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Swiss Re: Innovative digital solutions thanks to cloud-native development

Using cloud-native services from the Microsoft Azure Cloud, Swiss Re P&C Solutions develops innovative digital solutions for its clients.

In times of digital transformation, not only efficiency gains can be achieved, but above all new risks can be addressed with innovative digital solutions. While technology plays a central role in this, it is the people behind it who, with their innovative power, agile way of working and solid business and integration architecture, can successfully implement such projects. ipt is a long-standing strategic partner of Swiss Re in order to implement such projects profitably.

With the help of cloud-native services from the Microsoft Azure Cloud, Swiss Re P&C Solutions develops innovative digital solutions for its clients. The solutions are based on the latest technology and use a variety of data as a basis for opening up new risks and business areas in a digital market environment in addition to the traditional business areas of a reinsurer.

The efficient use of large amounts of data is essential in order to be able to answer relevant questions in risk assessment and claims management. For example, weather and natural catastrophe data can be used not only in the assessment of natural hazards and their effects, but also in the context of operational risks. Consequently, a smart integration architecture is needed to efficiently and consistently process and provide this data. With Azure Data Services, for example, automated pipelines can be developed in data factories that can process large volumes of data in a robust and fast manner. In concrete terms, technology thus enables a broad use of data and thus promotes innovation and the development of new business solutions based on a robust and scalable infrastructure.

Challenges

Digitisation is creating new links between Swiss Re and its clients. Communication takes place not only between people using digital means such as email, but also between systems via API interfaces. This also raises expectations of continuous and smooth communication and data exchange. Swiss Re and its clients are not only striving for new business solutions to better understand and hedge risks, but also want to make use of technology in such a way that a high level of user acceptance is achieved in the form of a good user experience, performance and efficiency are compatible with tailor-made solutions, and integration scenarios can be supported and expanded flexibly.

In summary, four challenges can be identified:

  1. For customers, efficient processing at the conclusion of the contract as well as during claims settlement is extremely important. At the same time, two thirds of global losses are not insured. Efficient scaling is required.

  2. Specific risks and scenarios require specific solutions. Flexibility is therefore needed to allow customization and standardization.

  3. Continuous change also means keeping the «technical debt» as low as possible. To prevent legacy from becoming a blocker for innovation, extensible and scalable platforms and architectures are needed.

  4. To open up new business areas and to be successful in digital markets, a flexible architecture in a public cloud environment must support various integration scenarios simultaneously.

Solution

ipt supports Swiss Re with concepts and development to translate these requirements into solutions. A central element of this is an adaptive, modern cloud and integration architecture, where the technical experts from ipt and Swiss Re jointly lay the foundations for solutions:

  1. Digital distribution channel

    For simple and efficient conclusion of reinsurance, claims handling and payments.

  2. Expertise in the form of digital analytics tools

    For better business management, more comprehensive risk assessment and risk management.

  3. State-of-the-art online platform

    For simple scaling and expansion including full integration into the existing IT landscape.

  4. Fully automated processing in the placement and pricing of risks

    To enable efficient growth and expansion into new markets.

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«The use of modern cloud-native technologies and cooperation with a strong partner like ipt are essential in the implementation of our digital solutions.»
Marco Peyer Head Solutions, P&C IT, Swiss Re

Value for business

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

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Expenses for insurers for transfer of a risk to the reinsurer
Proportion of contracts concluded fully automatically
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Time-to-market for new reinsurance products thanks to configuration database

Tech Value

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per day releases thanks to fully automated DevSecOps processes
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more efficient in software development with cloud-native technologies from Micro
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Mind. 
new business feature every week

Technology Partner

Tech box

The following is required from a technological point of view

  • An application should be developed by several development teams with experience in different technology stacks
  • An application must be able to connect different components and scale independently
  • Individual components must be released often and independently of each other

Cloud-native applications typically meet these requirements, and allow;

  • More innovative strength and efficiency
  • Low vertical range of manufacture and higher productivity of employees 
  • Full utilization of features of modern cloud platforms in terms of scalability and resilience

The following was used:

  • Cloud Native Applications in Microsoft Azure
  • Self-contained microservices with .NET Core 3 and Azure Durable Functions to encapsulate code, data and dependencies
  • Container for portability, orchestrated by Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure App Service
  • An asynchronous, event-driven architecture for the communication between microservices 
  • Modern frontends with Angular 9 and GraphQL Backend-for-frontend
  • Immutable Infrastructure and 100% Automation with Terraform
  • API gateway for traffic routing and cross-sectional functions

I was on the project

I will gladly answer your questions