Aviva is a recognized leader in the insurance industry in the UK. The London-based company provides auto insurance and other types of insurance to 43 million customers worldwide, making it the United Kingdom’s largest insurer.
As part of its ongoing effort to offer lower rates and personalized service, Aviva wanted to design an innovative pricing model that would lower insurance premiums for deserving customers. To better understand those potential customers, Aviva sought to use telematics, which is the convergence of telecommunications and information processing to allow information to be captured remotely. Aviva wanted to collect telematics data from moving vehicles in order to reward safe drivers, but deploying on-premises infrastructure to support the effort was too costly and complex. Instead, the company looked for a hybrid cloud solution that would be flexible, highly scalable, and secure. The solution would also need to integrate with Aviva’s existing on-premises quote system as well as external web-based services and applications running on mobile phones.
After looking at various options, Aviva decided that the Windows Azure platform was the right choice. Azure offered scalability and the promise of reduced implementation costs and complexity.
To meet its needs, Aviva developed a free mobile phone app by using Windows Azure SQL Database and the Windows Azure Table storage service, among other Microsoft technologies. The Aviva Drive app works with phones’ built-in GPS technology and sensors to collect and send telematics data to Windows Azure. This data includes braking, cornering, and acceleration behavior information. After 200 miles, the app gives the driver a score that the quote system uses to calculate a personalized premium. The app also connects to Facebook and Twitter, which drivers can use to share scores and compete with other motorists.
By implementing a hybrid-cloud solution based on Windows Azure to develop the app, Aviva realized its goal to deliver personalized quotes based on telematics data. “With Windows Azure, we can test and scale as needed,” says Steve Whitby, the company’s Solutions Delivery Center Director. “Our app is very much a product of its time, and we can build on capabilities that were unavailable in the past. As a result, we can offer our customers cutting-edge solutions like never before.”
The company also took advantage of its existing expertise in the Microsoft .NET Framework in designing a solution that deploys easily in the cloud on Windows Azure. For example, the company implemented a recent change in less than a week. “The agility we gain with Windows Azure is just what we need going forward for delivering a solution that exceeds our customers’ expectations,” says Jason Vettraino, Application Architect at Aviva.
Aviva can now strengthen its competitive advantage by offering quotes based on the driver’s own capabilities rather than statistics, which helps drivers save money. “After drivers use our application and receive a score, we can give them up to a 20 percent discount on their premium,” says Vettraino.
- Provides highly scalable hybrid cloud environment
- Improves flexibility and innovation
- Simplifies and speeds implementation
- Provides new marketing capabilities