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ERGO Insurance Singapore Migrates to AWS to Streamline Regulatory Compliance

2021

Demonstrating Value in a Complex Market

Spending on insurance has been rising since 2009 in Singapore, and currently accounts for about 9 percent of GDP. However, with so many providers and types of insurance to choose from, it can be difficult to sift through coverage, premiums, and claims practices for different policies.

ERGO Insurance Singapore (ERGO) is a registered general insurer that demonstrates value to its customers through a positive, transparent approach to communications, pricing, and claims management. Regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), ERGO has its roots in commercial insurance but is gradually expanding its reach into personal insurance.

The Singapore insurer is a wholly owned subsidiary of ERGO Group AG, a major insurance group based in Germany and operating in Europe and Asia. ERGO Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Munich Re Group, one of the world’s leading reinsurance and insurance groups. ERGO Group is on a digital transformation journey and has developed a strategy to enhance its digital touch points by 2025. One of its strategic pillars is the migration of on-premises IT infrastructure to the cloud.

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With the help of Blazeclan, we can easily implement collaborative solutions in our AWS environment, which speeds time to market and gives us the flexibility to scale.”

Shariq Khan
Head of IT, ERGO Insurance Singapore

First of 30 Entities to Migrate to the Cloud

In late 2019, MAS mandated stricter cyber hygiene requirements for financial institutions (including insurance providers) that ERGO had to follow. This proved to be the business case for ERGO to initiate migration to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, as the human resource and financial cost of upgrading its on-premises hardware to comply with the new regulations would have been too high. ERGO Insurance Singapore became a trailblazer as one of the first of 30 international ERGO Group entities to fully migrate to the cloud.

“We view cloud migration as a foundation for achieving additional milestones toward our 2025 digital strategy by deploying a secure yet cost-efficient infrastructure without making huge investments in hardware. An agile cloud foundation will take us to the next level faster," explains Shariq Khan, head of IT at ERGO Insurance Singapore. ERGO chose Blazeclan as its AWS Partner to help with the migration and ongoing operations in the AWS Cloud.

Secures Customer Data and Stays Compliant

Security was top of mind when ERGO began its cloud migration. Khan says, “As a small subsidiary of a larger company, in addition to our internal capabilities, we rely on the security features of AWS and Blazeclan’s expertise to keep track of technology-related regulations and remain compliant.”

For system monitoring and security patching, ERGO uses Amazon CloudWatch. It also relies on Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) and AWS WAF – Web Application Firewall to isolate and protect customer data on its web portals. The business maintains various front-office portals and back-office systems, all of which it migrated to the AWS Cloud. ERGO’s broker and agent partners, in addition to individual customers, log on to these sites to generate quotes, make payments, and submit insurance claims. The business has set up strict access controls in AWS Identity and Asset Management (IAM) and uses two-factor authentication in each portal.

Achieves High Uptime with Lower Costs

With data security and privacy taken care of, the migration team looked to improve availability on ERGO’s website and partner portals. ERGO is now using Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) with Multi-Availability Zone instances to improve fault tolerance. Since completing the migration, ERGO has experienced 99 percent or higher uptime.

Implementation of Amazon RDS as a database management service is one of several factors that will contribute to reducing ERGO’s monthly AWS bill. Use of the latest-generation Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute instances, right-sizing instances for predictable workloads, and automated shutdown of non-production servers outside business hours have also helped cut costs.

AWS Partner Supports Migration and Modernization

As the ERGO Insurance Singapore team continues building and modernizing applications in the cloud, they rely on Blazeclan for 24x7 consulting and troubleshooting. “Blazeclan has been an incredibly supportive partner. Even when we call with a problem at three in the morning, their consultants are available to support us. Their strong understanding of AWS best practices and design principles helped us migrate to AWS on time and within budget,” adds Khan.

One of the more recent projects Blazeclan has worked on with ERGO is the automation of backups from on-premises, Windows-based database servers. ERGO’s engineering team was spending 4 hours each day to manually verify and transfer backups from these servers to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and then deleting files after seven days.

Blazeclan helped configure PowerShell scripts on the local Windows servers to automate this entire process and send email notifications in case of failure. In addition to the 4 hours of daily time savings, ERGO has eliminated the potential for human error from manual intervention.

Faster Time to Market for Partner Promotions

In addition to launching new B2C insurance products in the travel and personal accident sectors, ERGO is now ramping up promotional activity with non-insurance partners. Khan estimates his team can roll out new partner integration activities faster, thanks to the ease of systems integration on the cloud and the prevalence of cloud-based infrastructure among partners.

One example of a partner campaign is the launch of an environmental sustainability app that rewards users with points for good driving behavior. Points can be used for carbon reduction activities such as eco-friendly fuel purchases. Khan concludes, “Most of our current and potential partners want to deploy solutions on the cloud. With the help of Blazeclan, we can easily implement collaborative solutions in our AWS environment, which speeds time to market and gives us the flexibility to scale.”

Learn More

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/cloud-migration/


About ERGO Insurance Singapore

ERGO Insurance Singapore is a registered general insurer in Singapore and a wholly owned subsidiary of ERGO Group AG, which in turn is a fully owned subsidiary of Munich Re Group. With a background in commercial insurance, the company offers innovative new solutions for commercial and private insurance customers.

Benefits of AWS

  • Complies with the Monetary Authority of Singapore cyber hygiene and technology risk-management requirements
  • Achieves at least 99% uptime and low website latency
  • Receives 24x7 support from AWS Partner
  • Saves 4 hours daily with automated database backups
  • Improves efficiency with seamless data transfers and integrations

AWS Services Used

Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), IT managers, and product owners.

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Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) gives you full control over your virtual networking environment, including resource placement, connectivity, and security.

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AWS WAF – Web Application Firewall

AWS WAF is a web application firewall that helps protect your web applications or APIs against common web exploits and bots that may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources.

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Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

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