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Improved security, faster run times and cost savings boost cloud appeal for life insurers

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, has released a new version of vGrid, its cloud-based software-as-a-service technology. vGrid 2.0 allows insurers to run financial models faster and more easily, and introduces new sophisticated security features.

The computational grid solution gives life insurers on-demand access to scalable computing power to help them meet ever-reducing reporting timetables.

“An independent assessment calculated a 27% cost saving for one existing insurance industry client by choosing vGrid over running their own on-premise system,” said Stephen Hollands, global product lead, Willis Towers Watson. “With vGrid 2.0, we’d expect to deliver even further cost savings as our tests confirm a 20% to 30% improvement in runtime speeds compared to the previous version of vGrid.”

According to Willis Towers Watson, the ability to achieve quicker results and execute more complex run scenarios will make it easier for insurers to respond to both changing regulatory requirements and internal pressure to improve business performance.

“Managing large compute capacity and complex IT infrastructure can be expensive, especially when demand is variable. vGrid 2.0 is another step in delivering an efficient, scalable and secure environment, allowing users to further increase their processing power, as and when they need it, without the high ongoing costs of when they don’t,” said Hollands.

Additional security features have been added to the pay-as-you-go virtual grid technology to ensure compatibility with in-house IT policies and requirements. For example, vGrid 2.0 now includes multifactor authentication, reflecting a requirement for many companies to reduce the risk of access credentials for web applications and services being compromised or shared. Also, companies can now set their own timings for when their data will automatically be cleaned from vGrid’s cloud storage.

Willis Towers Watson’s latest vGrid software is designed to complement its RiskAgility Financial Modeller (RiskAgility FM), which helps life insurers develop and run financial models to better manage risk and safeguard solvency.

Notes to editors

All existing and new vGrid clients will be upgraded to the latest and most powerful Azure compute machines available for model runs. New features of vGrid 2.0 include:

  • vGrid automatically provisions machines only when necessary and turns machines off once they are no longer required. With the latest version, users can now choose to terminate idle machines within two to three minutes of completing their last task.

  • Users can now choose to receive email alerts when vGrid jobs start or finish, which is especially useful for longer production model runs. An actuary or vGrid manager can also receive notifications when other users run jobs on vGrid.

  • Users familiar with run times in vGrid can now set jobs to auto-terminate in the event they take much longer than expected. This feature helps ensure machines are forced to shut down to avoid incurring unexpected cost.

  • The standard setting when using RiskAgility FM with vGrid is to automatically purge any data upon successful completion of the run. However, users will occasionally wish to leave data in cloud storage for a limited period of time, often to debug data in the event of a failed run. vGrid 2.0 introduces a new feature that allows companies to set their own timings for when their data will automatically be cleaned from vGrid storage.

  • Many companies require that web applications and services have multifactor authentication controls to reduce the
 risk of access credentials being compromised or shared. vGrid 2.0 now allows companies to turn on this capability. Users then authenticate access by either phone, text or mobile app.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ:WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential. Learn more at willistowerswatson.com.

Media contact Josh Wozman: +1 703 258 7670 josh.wozman@willistowerswatson.com

Source:Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company