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 an official insurer of the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI).

Industries: Financial Services
Location: Italy

About Injenia

Injenia 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 to the cloud, with a strategic shift toward big data with Google Cloud Platform.

Google Cloud Results

  • Builds and manages Google Cloud Platform infrastructure without specific training
  • Reduces reliance on external consultants by a projected 30%
  • Sets up strategic exploration of big data options for creating new policies and products

Generates instant reports without 5-second 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."

"Thanks to very low latency connections through our SDN, we can choose which cloud provider to use for which application, based on performance and cost. By not committing to a certain cloud, we have the strategic freedom to move, should pricing, performance, or features change."

Luigi Vassallo, CTO, Sara Assicurazioni

When Luigi joined Sara Assicurazioni in 2017, the company had a traditional IT environment with an off-premises environment and basic communication tools. "We had very limited capacity for mobile working," he remembers. "We sell products through a network of 3,000 sales people around the country, and that lack of mobile capacity was holding us back. Instead of printing out multiple copies of contracts and sitting behind a desk, we wanted them to visit customers, transact business on a tablet, place orders online, and take mobile payments. We wanted to be completely digital and completely mobile."

To do that, Sara Assicurazioni aimed to become one of the first insurance companies in Italy to base its infrastructure 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. They embarked on a digital transformation based on a multi-cloud approach using a Software Defined Network (SDN).

"Thanks to very low latency connections through our SDN, we can choose which cloud provider to use for which application, based on performance and cost," says Luigi. "By not committing to a certain cloud, we have the strategic freedom to move, should pricing, performance, or features change."

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 Google Sites offering tips and suggestions for users." Altogether, the company deployed 2,500 G Suite business seats.

"One of the goals of our cloud transformation project is to reduce the hours spent maintaining infrastructure and managing services. Google Cloud Platform 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."

Luigi Vassallo, CTO, Sara Assicurazioni

The success of the G Suite project made Injenia a natural choice for the Sara Assicurazioni migration to cloud infrastructure. "We take two different approaches to migrating each workload to the cloud," says Luigi. "For most of the workload, a lift-and-shift approach worked well, but for a few business-critical applications we redesigned applications from scratch to fit a mobile-first paradigm."

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) delivers several key benefits to Sara Assicurazioni, which runs SAP software on Compute Engine instances and uses SAP HANA as a database, with also Cloud Spanner and BigQuery in the roadmap. "One of the goals of our cloud transformation project is to reduce the hours spent maintaining infrastructure and managing services," says Luigi. "Google Cloud Platform 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."

As a financial service provider, Sara Assicurazioni also looks to provide strong security for its customers. "We see our migration to GCP as a way to deliver better security than we could offer from our internal team," says Luigi. "That's something we tell our shareholders directly: Google is better equipped than we could ever be to protect our systems and data from external threats."

"We generate hundreds of reports every day for analytics and BI. Previously, we had to wait a significant time for each one to process, but with BigQuery creation is instant. It's part of our drive to make data immediately available, so we can give customers dynamic, responsive service."

Luigi Vassallo, CTO, Sara Assicurazioni

Beyond maintenance, mobility, and security, the team anticipates significant performance gains from deploying GCP products, as Luigi notes: "The GCP database options, such as Cloud Spanner, scale and perform very well and they are cheap compared to equivalent products with other providers."

"We generate hundreds of reports every day for analytics and BI," adds Luigi. "Previously, we had to wait a significant time for each one to process, but with BigQuery creation is instant. It's part of our drive to make data immediately available, so we can give customers dynamic, responsive service."

Turning Big Data into new products

By switching to IaaS and managed services, Luigi anticipates that Sara Assicurazioni will reduce its reliance on external consultants significantly. Looking ahead, the team sees GCP as the market leader in the development of the big data technology that will optimize its services, both to sales representatives and to customers.

"At the moment, every month we send each salesperson new figures 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."

By leveraging big data, Sara Assicurazioni also plans to create new insurance products. "BigQuery is at the heart of our big data strategy in 2019," adds Luigi. "We are looking into developing a behavioral driving product, using AI to use driving data to adjust the cost of car insurance premiums. GCP doesn't just offer scalability at a sustainable cost, it also means we can conduct complex queries on data and apply machine learning."

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 an official insurer of the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI).

Industries: Financial Services
Location: Italy

About Injenia

Injenia helps businesses engineer digital transformation, specializing in collaboration, machine learning projects, mapping services, search, and cloud.

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