Well Protected

How SV SparkassenVersicherung is achieving legal compliance and secure email archiving with EMA.

As part of the Sparkassen Financial Group, SV SparkassenVersicherung (SV) stands as one of Germany's top insurers. SV brings under one roof the insurance options offered by Sparkassen in Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Thuringia, and parts of Rhineland-Palatinate - covering an area home to about 20 million people. SV sets itself apart as a forward-thinking regional insurer, with a special focus on property insurance: in Baden-Württemberg and Hessen alone, the company insures more than two-thirds of all homes.

Before: No Automated Archiving

SV employs around 5,000 staff across its headquarters in Stuttgart and offices in Erfurt, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Mannheim, and Wiesbaden, as well as from about 400 of its own local branches and field services. In the wake of increasing digitization, email has become the backbone of daily communication for the company's workforce. However, when it came to email management and archiving, SV had some catching up to do. For instance, there was no uniform system for the orderly, centralized storage of email messages that didn't fit into a specific category within the customer archives. Users were archiving email manually in the file system, with no way to independently search for and retrieve email based on keywords in the database. As a technology service provider for public insurers, SV Informatik GmbH faced the challenge of modernizing the email infrastructure at SparkassenVersicherung and implementing contemporary, efficient processes for archiving and accessing email. The IT service provider, along with its partners, is tasked with ensuring the reliable and economical operation of SV's application environment.

A key priority for us was achieving fully automated, audit-compliant, and legally secure archiving of incoming and outgoing email," explains Dirk Preuschoff-Porzelt, head of the IZ4 - Printing and Communication Services department at SV Informatik GmbH. "We aimed to store them in a central archive without requiring any action from our employees. At the same time, we wanted to introduce a definitive system for filing email messages not already associated with a specific insurance transaction.

EMA Stands Out

Before making a decision, the service provider for SV SparkassenVersicherung delved deeply into various scenarios for the project. The exploration included the possibility of developing a completely new system based on the existing Lotus Notes email system, as well as technically diverse solutions from different vendors. Given the partially decentralized IT infrastructure, there was a clear need for a future-proof system that could effortlessly integrate into various settings. Taking these factors into account, especially the compliance and security requirements—which understandably carry significant weight in the finance and insurance sectors—the choice ultimately landed on EMA from ARTEC IT Solutions.

"We had outlined several criteria beforehand. The EMA solution by ARTEC came out on top regarding cost-efficiency, scalability, and user-friendliness. It was also vital for us to be able to integrate the archive server into the existing LDAP protocol to streamline user management. Moreover, we didn't want the performance of our email applications to suffer," adds Dirk Preuschoff-Porzelt from SV Informatik GmbH. EMA was up and running at SV in less than a working day. The connection to the user directory went off without a hitch. During a workshop with ARTEC IT Solutions, we were able to make all the necessary settings through the archiving solution’s web interface.

Incoming and outgoing email is now fully automatically archived in compliance with current legal regulations. For example, after the legally required retention period of about ten years, the relevant email, which can be uniquely identified by an individually assigned digital timestamp, is set for automatic deletion. To ensure the overall system can be scaled simply and flexibly in anticipation of future data growth, Sparkassen-Versicherung has also opted for ARTEC's own storage solution, VSTOR Vault. VSTOR Vault is perfectly tailored to work with the EMA archiving solution and can be expanded modularly as needed.

Involving the Works Council

The project also addresses data protection and employee privacy through specific compliance settings. From the outset, adhering to internal policies and promptly involving the works council were crucial considerations for the insurance company. The project manager of business organization, Christian Rasmus, prioritized tact and sensitivity in addressing these issues, striving to find solutions that consider the unique requirements of certain departments and employees. For instance, email to and from sensitive groups like works council members, company doctors, or addiction officers are exempt from archiving. Clear regulations also govern potential third-party access to archived email, for example, during audits or per court orders. In such cases, the four-eyes principle applies, requiring the consent of both a works council member and the data protection officer (each through password entry) to grant access to the archive to third parties.

When it's necessary to retrieve an email from the archive, a quick and efficient search function is there to help. Even emails buried in large or very large datasets can be located in no time. This capability ensures the insurance company is well-prepared, even in the face of significant data growth. Looking ahead, offloading data to an external archive not only offers these technical benefits for SV but also alleviates the burden on the primary IT infrastructure, which could lead to reduced costs in the future.

"We're extremely pleased with EMA on a technical level because it allowed us to implement a compliant and legally secure email archiving system for SV SparkassenVersicherung as planned," summarize Dirk Preuschoff-Porzelt of SV Informatik GmbH and Christian Rasmus of SV SparkassenVersicherung. "Furthermore, our experience with the support from ARTEC IT Solutions and their solution expertise has been very positive."

Data Management and Security with EMA
  • EMA E8000
  • VSTOR Vault Storage
  • Deployed modules: EMA Email

Key Highlights at a Glance

  • Meets all compliance and security requirements in the insurance sector
  • Prioritizes data protection
  • Automatically stores data in a central archive despite a decentralized IT infrastructure
  • Simplifies user management
  • Implements VSTOR Vault as a storage solution for future scalability

Wish to Know More? We're Here to Assist!

Birgit Würtele

Christian Wieck

Michael Niehoff

Sasa Mitrovic

Keen to discover more about EMA's capabilities and uses? We'd be delighted to present EMA in a live demonstration. We eagerly await your enquiry!

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