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Leading UAE Health Insurance Provider Propels Efficiency, Cuts Costs, and Looks to Greener IT by Migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux
October 5, 2012
Daman migrated its enterprise content management platform to Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® in order to increase efficiency, improve control of information, and reduce the overall cost of information management.
“We consider Red Hat to be our strategic partner as we take on new and challenging business development plans, and we are confident in the abilities of Red Hat technologies and our own technical capabilities.” Ramzi Rahal, director of IT, Daman
The previously deployed enterprise content management platform used by Daman was running on a proprietary operating system which added significantly to the cost of operation. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux hosting all Daman’s other applications, integration of the proprietary operating system with the overall architecture proved to be difficult to manage.
United Arab Emirate’s first specialized health insurance company and long-term open source technology advocate, National Health Insurance Company–Daman, migrated its enterprise content management platform to Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® in order to increase efficiency, improve control of information, and reduce the overall cost of information management.
Speedbumps in the IT roadmap
As a leading health insurance provider in the region, Daman handles more than 1.4 million medical claims each month, which translates to a tremendous number of requests on the company’s underlying IT systems. Typically, the IT department estimates 20 million IT transactions each day. In order to provide customers with differentiating service and to ensure the smooth operation of internal processes, stability and constant availability of applications are critical to the health insurance provider.
Since it began operations in 2006, Daman has always been a strong advocate of open source software. In 2009, Daman realized it needed an enterprise content management platform to increase efficiency, improve control of information, and reduce the overall cost of information management.
As a pioneer in the application of open source solutions for vital business processes, a number of Daman’s mission-critical applications have been deployed on systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux. However, while deploying its enterprise content management platform, EMC Documentum, Daman implemented its new system on a proprietary operating system. Over time, the cost of maintenance proved to be limiting.
While all other applications were running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the enterprise content management application running on a different operating system added a degree of complexity for the healthcare company. Maintaining such a disjointed heterogeneous environment proved to be a strain on resources.
“Given the nature of our business, the number of critical applications deployed and our dedication to providing our customers with world-class services, stability and availability are the two primary concerns of our organization. Over the past six years, we have realized the benefits of open source technology and have utilized Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the deployment of a number of our most vital applications,” said Ramzi Rahal, director of IT, Daman.
“Running the enterprise content management platform on a proprietary operating system involved a significant cost overhead and unnecessary complexity in both the hardware and software. We already have a team of engineers who are highly proficient in open source technology, which made migration of the system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux a logical decision,” said Rahal.
Standardizing on open source
As an organization that has utilized open source solutions since the beginning, Daman has experienced firsthand the technology benefits. This strong inclination towards open source has even prompted the health insurance provider to invest heavily in developing the necessary skills to carry out complex implementations and maintenance of such systems within the organization itself. Therefore, when finalizing its decision to migrate its enterprise content management platform, the company was confident that Red Hat was the vendor of choice.
For its strategic migration, Daman implemented Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 on 13 servers with six utilizing STET for the production environment. The remaining seven servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux were used with Oracle Application Server for clustered groups.
Leveraging in-house skill
Rahal is particularly proud of the in-house expertise that has been developed for the integration of Red Hat solutions. “The entire implementation was carried out by our own internal team, who managed to complete this project flawlessly. This is a testament to both the skill of our engineers as well as the ease of manageability of Red Hat products. Even the day-to-day maintenance of these systems is easily carried out by our technical team, allowing us to run our applications on them with a high degree of confidence,” said Rahal.
Ease of maintenance and excellent stability
In addition to the significant reduction in the operational costs of the system, Daman has experienced a number of benefits from the migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, including the standardization of systems in accordance with the organization’s long-term IT vision, ease of maintenance, and excellent stability and robustness even when dealing with large workloads.
The company has witnessed benefits across a broad range of mission-critical applications, such as its core insurance application MedNeXt, Oracle E-Business Suite, service integration layers, application servers and the Documentum database, all of which have been deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Daman largely credits its highly stable IT environment to this underlying platform. This stability provides Daman with the ability to run business-critical applications around the clock with no downtime. This allows the company to deliver faster processing of claims and policies while broadening its reach by setting up 33 branches and service points across the country.
Building on this stable, secure and robust IT infrastructure, Daman has been able to successfully modernize its business services in a manner that appeals to its customers. Three years ago, the company enhanced its customer-facing offerings through an online services portal. This project enabled customers to generate insurance quotes, apply for or renew their insurance policies and even submit their insurance claims online.
A year later, Daman further simplified its business-to-business processes by facilitating e-transactions and the processing of medical facilities claims through its online portal. Today, due to government regulations and internal initiatives, more than 95% of medical claims are initiated electronically. All this is possible due to a stable architecture based on open source software.
“The migration of EMC Documentum to Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been a smooth process, and we are very happy with the performance of the system. We consider Red Hat to be our strategic partner as we take on new and challenging business development plans, and we are confident in the abilities of Red Hat technologies and our own technical capabilities,” said Rahal.
Continued commitment to open source
Daman is currently in the process of rolling out a web deployment of its core insurance application. All the application servers run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux to improve process efficiency within the organization. In a move to greener IT, Daman is also looking to reduce its server footprint by implementing of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.