Bold & Forward Thinking Leaders

By using Google Cloud, Arek Oy simplifies their pension calculations.

Call For Change

Arek Oy provides pension calculating services to all Finnish pension providers. Based on data spanning decades, these computations are highly controlled and incredibly complex. In addition, they are subject to severe compliance and precision criteria. Historically, the corporation determined the value of each Finnish citizen’s pension using an in-house mainframe programme using MIPS (million instructions per second) architecture. These values, derived from studies of 22 million lines of code and 7,000 COBOL modules, were then routinely shared with pension providers through standard reports.

Arek Oy was had to make a decision. It could adapt the old MIPS architecture to suit expanding demand, but the infrastructure maintenance costs were costly and COBOL skills were in limited supply. The alternative choice was revolutionary. It included migrating its pension calculation system from the mainframe to a private cloud platform.

When Tech Meets Human Inventiveness

Arek Oy collaborated closely with CDWT to build the required structure and technological foundation for the migration to Google Cloud, and especially to the Anthos application management platform. Arek Oy chose this platform because to its quicker CPUs and the fact that Google had a data centre in Finland that complied with the country’s stringent rules for storing sensitive data inside its borders.

The team began by determining the essential criteria for the new solution. The performance of individual computations in the Anthos environment has to match the performance of the mainframe precisely. Arek Oy required the ability to grow the cloud-based application in real time in response to fluctuating demand. In addition, a new DevOps pipeline was required to handle continuing application development and source code modifications on the mainframe and then automatically deploy these modifications to the Anthos infrastructure

A Valuable Difference

The whole pension calculation engine of Arek Oy was migrated to Anthos in less than a year, and good outcomes were realized considerably sooner.

Moving the calculation engine to a Kubernetes cluster managed by Anthos and running it on an Azul JVM has allowed Arek Oy to enhance its services for pension providers and the millions of retirees who depend on accurate, quick calculations. The highly automated, cloud-based solution is connected with pension providers’ systems across Finland, allowing them to satisfy the needs of pensioners more effectively.

Arek Oy realises considerable cost savings as a result of the application’s operation on a private cloud. Using Kubernetes infrastructure on Anthos rather than the old mainframe is expected to reduce the company’s cost per transaction by more than 80 percent. Arek Oy has been able to remove the annual cost of increasing the computational architecture of the mainframe system. In the new cloud environment, Arek Oy may flexibly grow its processing capacity based on demand, in real time, at a low price.

Together, the reduced cost per transaction and the capacity to grow on demand have a direct and beneficial effect on the experiences of pensioners, as well as the profitability of Arek Oy. When deciding to transfer the company’s most crucial application to the cloud, its management demonstrated courage and foresight. Their prudent risk has reaped magnificent rewards.

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