Swiss Life: Building a scalable app to offer hands-free data insights for agents on the move

About Swiss Life

The Swiss Life Group is among the top ten insurance companies in Europe, offering a range of insurance and savings services.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: France

About Quantmetry

Quantmetry specializes in data science, AI, and big data infrastructure, developing projects to meet the challenges its clients face.

Swiss Life France developed a scalable mobile app using Google Cloud Platform, to enable its agents to access relevant client data on the move using Cloud Speech-to-Text with Kubernetes Engine.

Google Cloud Results

  • Builds an easy-to-scale app using Kubernetes Engine, that can accommodate more users without additional development
  • Offers excellent speech-to-text functionality in French using Cloud Speech-to-Text, enabling real-time, hands-free dictation
  • Integrates with Google Maps API and Dialogflow, supporting agile app development

10 different use cases covered by app functionality

With the growth in life expectancy across Western Europe, saving for old age is increasingly an important part of financial planning. Swiss Life France enables its customers to do just that, with a range of savings and insurance products including life insurance, health insurance, and property and casualty insurance. The company has over 1.3 million customers in France and is an affiliate of the Swiss Life Group, which is one of the largest insurance groups in Europe.

"Our vision for the future is both physical and digital. Human interaction is at the heart of Swiss Life's customer service. We don't want to replace our agents with AI, we want to use technology to empower them."

Eddie Abecassis, Head of Strategic Marketing, Swiss Life

"Our sector is experiencing an enormous digital transformation," says Eddie Abecassis, Head of Strategic Marketing at Swiss Life. "Customers want services that are faster and easier to understand and access. From our side, the challenge is to know our customers better, to understand exactly what they want and improve our services. At Swiss Life, we use data science to help us to achieve this goal, and generate various marketing scores to suggest products that specific customers might be interested in."

As part of its digital transformation, Swiss Life also wanted to improve the tools on offer to its agents and employees, who are responsible for selling its products. "We employ 400 tied agents and 400 direct employees, as well as working with brokers," explains Eddie. "Those tied agents cover the whole territory of France, so they travel a lot. Because of that, they were struggling to access the customer insights we were offering them." The solution was to develop a custom-designed app with partner Quantmetry using Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

"Our vision for the future is both physical and digital," says Eddie. "Human interaction is at the heart of Swiss Life's customer service. We don't want to replace our agents with AI, we want to use technology to empower them."

"We chose to build the app on Kubernetes Engine, as Kubernetes is one of the most advanced orchestration tools available. It's really important that any updates are invisible to the user, and Kubernetes makes it really easy to deploy updates without any interruption to the service."

Nicolas Gibaud, Data Scientist, Quantmetry

Building the Aida app

Data marketing insights are only useful if they are adequately communicated to inform better decision-making. Swiss Life's tied agents were struggling to access marketing scores and other client information, as it was sent via files that were difficult to access while on the road. "If you're in your car using a mobile phone, it's not always possible to locate files easily," says Eddie. "We realized our agents also had other daily challenges they needed to solve and decided an app might be able to help." To build its app, Swiss Life looked for a platform that offered excellent speech recognition functions and the ability to scale up in the future.

The solution was to build the Aida app on GCP. "Cloud Speech-to-Text has excellent recognition in French, and also offers real-time transcription, streaming the audio from the mobile phone's microphone," says Nicolas Gibaud, Data Scientist at Quantmetry. "Using Speech-to-Text with Dialogflow, we were able to build a chatbot that agents can interact with hands-free. Integrating with Google Maps also meant we could include geolocation information. Having all the APIs we need under one ecosystem is very useful, as it made the development process much easier – from proof of concept to launching the minimum viable product, it only took three months."

"For the Aida databases, we use Cloud SQL, as well as Cloud Datastore to store aggregated requests for analyzing request histories," explains Nicolas. "We chose to build the app on Kubernetes Engine, as Kubernetes is one of the most advanced orchestration tools available. It's really important that any updates are invisible to the user, and Kubernetes makes it really easy to deploy updates without any interruption to the service."

"Aida, what's my next appointment?"

In order to tailor the app to the needs of its agents, Swiss Life took a design-thinking approach. "We spent three months consulting with a panel of 10 agents to really understand their needs, and Quantmetry was on board from the start," says Eddie.

"Our strategic business goal is to increase our share of the established market. Launching the Aida app on Google Cloud Platform will help our agents work more quickly and efficiently, and in the future we can envisage rolling out new uses, and launching a version for our call center network."

Eddie Abecassis, Head of Strategic Marketing, Swiss Life

Based on the consultation, the app functionality corresponds to 10 different use cases. "Before a meeting, while agents are en route, they can ask Aida for information about a customer and Aida prompts them to request any information that is missing," Eddie explains. "After the meeting, agents can dictate notes to the app, or can schedule an alert for a call-back into the calendar."

"Using geolocation, when a tied agent is in a particular city, Aida will suggest clients nearby and let the agent know when those clients were last visited. Agents can also search by product to access the data science information on suggested leads. The app is integrated into the daily work of the agents and responds to their specific needs. It even lets them know when it is a client's birthday, so they can pass on their congratulations."

Extending app usage

After six months, Swiss Life is very happy with the trial results offered by Aida. "The agents use it on average around 10 times a day," says Eddie. "They have reported a positive impact on their sales thanks to the marketing scores suggestions, and it definitely helps to save them time."

Swiss Life is planning to continue working with Quantmetry to develop new uses for the app. "The reason we chose GCP is not only because it was the only provider to offer the real-time transcription feature we needed, but also because it offers an extensive toolbox of technologies," says Nicolas. "We can use Cloud Vision API, for example, to develop new use cases, like transcribing handwritten notes."

"Our strategic business goal is to increase our share of the established market," says Eddie. "Launching the Aida app on Google Cloud Platform will help our agents work more quickly and efficiently, and in the future we can envisage rolling out new uses, and launching a version for our call center network."

About Swiss Life

The Swiss Life Group is among the top ten insurance companies in Europe, offering a range of insurance and savings services.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: France

About Quantmetry

Quantmetry specializes in data science, AI, and big data infrastructure, developing projects to meet the challenges its clients face.