Leading title and escrow company seeks to harness business growth and security
In a business dominated by only a few major companies, Vantage Point Title has been making an impression on prospective customers. Its business is growing fast, both financially and geographically. When Vantage Point Title engaged with Flexential, it had recently brought its IT production environment back in-house, using a large, global public cloud provider for data backup and storage.
With security and data protection regulations weighing heavily on the large financial institutions Vantage Point Title was increasingly working with, the company decided to re-evaluate its cloud vendor. While its customers weren’t anti-cloud, as a matter of state and federal jurisdictional requirements, the location of customer data has to be readily identifiable, replicated and stored in a backup site, down to the storage array that contains it. Legislation requires that the infrastructure must comply with all applicable regulations governing the handling and security of that data. In many cases, large, global public cloud providers can’t pinpoint where data within cloud systems is stored, much less what country it’s in.
“I didn’t want to go out and buy a bunch of hardware that could meet production level requirements, but sat in the data center and was rarely used,” said Kevin Mazur, CIO for Vantage Point. Mazur had worked with Flexential previously, when Vantage Point Title and its former sister company shared physical servers within the Flexential North Tampa facility. Given the success of the previous relationship, and the fact that Flexential undergoes annual audits for various regulatory compliance requirements, Mazur didn’t think twice before contacting them again.
Flexible cloud solution becomes a viable answer for backup, storage and DR objectives
Mazur didn’t want to revert back to colocation for backup and storage, but he thought it might be necessary in order to satisfy the regulatory and compliance demands of Vantage Point Title’s large financial customers. Representatives from Vantage Point Title sat down with Flexential, reviewed both the colocation and cloud scenarios and quickly estimated the cost of the two options. Vantage Point Title then shared this information with its customers, who agreed that the Flexential cloud was a great option.
“That was good news; the cloud was always my goal,” recalled Mazur. “We want to remain small and agile, and stay focused on customers and growing our business. Flexibility is what I’m looking for, and this cloud solution provides it.”
Vantage Point Title and Flexential built a system that replicates the company’s real-time production data in SQL databases and maintains a warm backup system for disaster recovery. The warm backup system allows Vantage Point Title to have hardware and connectivity already established, but the site is not in live production mode. Guided by a detailed DR plan, Vantage Point Title can be back up in a few hours from anywhere in the country in the event of downtime, which meets its recovery time objective. The warm backup system at Flexential can scale quickly to above-production levels and is highly adaptable to meet client needs. A dedicated virtual private network with two-factor authentication links Vantage Point Title desktops across the country to the backup data center. After a disaster has run its course, switching back to the company’s production site is easy.
The unparalleled standing of Flexential in the industry for its comprehensive security and compliance programs was positively received both by Vantage Point Title and its customers, who must comply with the financial reporting and internal controls issued by the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16.
“Vantage Point Title has gone above and beyond by certifying our systems, procedures and processes with a SSAE 16 audit,” said Mazur. “That fact that Flexential does that and much more is a strong point of differentiation for them, as well as for us and our customers.”
Successful cloud solution leads to enablement for continued business growth and satisfied customers
The implementation of the Vantage Point Title solution went smoothly. Soon after, Mazur realized he needed a few additional resources and had plans to make some changes. Storage requirements had grown significantly. “We went from one terabyte to two, just like that. Flexential’s team added the additional storage by the next day. The engineers were awesome at getting everything set up, and working through the support website was fast and easy.”
Vantage Point Title’s rapid growth trajectory continues on a national scale unabated. Leaving backup and recovery to Flexential means that the company has more time and resources to devote to that growth. Mazur notes that when it’s time to refresh the company’s hardware, Vantage Point Title may decide the time is right to go into the cloud full time with its production system, which handles mortgage refinancing primarily with large mortgage companies, banks and credit unions.
“Our goal is to streamline everything we do and squeeze out every ounce of productivity so that we can remain nimble. It’s not our goal to grow to be a large conglomerate that is slow to react to market changes,” said the CIO.
“Working with Flexential has been a pleasure, and that’s not normal with vendors!”