Watania signs BIOS Middle East as Business Continuity Provider

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Dominic Docherty, Managing Director, BIOS Middle East

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: BIOS Middle East, a specialist in disaster recovery services, has been appointed Disaster Recovery Service (DraaS) provider by National Takaful Company PJSC, “Watania”, as part of a proactive strategy on the part of the Abu Dhabi-based insurance company to ensure business continuity and embed resilience across its operations. 

BIOSME is the first and only company in the Middle East to be recognized by Gartner as a “niche player” for DRaaS. 

BIOSME was appointed after an exhaustive search for local DRaaS providers. Watania sent out a detailed request for proposals to several potential partners and evaluated their expressions of interest against a specific set of criteria and BIOSME was determined as the overall best performer with respect to the financial institution’s specific requirements, Watania officials confirmed. 

As a publicly listed insurance company it is important for us to prevent data loss and avoid disruption to our business,” said Gautam Dutta, CEO of Watania. 

Watania depends on reliable infrastructure and full-time application availability at all times, so any downtime and data loss could disrupt business continuity. When BIOSME came on board, the team identified over 30 workloads as critical to the business. These included core insurance applications, Financial System and Digital Platform to name few.

BIOSME specialises in taking a bespoke, solutions-driven approach that focuses on each client’s unique business requirements. As such, multiple tools were used to replicate critical databases and virtual machines to CloudHPT, the GCC’s local cloud, in Dubai. BIOSME delivered a blended service-level agreement (SLA) with a recovery point objective (RPO) of less than 10 minutes and a recovery time objective (RTO) of less than one hour. 

A significant requirement for Watania has been to ensure that DR is effective and responsive. As such, Watania tested the failover of its critical applications to CloudHPT in Dubai. Watania’s applications ran on the cloud for eight days without a hitch over this period. BIOS managed the full switchover and switchback outside working hours, ensuring that the business was never disrupted, and that the entire operation was conducted with zero loss of data. 

Martin Sebastian, CIO, Watania said, “We ran our entire production in DR with 100% user capacity and successfully completed the switchback. The exercise was a great experience and a confidence booster for Watania. Everything went smoothly obviously with some lessons learnt as well.” 

BIOSME has delivered over 60 successful DR projects to customers across the GCC and continues to support public and private sector organizations across a range of industries. 

Dominic Docherty, MD, BIOSME said, “Disaster recovery is an essential business strategy to ensure operations stability in challenging and uncertain operating environments. We are happy to be able to support Watania and its customers in ensuring business continuity over the foreseeable future.” 

DR enables organisations in the GCC and elsewhere to continue functioning in the event of a catastrophic event. A strong DR solution can make or break an organisation’s ability to recover natural or manmade setbacks. When every second of downtime means lost revenue, disaster mitigation demands quick thinking and immediate action.

About BIOS Middle East:

Established in 2002, BIOS Middle East (BIOSME) is the GCC’s Local Cloud and Managed Services Provider headquartered in Dubai, UAE. The company works to give its 400 plus customers the capabilities they need to become cloud-enabled and promote digital transformation. To do this, BIOSME provides managed services and cloud solutions with 24x7x365 support backed by a measurable SLA…. For a fixed monthly fee. 

BIOSME solutions include Managed Services, Security-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Disaster Recovery-as-a-service, Managed Multi-cloud across our cloud, CloudHPT, AWS and Azure. The company’s mission is to help customers use IT to free up time, money, and resources, so they can focus on the ‘business of improving and running their business.’

 For more information, please visit www.biosme.com    

About National Takaful Company PJSC, Watania:

National Takaful Company (Watania) is a young and dynamic organization that came into being in

2011. Watania was issued a license by the UAE Insurance Authority on the 12th of July, 2011 and was

listed on the ADX on the 14th of November, 2011.

Watania has a paid-up capital of AED150 m and its head office is in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Watania is an initiative taken by Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) (16%), Abu Dhabi

National Islamic Finance (ADNIF) (16%), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) (7%), and Aldar

Properties (7%). Their objective was to establish a leading takaful operator in the UAE which could

meet the demand of the UAE market for Sharia compliant insurance products.

Watania floated its stocks for an IPO on the 18th of April 2011 with issue oversubscribed nearly 7 times.

After the allotment process, Ajman Bank (16%) and Qatar First Development Bank (10%) joined the

ranks of the founding shareholders. Watania started underwriting risks on 14th of November, 2011.

In August 2014 there was a major change in the shareholding structure of Watania whereby MB

Investment UAE and Madina Takaful Oman acquired a majority 60% stake in the company from

existing shareholders.

Current major shareholders are MB Investment, UAE (51%), Magna Investments (15.90%), Dr. Ali BinDhaheri (12.01%) and Al Madina Takaful, Oman (9.54%).