Dolphin Technologies: Next generation insurance telematics with microservices

About Dolphin Technologies

Founded in 2001, Austria-based Dolphin Technologies provides insurance telematics solutions to optimize the relationships between insurers and their customers. Besides security and safety applications like eCall, Dolphin offers real-time and predictive services to prevent losses and to provide smart contract solutions.

Industries: Technology
Location: Austria

About CLOUDPILOTS

Germany- and Austria-based CLOUDPILOTS Software & Consulting GmbH is a Google Cloud Partner and delivers digital transformation and cloud-based collaboration solutions for companies.

Insurance telematics experts Dolphin Technologies helps ensure optimal uptime, granular billing, next generation services, and excellent security for insurers and drivers with microservices architecture on Google Kubernetes Engine.

Google Cloud Results

  • Helps ensure optimal uptime for reliability and driver safety
  • Scales at speed without compromising the security of personal data
  • Enables real-time and predictive analytics for Event-Based Interaction (EBI)

Optimized uptime for maximum driver safety and real-time services

In 2007, the Austria-based automotive electronics company Dolphin Technologies began to specialize in insurance telematics, to bring insurers and drivers closer together. For drivers, Dolphin’s telematic solutions make insurance cheaper by tailoring premiums to the way people really drive, rather than demographic factors such as age. For insurers, Dolphin’s technology helps reduce the risk of accidents and damage by recognizing and rewarding good driving and predicting potential risk.

Today, Dolphin designs, develops, implements, and operates scalable platforms, products, and services across Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. “By understanding the behaviour of drivers through their smartphones and telematics hardware, we can provide services like automatic crash notification and recover stolen vehicles,” explains Harald Trautsch, Dolphin Technologies CEO and Co-founder. “Using data to create a risk profile on each driver, we help insurance companies tailor premiums to individuals and warn drivers against self-inflicted incidents. We anticipate risk to help drivers stay safe.”

Dolphin’s strategies for moderating driver behaviour range from stark warnings to gentle incentives, as Harald explains: “About 30% of all accidents take place because people are distracted by their smartphones, so we measure whether drivers use their devices while driving and give points for every minute they drive without distractions. Those points can then be redeemed with our partners, such as for discounts with insurers or for free soft drinks. If we see that there will be black ice on your route to work tomorrow, we’ll offer you a ticket for public transport when you leave your car in the garage.”

“We can change customer behaviour with feedback and real incentives matched to the way people really drive their cars. Only a cloud-based solution can scale effectively to process the real-time events and prediction data that make that possible. No on-premises solution can offer our kind of service.”

Harald Trautsch, CEO and Co-founder, Dolphin Technologies

For every driver active on its solutions, Dolphin draws data from third-party hardware, smartphones, and other sources which is sent to a backend for validation and analysis to build profiles and trigger responses. In order to operate across multiple insurers and hundreds of thousands of drivers, Dolphin looked for a scalable solution that would deliver the excellent reliability, uptime and data security insurance companies expect.

“We can change customer behaviour with feedback and real incentives matched to the way people really drive their cars,” says Harald. “Only a cloud-based solution can scale effectively to process the real-time events and prediction data that make that possible. No on-premises solution can offer our kind of service.”

Scaling and superb stability with microservices

Tech solutions in the insurance sector demand excellent data security, reliability, and the capacity to operate at scale. Dolphin’s ambitious vision for insurance telematics combines large quantities of data from varied sources in real time, and it does it for each customer’s car and smartphone.

That presented a challenge, as Roland Pickl, Dolphin’s Head of Software Architecture explains. “We have a lot of customers and a lot of cars out there. We currently track more than 150,000 moving objects and we’re scaling fast, so we have a lot of information coming into our system. With an on-premises solution we would have to focus on hardware that could handle our maximum load, but we have very, very significant peaks in rush hour.” Dolphin looked for an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution that could scale at speed, with high reliability and excellent security.

“We moved to a dockerized, container-based, microservices architecture with Google Kubernetes Engine in just three months. That really paid off for us. Instead of worrying that our systems are up, we know they're up, no question.”

Roland Pickl, Head of Software Architecture, Dolphin Technologies

To do that, Dolphin chose to build on Google Cloud Platform, with expertise from Google Cloud Partner CLOUDPILOTS. “CLOUDPILOTS helped us to design our system and understand its financial advantages over an on-premises solution,” says Roland. “We have a strong, ongoing relationship, using CLOUDPILOTS as a sounding board and sparring partner.”

First, Dolphin created a solution using databases on Google Compute Engine that easily scale up and down according to demand, eliminating the need to pay for mostly inactive hardware. Data collected from telematics devices and smartphones feeds through Google Cloud Dataflow to Google BigQuery, from which Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine draws data for predictions.

Further development followed a trip to Google Next Live in San Francisco. “Google Next Live inspired us to redesign our platform with a microservices architecture,” says Roland. “It gave us an insight into what other companies are doing, and just by seeing their examples, we moved to a dockerized, container-based, microservices architecture with Google Kubernetes Engine in just three months. That really paid off for us. Instead of worrying that our systems are up, we know they're up, no question.”

The microservices architecture means that not only can Dolphin deliver excellent stability and scalability, it can accurately bill individual clients to deliver optimal value, as Harald explains: “Now we see statistics and metrics from each and every customer, so we can advise companies when data is being collected in excess of their needs and adjust accordingly to reduce their costs. That improves our use of resources, security, and transparency. Customers can see how many trips are being calculated right now, this very second.”

Optimizing security with encryption and keys

Whether it’s records of the journeys drivers take or their personal details, Dolphin deals with a wide range of highly private information, all of which needs to be handled with excellent security. The company is ISO/IEC 27001 certified, and has full confidence in the security of its system.

“We don't have servers on-premises, so we don't have to worry about physical intrusion,” says Roland. “Google keeps all of our data encrypted-at-rest behind keys, so we know that no one can access that data except for us,” says Roland. “We’re satisfied that if we lose our key, then the data is actually gone.”

“The microservices architecture reassures us that if we have an issue with one customer it does not affect other customers. That reliability can literally be a matter of life and death. If somebody is severely injured in an accident, they trust us to send help in real time. Being online can help save lives.”

Harald Trautsch, CEO and Co-founder, Dolphin Technologies

Laying the groundwork for growth

With scalable infrastructure built on Google Cloud Platform, Dolphin is on track to double its user base within 12 months. “We are heavily engaged in improving our predictions using Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine,” says Roland. “Using natural language processing, including the Google Cloud Speech-To-Text API, we are exploring conversational interfaces to optimize communication between users, insurers, and first responders.”

“The microservices architecture reassures us that if we have an issue with one customer it does not affect other customers,” says Harald. “That reliability can literally be a matter of life and death. If somebody is severely injured in an accident, they trust us to assist them in real time. Being online can help save lives.”

About Dolphin Technologies

Founded in 2001, Austria-based Dolphin Technologies provides insurance telematics solutions to optimize the relationships between insurers and their customers. Besides security and safety applications like eCall, Dolphin offers real-time and predictive services to prevent losses and to provide smart contract solutions.

Industries: Technology
Location: Austria

About CLOUDPILOTS

Germany- and Austria-based CLOUDPILOTS Software & Consulting GmbH is a Google Cloud Partner and delivers digital transformation and cloud-based collaboration solutions for companies.

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12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

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