Sara Assicurazioni: Ensuring the future by becoming cloud based

About Sara Assicurazioni

Sara Assicurazioni is an Italian insurance company founded in 1946, offering auto and life insurance as well as fund management. Based in Rome, the company is the official insurer of the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI).

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Italy

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About Injenia

Injenia is a Google Cloud Premier Partner that helps businesses engineer digital transformation, specializing in collaboration, machine learning projects, mapping services, search, and cloud.

Established Italian insurance business Sara Assicurazioni migrated its national sales network and business-critical SAP deployment to the cloud with Google Cloud.

Google Cloud results

  • 3x faster cloud migration and deployment with support from Injenia
  • Builds and manages Google Cloud infrastructure with ease and without needing specialized training
  • Improves performance, security, time to market, scalability, and availability for SAP applications
  • Reduces reliance on external consultants by a projected 30%
  • Empower IT to drive business innovation and develop new policies and products through big data

Generates reports instantly, eliminating tens of seconds in delays

For more than 70 years, Sara Assicurazioni has provided peace of mind for Italians looking to insure themselves against risk. “We insure around one million people at the moment,” says Luigi Vassallo, the company’s CTO. “Our vehicle policies are our most popular products, but we cover everything from property to life insurance. We’re able to offer customers an ideal balance between financial stability and speed of action. Thanks to our flat internal hierarchy, when we decide to do something, we do it fast.”

When Luigi joined Sara Assicurazioni in 2017, the company had a traditional IT environment with an off-premises infrastructure and basic communication tools. Although data is critical to business decisions in the insurance industry, determining factors such as pricing, deductibles, and risk management, the company’s nationwide network of 3,000 sales people could not access this data on the road. They would prepare information that they needed in their office and then print contracts to bring to customers in the field.

“The lack of mobility was holding us back,” says Luigi. “We wanted completely digital and mobile systems so that our sales people could visit customers and complete transactions on a tablet, whether placing orders online or taking mobile payments.”

“Google Cloud is stronger than other cloud service providers, particularly when it comes to big data and artificial intelligence. We also strongly believe that Google Cloud offers an unprecedented level of cyber security.”

Luigi Vassallo, CTO, Sara Assicurazioni

To accomplish its mobility and technology goals, Sara Assicurazioni aimed to become one of the first insurance companies in Italy to work from an infrastructure based entirely in the cloud. Rather than build everything from scratch, Luigi and his team decided to move fast by leveraging existing technology as much as possible.

One important factor for the digital transformation would be secure and powerful support for the company’s on-premises SAP deployment, which serves as the lifeblood of the company’s operations. After evaluating major cloud platforms, Sara Assicurazioni chose Google Cloud to host the upgraded S/4HANA deployment.

“Google Cloud is stronger than other cloud service providers, particularly when it comes to big data and artificial intelligence,” says Luigi. “We also strongly believe that Google Cloud offers an unprecedented level of cyber security. It’s something we tell our shareholders directly: Google Cloud is better equipped than we could ever be to protect our systems and data from external threats.”

Managing the migration for maximum flexibility

Sara Assicurazioni began its digital transformation by upgrading communication and collaboration tools to G Suite. “We deployed G Suite to every employee in the company,” says Luigi. “Cloud consultancy Injenia took charge of the training process, showing people how the G Suite tools could work in their everyday lives, even creating a dedicated website using Sites, offering tips and suggestions for users.” Altogether, the company deployed 2,500 G Suite business seats.

The success of the G Suite project made Injenia a natural choice to support the migration of SAP to more Google Cloud solutions. Because of the size and critical nature of its SAP environment, Sara Assicurazioni expected that upgrading from on-premises SAP ECC 6.2.0 to S/4HANA running on Compute Engine would take a full year. However, Injenia used its extensive SAP experience to complete the project in one third of the time it had planned.

“Injenia and the Google Cloud team provided us with the methodology and strategy to migrate our SAP environment to Google Cloud in just four months,” says Luigi.

Sara Assicurazioni took different approaches to migrating workloads. While a lift-and-shift approach worked for many workloads, a few applications were redesigned from scratch to fit a mobile-first strategy. To avoid downtime for SAP, Sara Assicurazioni took advantage of the live migration feature in Google Cloud to keep virtual machine (VM) instances running even during migration or updates.

“Live migration is a useful feature because we can migrate our running virtual machines between physical hosts without stopping them,” says Paolo Perrucci, Head of IT Operations, Network and Security, Sara Assicurazioni. “We have zero downtime for maintenance.”

By switching to IaaS and managed services, Luigi anticipates that Sara Assicurazioni will reduce its reliance on external consultants significantly. Sara Assicurazioni plans to continue to improve maintainability by expanding on Google Cloud with solutions such as Cloud Spanner.

“One of the goals of our cloud transformation project is to reduce the hours spent maintaining infrastructure and managing services,” says Luigi. “Google Cloud is fantastic for helping us achieve that. My team can create, configure, and run Google Cloud infrastructure without any specific training because the interface is so intuitive.”

“BigQuery is at the heart of our big data strategy, allowing us to analyze SAP data as quickly as possible and get the most business value from our data.”

Luigi Vassallo, CTO, Sara Assicurazioni

Turning big data into new products

By consolidating SAP and other data in BigQuery, a fully managed, serverless data warehouse, Sara Assicurazioni can take advantage of big data to perform smart analytics and seamlessly integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning. This enables business users to better understand customer behavior, analyze risk exposures, and provide better customer service.

“At the moment, we send each salesperson new figures every month on our company, our policies, and new developments,” says Luigi. “That’s far too slow for today’s market, so we are creating a near real-time mobile application based on BigQuery that people in our network can consult at any time. Not just for immediate, up-to-date numbers, but for analytics on those numbers, too.”

“We can leverage Google Cloud artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to extract information, analyze data patterns, and suggest recommendations. It’s part of our drive to make data instantly available so we can offer customers highly responsive services.”

Luigi Vassallo, CTO, Sara Assicurazioni

With big data analytics, Sara Assicurazioni plans to create new insurance products, including a behavioral driving product that uses AI to analyze driving data to adjust the cost of car insurance premiums. The company is now implementing a new accounting system that will perform statistical calculations for every insurance product, using BigQuery to run simulations on large data sets to estimate profit and loss.

“With Google Cloud, we have a new way of managing and understanding our data,” says Luigi. “BigQuery is at the heart of our big data strategy, allowing us to analyze SAP data as quickly as possible and get the most business value from our data. We can also leverage Google Cloud artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to extract information, analyze data patterns, and suggest recommendations. It’s part of our drive to make data instantly available so we can offer customers highly responsive services.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Sara Assicurazioni

Sara Assicurazioni is an Italian insurance company founded in 1946, offering auto and life insurance as well as fund management. Based in Rome, the company is the official insurer of the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI).

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Italy

About Injenia

Injenia is a Google Cloud Premier Partner that helps businesses engineer digital transformation, specializing in collaboration, machine learning projects, mapping services, search, and cloud.