In terms of the partnership, IBM, through its Innovation Centre, will help SDT validate the scalability and performance of Exergy, SDT's insurance solution.
"With our enhanced focus on working with Tier One clients, we needed an independent and reputable partner to assist us in validating what we can do with Exergy," says Johan Oosthuysen, strategic solutions executive at SDT. "Our strategic objective required this as some of our new and prospective clients will have policy bases running into the millions, as well as have a large number of users working on the system at any given point in time. We engaged with IBM to use their technical and other resources so as to test Exergy under a variety of conditions."
The partnership has multiple purposes:
â¢ To test and validate Exergy's scalability and architecture. "We have tested up to 5 million policies so far, and will soon be testing up to 10 million," says Oosthuysen.
â¢ To set up an infrastructure benchmarking reference document, which existing and potential clients can use to prove what Exergy can do in terms of scalability.
â¢ To investigate and pursue integration opportunities with IBM software applications such as WebSphere and Cognos.
â¢ To test the potential for new-generation technologies such as virtualisation, which some customers are calling for. "We have deployed Exergy in an internal virtual environment as a proof of concept," reports Oosthuysen.
Together, SDT and IBM have configured a typical load test, which encompasses all month-end processing, some transaction processing, the capturing of new business, validation of new business, and the simulation of 1 000 concurrent users. This is tested using another third-party technology.
"Our clients want and need the assurance that our solutions will grow with their businesses, no matter how rapid or extreme their growth," adds Oosthuysen. "Our partnership with IBM gives them just that assurance."
Clayton Booysen, IBMâs Africa Innovation Centre manager, says this was the first engagement at the Johannesburg centre with SDT as its new business partner.
âWe see this first successful collaboration as only the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship as we introduce SDT to the many resources in the IBM global network of innovation, which is designed purely to help our partners be successful in the marketplace,â says Booysen.