IT-based business enabling solutions provider, the JSE-listed Square One Solutions Group, has designed, implemented and commissioned a full data disaster recovery system for the black empowerment Medical Aid Scheme administrator Sigma Health Fund Managers (Sigma) at its Bellville, Cape Town, headquarters.

Sigma focuses on making healthcare more accessible and affordable to previously disadvantaged communities and provides a range of administrative services to medical schemes such as Pro Sano, including collecting contributions, payment and processing of claims, member database management and maintenance, financial accounting, and client and call centre services.
“Studies showed that Sigma would lose considerable revenue if their data centre experienced a disaster and that this warranted a disaster recovery solution to ensure that any potential losses would be avoided or, in the worst case scenario, minimised,” says Square One account manager Oscar Frutuoso.
Square One was asked to investigate a solution and put in place certified procedures for disaster recovery. A suitable recovery site was identified at one of Sigma’s branch offices where all systems and data are recovered to in the event of a disaster at the head office data centre. Additional data storage facilities were also installed.
“The solution was based upon a full study of Sigma’s existing systems, after which a proposal was presented to re-engineer and implement best practice methodologies that would meet the minimum requirements of Sigma for continued operation within a specific time frame in the event of a disaster,” added Frutuoso.
“There is now a pre-defined plan in place which ensures that the correct procedures are followed to keep system and production downtime to the absolute minimum. Having assisted Sigma in the past in a number of data projects, our engineers were able to use their thorough understanding of Sigma’s IT environment to design and implement the most effective and cost-efficient disaster recovery solution.”
Sigma IT manager Shawaal Davids said the disaster recovery solution was a natural progression to “maintain the functionality, availability, productivity and security of the IT systems that have given the company a competitive edge in the healthcare services market”.
Sigma, founded in 1998, is one of the first black-owned and controlled medical aid administrators in South Africa. Its major goal is to establish itself as a driving force behind “changing the face of healthcare” by making healthcare more accessible and affordable to previously disadvantaged communities.