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Cisco Helps The First American Corporation Consolidate Data Centers to Deliver Virtualized Communication and Collaboration Services Globally


The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), America’s largest provider of business information, has partnered with Cisco and AT&T in its data center consolidation in order to deliver mortgage, real estate and financial information and services more efficiently. Driven by a growing business focus on globalization and productivity, First American identified the consolidation of its data centers and enhancing collaboration through unified communications as its top information technology (IT) business priorities.

“To build a world-class network that keeps pace with First American’s strategy for growth and a sustainable competitive advantage, our first priority was to consolidate our data centers and standardize on a flexible and scalable network that delivers virtualized storage services on-demand anywhere in the company,” said Evan Jafa, chief technology officer of The First American Corporation. “The next priority was to deliver a platform that brings together all forms of communications to enhance collaboration and foster greater productivity across teams. Cisco and AT&T helped us successfully address these priorities and achieve our objectives.”

First American partnered with Cisco Advanced Services and AT&T on the design, configuration and delivery of this multiyear initiative in order to achieve:

Increased efficiency at First American’s two new world-class data centers in Dallas, Texas, and Santa Ana, Calif.: With the goal of continuous access to all business-critical applications and systems from any of its 2,100 global offices, First American consolidated its seven networks into a single simplified architecture in the two new data centers. With this data center consolidation, First American standardized on a common fabric for the storage area network (SAN) based on the Cisco Multilayer DataCenter Switch (MDS) 9000 Family for improved data protection and the virtualization of tape-drive resources across the company.

An enhanced collaboration system that converges data, voice, video and messaging systems: In 18 months, First American and AT&T completed a rollout of Cisco Unified IP Phones enterprisewide to more than 60 global locations. Based on the Cisco Unified Communication system and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, First American significantly reduced telecom costs and improved operating efficiencies with the data-center-based, central IP communications service that supports employees across the enterprise.

“AT&T has collaborated with The First American Corporation and Cisco to integrate First American’s voice and data services onto a single unified network,” said Rick Resnick, senior vice president of Global Network Field Operations at AT&T. “AT&T designed and deployed a network that supports First American’s vision to consolidate its multiple divisions into a cohesive standardized environment with core IP WAN and IP telephony platforms. AT&T’s ability to extend a full suite of advanced technologies strengthens our strategic partnership with First American Corporation.” The First American data center consolidation initiative required moving from separate SAN islands to one standardized SAN fabric with the flexibility and redundancy necessary to deliver storage services anywhere and anytime across the global corporation. Cisco MDS 9000 Family Multilayer Directors and Fabric Switches were selected for the virtual SANs (VSANs) and inter-VSAN routing (IVR) capabilities that help prevent service disruptions and enable the virtualization of tape-drive resources so that enterprise information can be stored and backed up anywhere, irrespective of where the tape drive physically resides. This flexibility helps First American both optimize and strategically place its storage resources in alignment with its business goals and priorities.

Enhancing Collaboration at First American with Cisco Unified Communications
First American has differentiated itself by combining advanced analytics with its vast data resources and providing solutions to businesses and consumers with exemplary customer service. To further enhance interactions both inside and outside the corporation with customers and partners, First American provides its employees with unified and reliable access to collaboration resources such as e-mail, IP telephony, IP video and instant messaging.

Services are powered by the Cisco Unified Communications system and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and delivered and managed by AT&T. First American has already realized cost savings from the reduction in telecom costs and improved operational efficiencies with the simplified adds, moves and changes of 10,000 devices deployed on the global IP telephony system. In the event of a natural disaster, dynamic call routing has been implemented so that First American can send its calls anywhere in the world at any time for uninterrupted communications.

“First American has successfully consolidated and strategically evolved its data centers by combining multiple networks into a single standardized Cisco network that delivers virtualized storage services anywhere around the world, ” said Douglas Gourlay, senior director of Cisco’s Data Center Technology Solutions Group. “With this agile network infrastructure, First American can easily incorporate new technologies such as Cisco Unified Communications and other collaboration technologies that will help drive continued future growth and a global competitive edge.”


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