Primerica Selects New IBM zEnterprise Mainframe Server for Smarter Infrastructure

PR Newswire, May 11, 2011

New z196 Provides 95,000 Agents with Instant Access to more than 2.4 Million Client Accounts

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), the largest independent financial services marketing company in North America with more than 2.4 million client accounts, has selected the new IBM zEnterprise 196 to run its core business applications. The new zEnterprise – which runs both Linux and the z operating system – helps reduce the time it takes Primerica agents to open insurance and other types of financial accounts from days to minutes by enabling smart phones to upload client records directly to the mainframe server.

With the new zEnterprise server at its core, Primerica has developed a complete infrastructure based on workload optimized systems. The new zEnterprise 196 manages data on agents, commission statements, clients, life insurance policies and financial accounts. IBM Power Systems run the IBM Websphere Application Server. Additionally, Primerica uses System x servers to stream new video-based educational content to agents.

Primerica's new zEnterprise 196 – which was used to upgrade an existing z9 mainframe – includes a range of microprocessors dedicated to run zOS as well as specialty microprocessors such as the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIPs) for processing database workloads and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFLs) for processing Linux workloads. These microprocessors are up to 100 percent faster than the chips Primerica was using in their z9 mainframe server.

"The substantial leap in performance of the new zEnterprise 196 – particularly the industry leading processor speed, led us to upgrade from the z9 to the new system – will allow us to continue grow and expand our business," said David Wade, CIO of Primerica. "Additionally, we are poised to take advantage of upcoming features of the new zEnterprise System, including the ability to manage workloads on select POWER and System x Servers as if they were a mainframe. This will further simplify our IT architecture and reduce costs. Demonstrating the open nature of the platform, the new zEnterprise is helping with a seamless transition as a newly public company."

Late last year Citigroup spun off Primerica through an initial public offering. This new zEnterprise System marks the 19th IBM mainframe Primerica has purchased in the 30 year history of the company.

"In the past six months, mainframe sales grew at their fastest rate in six years, led by the introduction of the zEnterprise system," said Tom Rosamilia, general manager, IBM Power and z Systems. "Clients like Primerica are taking advantage of this bold move the zEnterprise offers to fundamentally change how data centers are managed. The z196 is the fastest enterprise server in the world and represents a giant leap forward in performance."