Success Story Helvetia Titelbild.png

Helvetia focuses on Kafka and gains momentum in development

Helvetia wants to be close to the customer. Thanks to modern technologies like Kafka, this is made possible.

Customers' needs change quickly, and nowadays 24/7 availability is increasingly required. But how can this fast pace be met? Kafka is a message streaming technology that guarantees fail-safety and a rapid data transmission speed. Helvetia Versicherungen and ipt are jointly driving the use of Kafka and other state-of-the-art technologies. This gives us valuable tools to offer customers appealing, simple and fast processes.

Challenges

The technologies and processes that were able to meet all needs 10 years ago can no longer keep up with the accelerated developments in the market today. We need to upgrade in order to be able to continue to offer the optimal customer experience in the future.

These are the top three challenges Helvetia was confronted with:

  1. User experience

    Customers today expect fast and stable web applications that are available 24/7. Helvetia wants to offer this to keep customer satisfaction high.

  2. Omnichannelling

    Customers want to be able to interact with Helvetia via various channels. To do this, the data in various applications should be available at all times and should also always be up to date. This requires a decoupling of core systems, which themselves are not (yet) highly available.

  3. Time to market

    Long development cycles slow down innovation and make it difficult to respond promptly to customer needs. Helvetia strives for a short time to market in order to be able to place new products and applications in line with the market. On the technical side, this requires high agility and faster implementation processes.

«ipt's support has been central to us building and now operating the Kafka infrastructure.»
Roland Häusler Solution Architect, Helvetia Insurances

Kafka as a central part of the solution

To overcome these challenges, ipt worked with Helvetia to introduce Kafka as a message streaming platform and make it easily accessible to various teams of developers through simple GitOps processes.

  1. Data streaming platform

    Approaches such as reactive programming, micro-services and Kafka as a message streaming platform make stable and high-performance applications possible.

  2. Decoupling of core systems

    Thanks to Change Data Capture, data can be transferred from core systems to the Kafka platform, making it available within the organization in real time. Customers can access their data in real time through various channels. For example, real-time analytics are now possible through the use of these technologies.

  3. DevOps and self-service

    To be able to react faster to the market, Helvetia relies on the DevOps approach. The teams work in a more agile way and take responsibility across the entire supply chain. Using a new self-service, developers can quickly and easily build new integrations with Kafka.

Business Value

Click here for the explanation of the ipt Value Spider – Make technology valuable

In figures - this was achieved

The following could be achieved with the solution.

 

ic_80_rocket.svg
 
Kafka applications are already productive.
ic_80_loop.svg
 
Kafka applications are currently being developed.

Die Nutzung des Self-Service steigt kontinuierlich

Neue Tabelle_inkl Q4 2020.png
Self-service for new integrations with Kafka has been widely established. Usage has increased from 0 (February 2019) to 266 monthly uses (December 2020) in just under two years.

Tech-Box

The following is required from a technological point of view 

  • Kafka is to be made available as a message streaming platform within Helvetia with high availability.
  • Development teams should be able to create new Kafka Topics as independently as possible and familiarize themselves with Kafka as a new technology.
  • Data flows within the organization should be enabled quickly and reliably.

The following was used

  • Kafka (Red Hat AMQ Streams) is run on an Openshift cluster based on AWS.
  • The Kafka cluster is monitored with Prometheus, Grafana Dashboards and Slack Alerts to ensure high availability.
  • Kafka developers and Kafka operators work together using the GitOps approach to quickly and easily manage Kafka resources while sharing know-how.
  • With Change Data Capture, data from core systems can be made available in Kafka for different applications, thus technically decoupling the «old» from the «new» world.

Helvetia is a leading Swiss insurance group with more than 7 million customers. True to its motto «simple. clear. helvetia.», Helvetia is committed to making the world of insurance easily accessible. From an IT perspective, this means providing agile, innovative and customer-centric solutions. ipt is happy to provide support in this regard, including the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies.

I was on the project

Feel free to contact me with any questions.