Guild Group appoints SXiQ and MacTel for major tech refresh

Microsoft, VMware, vcloud, azure, macquarie telecom, SXIQ, Guild Group

Insurance firm Guild Group Holdings has turned to SXiQ to migrate its infrastructure from a private cloud into Microsoft Azure. 

The appointment comes as part of a wider refresh at the Australian firm with Macquarie Telecom also being handed a new contract to roll-out an SD-WAN. 

According to Guild Group, the insurer needed significant capital investment for its aging private cloud infrastructure, which even then would still have limitations and “struggle to scale”. 

The Guild Group also wanted a streamlined and more modern disaster recovery solution and the ability to rein in costs with no loss of performance. 

Guild Group’s head of technology Alastair Latimer turned to SXiQ to develop a detailed three-year total cost of ownership for the cloud, including migration costs. 

At the end of 2020, Guild began its move to Azure and has  now had 90 per cent of all the systems transferred to Azure, including its business intelligence systems SAS and Tableau. 

It has also deployed Office 365 and Dynamics 365 for general ledger, sales and service. 

In the coming 12 months, Guild will look to reducing the amount of manual maintenance required by leveraging automation, such as patching of servers. 

“We took the decision to move to infrastructure-as-code and microsegmentation with complex applications,” said Alistair Wilkinson, head of consulting and solution design at SXiQ. “If the application hasn’t been really fully documented in terms of its API [application programming interface] connectivities and integrations then it’s a lot of trial and error.” 

Meanwhile, Guild Group has also begun installing VMware VeloCloud SD-WAN after tapping former partner Macquarie Telecom to help upgrade its customer contact centre operations. 

The provider has also decommissioned Guild’s Skype for Business and implemented Microsoft Teams calling during the pandemic. 

“When Microsoft announced they were ending support for Skype for Business in light of their Teams strategy, our immediate need was to navigate the change while ensuring no interruption to our services. We also wanted to set our business up for the long-term with a simpler desktop experience and completely modernised network,” Latimer said. 

The transition saw 100 contact centre agents in Guild Group’s insurance and superannuation businesses moved to remote work COVID-19 pandemic.  

Macquarie has since enabled the organisation to add channels and capabilities to its contact centre application, including its Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) into the solution, further simplifying the use of collaboration tools for the team. 

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