We have seen hardware call reductions of almost 22 percent with HSD. We expect to see 46 percent cost reductions in support costs for desktops.
If it weren't for its industrious sales force, posting a 66.5 percent growth in net profit in a single financial year would have been just a distant dream for HDFC Life. And getting there in a down economy is not a mean feat. That's what makes the insurer one of the big guns in the fiercely competitive Indian insurance industry.
However, sustaining those high profit figures is as important as achieving them. HDFC Life's SVP-Business Systems and Technology, Thomson Thomas realized this and decided to come up with a way to sustain the company's profitable streak, through IT. He saw the potential to reduce the insurer's IT costs, and at the same time, improve the sales team's productivity by opting for one of the largest hosted shared desktop (HSD) implementations in the country.
Initiating IT Insurance back in May 2012, when the desktops used by the insurance giant's sales force were due for a hardware refresh, Thomas had to decide what route to follow to accomplish it. Traditional refresh would have required upgrading desktop PCs on the hardware and software fronts, an endeavor that would be quite expensive.
There were two main factors that required addressing during this refresh: The need for reducing the costs and complexity associated with managing user desktops, and the need to maximize productivity through end-user systems."From a technology angle, we looked at options such as HSD, VDI, and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) as part of the refresh," says Thomas.
"From a business challenge point of view, we were facing a couple of issues related to information security and app performance." There were some serious cases of non-adherence to security policies. For instance, one of their security policies required USB ports to be disabled at all times. This was not followed strictly at branch locations. And since two to three sales members were sharing a desktop, the threat of data leakage was high and had to be addressed on priority.
On the app performance front, there was a lot of anti-virus activity happening, mainly due to constant updates. This, coupled with the other apps running on those desktops, resulted in inadequacy of processing memory for users to process their activities at optimum levels.
Field level employees are the lifeline of the insurance industry. When HDFC Life realized its already efficient sales force could bring in more success with a productivity enhancer, it turned towards hosted shared desktops (HSD). Presenting the behind-the-scenes story of one of the largest HSD implementations in the country.
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