DataCenterNews Asia Pacific - Specialist news for cloud & data center decision-makers
Story image
AIG Hosts IDCA committee at data center in Fort Worth, Texas
Tue, 7th Mar 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Fort Worth TX, October 17th 2016: International Data Center Authority (IDCA) were hosted by AIG at its main data center during IDCA's Quarterly Technical Standards Committee (QTSC) Summit in September. This announcement comes after the standards committee members and certain board members concluded their tour of AIG's data center facilities, met with the global CTO, global data centers director, data center site and facility managers, and participated in the committee's quarterly summit during their stay in Fort Worth on September 27th-30th 2016.

IDCA Chairman Mehdi Paryavi said, “AIG is one of the largest insurers in the world. It was essential for us to review their methodologies and see how they run their own infrastructure. After all, the education we provide, the standards we release, and the methodologies we deliver to the data center industry are all suited to ensure the viability of data and application end-users and stakeholders.” Paryavi continued by saying “We welcomed AIG's invitation to host IDCA and appreciate all the hospitality extended towards IDCA.

The location of this summit was chosen during the committee's previous summit in Washington D.C., where members were hosted by LinkedIn, Digital Realty and the US House of Representatives. All members agreed that they should welcome the invitation extended by AIG and see first-hand how AIG operates its data centers, and to exchange ideas with AIG's key leaders and team members as well as conduct the summit sessions.

Steve Hambruch, Chairman of the IDCA Technical Standards Committee, said, “The AIG leadership was very candid with us in regard to the challenges that they face in their industry, how they see their industry progressing forward and what Information Technology challenges will be presented as a result.  The insurance industry is expert at identifying risk - it's the whole purpose of their industry - however they don't have a suitable tool to identify the risk associated with their application ecosystem and its ability to serve their business needs going forward. While this is a shared concern with all industries, they are well positioned to recognize the ability to properly assess those risks and those challenges, due to their inherent expertise.” Hambruch continued, “When we provide a standards framework that's holistic and allows them to finally view their application ecosystem as a single measurable unit, they will finally be able to properly identify the risks and make informed business decisions to drive their businesses forward.

Carlos Tavares, Strategic Counsel and Member of IDCA's Board of Directors who accompanied the delegation in Dallas said, “This summit and the like is exactly what our industry needs. The amassed results, outputs and insights of such sessions for all of us who are the voices and responsible for this ever-growing industry are invaluable.

The data center visited by IDCA during the summit, currently handles 38% of the entire global application load for AIG. AIG's global application load includes Travel Guard, Claims and over three thousand other applications. This summit included a comprehensive tour of AIG's infrastructure and main data center, global review of AIG's operation in over 1,000 locations and 219 mission-critical data center sites worldwide, review of AIG's methodology and approach, meeting with key AIG leaders such as Rick Collins, Senior Director of Global Data Center Operations, Robert Ayr, Director of Data Center Operations and AIG Global CTO Mike Brady. It also engaged in a series of collaborative standards development sessions consistent with the purpose and agenda of all QTSC summits.

“Being able to see a company like AIG that operates within the insurance industry really helps to see how other companies within the industry can use the IDCA standards to move their operations forward,” said Eric Wendorf of LinkedIn. Wendorf then thanked AIG by saying “As a member of the committee it's been great having this summit hosted by AIG, all of the people involved have been pleasant and great to work with, I'd like to thank everyone at AIG for their generous hospitality.

Lance Walker of CHRISTUS Health and member of IDCA Technical Standards Committee said, “A way for IDCA to help AIG is to give insight into how they deliver their application delivery model.” Walker continued by saying, “AIG is not only one of the biggest insurance companies in the world, but they are one of the largest companies in the world. They have data centers all over the world, including America, Japan, and Europe, and one of the biggest takeaways for me is to ensure that the IDCA standards we are developing are going to address their industry.

IDCA committee members are active data center professionals with many years of experience, and impressive credentials as individuals. However, just as importantly, they are also representatives of their organizations, and their industry segments, each with unique challenges and perspectives related to the application ecosystem.

Lynn Gibson, CTO and Sr. Vice President of CHRISTUS Health, who has nominated one of his company's best and brightest to the technical standards committee, said during the dinner with all members, “Having met the technical standards committee, my first impression was how varied and diverse the committee is, in the skill sets they bring, the countries they represent, and the companies they represent, which is a very positive thing when you are trying to set standards. All too often organizations start a standards group based around one industry, such as manufacturing, retail or even healthcare. It was very telling that this organization has a desire and need to represent all industries and all countries, which is very admirable.” Gibson continued, “I believe that IDCA's missions and goals are at the forefront of what needs to be happening in our industry. The expectations of certification and education, and driving and developing standards for performance, will help the industry move forward to the next level.

Rick Collins, Sr Director of Global Data Center Operations at AIG and member of IDCA Technical Stanadrds Committee mentioned, “Putting together a checklist, or how-to for data centers, I like it. I've been involved with organizations like this in the past but I like how this organization is vendor agnostic, we are not accepting vendor support. You're getting true knowledge from true professionals that have done this for a long time and give people a great roadmap to improve their data center. It also helps because data centers are often misunderstood by higher level management. IDCA gives you quantitative evidence of how your data center is performing. Data centers have been thought to be seen, not heard, but data centers need to heard now”. Collins concluded by saying, “AIG is going to be adopting IDCA standards because it is the right thing to do and AIG is all about doing the right thing.