Aided by Claranet, vehicle insurance brand ConTe.it moved from running its own data centers to a highly available, lower-cost infrastructure using AWS services. Along with reducing time to market and improving customer experience, the infrastructure laid the foundations for a move into new markets.
ConTe.it on the Road to New Markets with AWS
ConTe.it is the Italian brand of Admiral Group, a leading car insurance company with businesses in the UK, Spain, France, and the US that serves over seven million customers. Established in 2008, ConTe.it offers car and motorbike insurance products that are now relied on by over 750,000 customers in Italy.
ConTe.it recently began to reimagine its business strategy. It wanted to move away from being primarily a B2C player to a company that also offers white-label insurance services to brokers and other insurers.
A Changing Business Model
ConTe.it had historically relied on two of its own data centers based in Rome and Milan for its infrastructure requirements. Thinking about the future needs of the company and its expected growth however, ConTe.it started exploring options for a managed infrastructure that could support its evolving business vision with support from AWS Premier Consulting Partner and managed services provider Claranet.
"The aim of the project was to think about something different to the traditional data center infrastructure. From the IT side, we focused on decommissioning the infrastructure to achieve a better total cost of ownership model, and reduce the maintenance, complexity and risk," says Andrea Ferri, ConTe.it's Head of Infrastructure.
In addition to addressing infrastructure issues, the company wanted to use the move from its existing on-premises infrastructure to a public cloud alternative. This would enable a faster time to market and ensure that new functionality could be rolled out faster to the ConTe.it website.
With its parent company Admiral Group having already adopted Amazon Web Services (AWS), ConTe.it enlisted Claranet to help plan the lift-and-shift project that would see the majority of the work done by its physical data centers moved online.
"We immediately started working with Claranet, collaborating in depth on creating the solution we would use, and how we would do everything. It was a hugely practical experience. Almost 99 percent of the first task was done by Claranet," Ferri says.
"It's been a real success, because in the future we'll be able do things that we couldn't do before because of the technology limitations."
- Luca Balletta, Solutions Technical Leader, ConTe.it
Using AWS services has also allowed the business intelligence team to enjoy a greater degree of self-service, cutting the time needed to action team requests and reducing demand on the IT department.
"We are not an IT service company or professional data center experts—our main business is insurance. By engaging Claranet and using AWS, and with these services now in the cloud, we have a more resilient infrastructure and reliable services. It means we can concentrate on the business and reduce the IT hard work," says Luca Balletta, Solutions Technical Leader at ConTe.it.
Becoming Cloud Native
The business intelligence migration is part of a wider data strategy program, which is already delivering benefits for the company's analysts. Thanks to Claranet's support with services including AWS Glue and Amazon RedShift, the time it takes ConTe.it's analysts to complete their work has been significantly reduced.
"Our data anti-fraud teams required a lot of analytics computational power that wasn't possible to realize with the legacy platform. Now we are experiencing that the same queries run within the new big data analytics infrastructure and are much faster. For example, what took one hour on the old legacy infrastructure might take five minutes in the cloud infrastructure. For us, it's been a real success, because in the future we'll be able do things that we couldn't do before because of the technology limitations," Balletta explains.
The company is now looking to adopt a cloud-native approach across the business. Thanks to the results from the initial phase of work, ConTe.it has shifted the majority of its infrastructure to AWS and is seeing its use of cloud services continue to double each year.
Following the migration of the business intelligence platform, Claranet and ConTe.it are now working on other ways to use AWS services to enable the business to achieve its goals. ConTe.it will soon have a serverless API layer that will allow the company to connect its systems to those of its enterprise customers using serverless components such as Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), and Amazon DynamoDB, the foundations for its increasing focus on the B2B market.
Now that it's using cloud services, ConTe.it can be more agile, knowing that scaling its infrastructure as demand grows will be far easier without having to support on-premises hardware. "With the standard legacy data center, it was a nightmare because of the all the hidden costs. Now we know exactly how much money we're spending, and we have better governance. So, when we have to take a business decision, we can put the costs on the table. It's a completely different approach, because visibility is so much better now," says Ferri.
More broadly, the shift to AWS allowed the company to move more of its technology spend from capital expenditure to operational expenditure and keep a tighter control of costs. As well as helping ConTe.it enter new markets, moving to the cloud with Claranet's support means the insurer can rely on highly scalable, resilient services for its traditional B2C business.
ConTe.it is now experiencing increased reliability and availability—both key metrics in ensuring the consistent, low-latency user experience intended to cut the rate of churn among the B2C customers its business was built on.
About the Customer
ConTe.it is the Italian brand of Admiral Group, a leading car insurance company with businesses in the UK, Spain, France, and the US. ConTe.it provides car and motorbike insurance products for over 750,000 customers in Italy.
About the Partner
Founded in 1996, Claranet Group is a multi-cloud provider with a strong experience in migrating and running cloud applications and infrastructures. As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Claranet holds DevOps and Migration competency and is part of the AWS Managed Service Program and Reseller Program.
Published March 2021