A 360º view of insurance business: Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland to deploy EXASOL data warehouse solution
First insurance client acquired in Switzerland
Nuremberg, 11.03.2013 – From now on, Switzerland’s leading provider of travel insurance and assistance services, Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland, will use the in-memory data-base management system, EXASolution, to analyse its extensive database. The new solution will allow the insurance specialist to react quickly and accurately to market developments. A comprehensive overview of all key figures will enable a high degree of flexibility in reporting and ad hoc evaluations of insurance data. This makes the company’s marketing, sales and planning processes more effective, taking the pressure off specialist departments. Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland was established back in 1950 as the ELVIA Reiseversicherungs-Gesellschaft. It merged with the French company Mondial Assistance in 2000. Since the start of 2011, Mondial Assistance has operated in Wallisellen near Zurich under the name of Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland.
The challenge: to enable a central data and information architecture
Challenges had to be overcome on the technical level to create a central data and information architecture. The integration of information islands of a mature structure, a new architecture and specialist users’ requirements for flexible and high-performance reports brought the old system to its limits and prompted a redesign in the field of data storage. At the same time, the growing complexity of the business model (more markets, new products) also increased the complexity of the integration costs from an IT perspective. Moreover, the old system lacked scalability and performance was not sufficient for specialist users, which meant that the targets set on the basis of the old system could no longer be achieved. “We sought a solution that compiled all information in a data warehouse for reporting and evaluation purposes,” explains Dietrich Müller, data warehouse architect at Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland. “Within this, central criteria were simple scalability with growing data volumes, standardised interfaces in the existing infrastructure, extremely good query performance and as ‘DBA’-free operation as possible,” Müller continues. “Indeed, we could have merely updated the existing solution, but two years on we would probably have found ourselves back in the very same position as we are today. Our aim was a solution to the infrastructure problem that was as simple and sustainable as possible,” Müller says.
Based on the TPC-DS benchmark*, the team led by Dietrich Müller successfully tested the scalability and performance of the EXASolution database based on in-memory technology. The high scalability of the database, performance, available standard interfaces, use of inexpensive standard software and running costs were ultimately decisive in the decision for the EXASOL solution. “We had high requirements of the new database solution,” Müller says, looking back. “Not only can EXASOL meet the current challenges; future scenarios that are conceivable for us, such as outsourcing of the complete solution to the cloud and the processing of unstructured data, are possible with the new solution.”
Central data and information architecture enables an overview of all business
EXASolution 4.1 has been used productively at Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland since 01.12.2012. The high-performance database runs on HP hardware. The data analysed is issued via the MicroStrategy front end.
“With our EXASolution high-performance database, we have developed an integrated database at Allianz Global Assistance Switzerland,” says Steffen Weissbarth, CEO at EXASOL AG. Today different user groups access standardised information. Further data is incorporated in step by step and thus the result of management of the insurance business from an overall company perspective. Interactions and synergies between individual divisions are enabled. “The new evaluation possibilities with EXASolution allow for the corresponding cost savings to be made – both internally through fewer costs in the creation of analyses, and externally through simplified, faster monitoring of the partners and customers,” Weissbarth tells us, summing up the advantages of the new solution.
EXASOL’s high-performance database is flexibly expandable and can evolve with the company’s developing requirements. For the specialist insurer, this will come to be effective in the medium term when the solution should be developed further There are sufficient requests for the integration of new sources with the highest possible level of detail.
EXASOL AG, based in Nuremberg, develops and markets the high-performance database EXASolution based on in-memory technology, which was designed specifically for data warehouse applications and business intelligence solutions. This also allows extremely large volumes of data to be analysed and evaluated within the shortest timescale. Thanks to the high performance and low administrative maintenance, EXASolution not only supports businesses with valuable decision-making bases from their data, but also reduces the total cost of ownership. In April 2011, Gartner named EXASOL AG a “Cool Vendor” in the category of Data Management and Integration 2011. In 2012 and 2013, the solution was included in the Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems.
*TPC Benchmark™DS (TPC-DS): the new decision support benchmark standard.
About the Allianz Global Assistance group
As the international market leader in assistance, travel insurance and related health and personalised services, Allianz Global Assistance today employs more than 10,000 people, who speak more than 40 different languages and cooperate closely with a network of 400,000 service providers and 180 correspondents. Some 250 million people – 4 per cent of the world’s population – benefit from the services offered by the group on all five continents. Allianz Global Assistance belongs to the Allianz group, which has its headquarters in Munich.
About EXASOL AG
EXASOL AG, based in Nuremberg in Germany, develops a data management system that enables the rapid analysis and evaluation of data. By using the solution from EXASOL, business processes are optimised and secure foundations are created for decision-making, providing companies from all industries a sustainable competitive edge. EXASolution is a relational, high-performance database that was developed specifically for enterprise warehouse applications and business intelligence solutions. The database is based on in-memory technology and used for time-critical analyses, comprehensive data research, planning and reporting. By integrating geodata, big data sources and unstructured data, EXASolution opens up additional analysis dimensions that enable even more efficient and ad hoc analyses. The easy-to-manage database can be integrated effortlessly into existing IT infrastructures and requires minimal administrative maintenance with low investment and running costs (TCO). As an appliance EXASolution, is available in three versions. EXACloud, based on EXASolution is offered as data warehousing as a service. This highly efficient data management solution allows EXASOL customers to benefit from complete data access at any time along with a transparent price model. Companies such as XING, Sony Music, Olympus, media control, Zalando, stayfriends, Coop, IMS Health, Semikron, Webtrekk, econda and xplosion rely on EXASOL's technology that is ‘Made in Germany’.