucher was issued and the cell phone was activated, the portal sent the customer an SMS containing his/her electronic voucher number and further instructions on where to redeem it.

Such electronic vouchers were then redeemable at any Vuka store nationwide. Vuka employees used the web portal to redeem the voucher based on security validation by the portal.

Results:

It was important from the outset to make use of industry standard technology. SI Futures recommended that an Active Server Pages (ASP) based web application be used for the web portal. It was also recommended that Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) be used for authentication purposes. This allowed management to easily update user accounts, and allowed the system to keep track of user actions across the portal, enabling management to trace back erroneous use (if any) of the system to the user who initiated the action.

The portal required strict security, and in light of this, it was agreed to make use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption be used. A security certificate was purchased by Vuka to accomplish this.