Solution Assessment for Protective Insurance & Elephant Insurance to Drive Digital Transformation with Microsoft Azure

This year SNP Technologies’ success in the Solutions Assessment programs is exemplified by a significant success in converting from assessment to pilot to production. SNP leverages the Dpi30 for data projects; AME-AI for app innovation projects; AME for migration projects; AFA to build foundation for ACA targeted accounts and Azure Express to inventory of on-premises infrastructure to supplement other programs. The high success in conversion rate is SNP’s contribution in matching Microsoft’s funding programs. SNP has already exceeded the Solutions Assessment group targets for ACR Growth YoY and ADS Growth YoY at ¾ of the fiscal year and will meet the targets for the ACA conversion rate and total number of engagements. Especially significant is the project conversion of the Data and AI projects resulting in 221% Year-to-year growth in ADS, and data center migration projects resulting in 188% year-to-year growth in ACR.

One example of the success of our approach is the Azure Synapse Analytics solution SNP Technologies Inc. deployed for Protective Insurance. Protective Insurance provides large-scale transportation for some of the largest fleets in the trucking and package delivery industry, which operate with zero margin for error. As a company known for the reliability of its underwriting and claims processes, migrating to Microsoft Azure and embracing Azure Synapse Analytics meant enhancing existing strengths and discovering new opportunities to leverage its data.

This was a very competitive situation, where AWS was aggressively investing to win the business and offered to provide the entire migration and solution for Protective Insurance for FREE. SNP partnered closely with MSFT solution sales manager and Business Desk to secure $750K in ECIF and then matched with its own services discount of $750K to provide a fully functional solution and beat out AWS. The anticipated ACR from this project is expected to be $10 million.


Reducing the High Fixed Costs of On-premises

Delivery drivers today have access to a vastly expanded set of tools and resources than they had decades ago in the CB radio era. This workforce is empowered by mobile platforms and expects instantaneous access to data. Protective Insurance recognized that to remain competitive, it needed an adaptable, future-proof data solution. The challenge, as the company saw it, was to migrate data from the very legacy systems, upon which it had built its reputation, into a cloud platform that responded to the evolving expectations of its clients. Simply storing data was not enough—the company recognized that it needed a better way to generate actionable insights, which, in the past, had been a laborious process. With the objective of reducing infrastructure overhead and accelerating business innovation, Protective Insurance wanted to migrate its on-premises Data Center to the cloud and modernize all its business-critical legacy apps.

Protective Insurance had a strategic goal of migrating their on-premises data warehouse and modernizing apps to Azure PaaS in less than one year—a tight deadline by anyone’s standards, but necessary to support the company’s goals of using Synapse Analytics to centrally manage their structured, unstructured, and real time data in the Azure Cloud. With a diverse on-premises portfolio, the first step in the transformation process would be a comprehensive assessment to determine what would be needed to make the move—and what the results might be.

Manually scanning the apps and databases to identify all the code changes required for PaaS modernization, which would take more than five years of full-time developer hours, was well beyond the company’s in-house capabilities, however. They knew they needed proven professional help.  Protective Insurance then secured a partnership with SNP Technologies Inc, a Microsoft solution integrator, to help them migrate their Data Center and legacy apps. SNP Technologies leveraged the Azure Cloud to help them prepare for, and expedite, the move.


A Strategic Move to the Cloud

Leveraging the solution assessments from Microsoft, SNP Technologies delivered a detailed technical analysis of the readiness of Protective’s on-premises IT environments and workloads to move to the cloud. With a security-first mindset, SNP Technologies used the solution assessment to perform an exhaustive assessment of the company’s infrastructure, including the Data Center, legacy apps, and the databases. SNP Technologies also used Synapse Analytics to develop targeted recommendations for a cloud migration initiative for their structured, unstructured, and real time data. “We had a lot of pictures of accidents, and we didn't know what to do with them. Now, we can run analytics on them in Data Lake. We started to really leverage our unstructured data,” said Bahr Omidfar, Chief Information Officer at Protective Insurance.

Migrating the company’s infrastructure and data workloads to Azure continues to help reduce capital expenditures, allowing Protective Insurance to repurpose its existing Data Center for revenue-generating initiatives. The long-trusted company is now poised to grow with Azure. As Omidfar puts it, “We get a lot of telematics data from the trucks that we insure, and it was just way too expensive to store it on-premises. And the compute requirements were also too expensive. Having a place where we can store it and run analytics on it that is cost-effective was really important to us.”


A Data Fuelled Migration for fast ROI

The solution assessment enabled SNP Technologies to deliver an in-depth analysis of twelve business areas, current DWH, ETL processes and BI reports highlighting the importance of modernization which helped Protective Insurance in standardizing their business logic, encryption of PII fields, self-serving BI by implementing different measures, attributes into AAS which were lacking in their legacy infrastructure. Different Azure PaaS resources such as Azure Data lake, Azure SQL, ADF, Azure Databricks, Azure Synapse, Azure AS, Power BI etc.  are now a part of their new modernized architecture. According to Omidfar, “Our plan now is in the next 50 weeks to move all of our on-premises data onto Azure, build our enterprise data warehouse using Azure Synapse, and build all of our data hubs and data stores on Azure.”

The solution assessment gave Protective Insurance insights into key data required to streamline a strategic Azure migration, including:

* A complete data-driven infrastructure assessment.

* A view of migration options to guide strategy and planning.

* Data on costs including OpEx and TCO comparisons.

* Migration readiness for every app and database.

* Modernization options, level of effort, and impact for remediation of apps and databases.

* Detailed app and database changes required with line-of-code guidance.

* Comprehensive roadmap to migrate key infrastructure to Azure.


After a review of the findings and approval of the recommendations by Protective Insurance, SNP Technologies migrated the company’s on-premises Data Center and legacy apps to Azure and put in place a plan to modernize its data warehouse to Azure PaaS.


Future-Ready Infrastructure for Protective Insurance by SNP Technologies Inc.

The move to Azure made a huge difference for Protective Insurance, slashing overhead, and Data Center costs significantly, enabling the company to future-proof itself against business continuity and escalating resource requirement issues. The gains Protective Insurance realized in cost, efficiency, and productivity because of the migration were a real game-changer. But the biggest long-term value is being positioned to stay agile and compliant and empowered to innovate, regardless of whatever the future may hold for them.


Leveraging the Protective Insurance Experience at Elephant Insurance

Elephant Insurance is a customer-centric direct insurer headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Founded in 2009, Elephant is a subsidiary of Admiral Group plc, a FTSE 100 company and one of the U.K.’s leading insurers with a presence in eight countries and over 6 million customers worldwide.

SNP was initially introduced to Elephant Insurance to help them build a cloud road-map.  Elephant Insurance was stuck in a state of paralysis, wanting to move to the cloud, but not knowing where to begin.  The Microsoft SA team asked SNP to present our Azure Foundation Assessment approach.  SNP learned however that one of Elephant Insurances’ main blockers was feeling comfortable about maintaining NIST and PCI compliance moving to the cloud. SNP proposed two parallel efforts.  While running data collections against their on-premises infrastructure, Elephant Insurance signed an engagement to have SNP assess Elephant Insurances compliance requirements and remediate any discovered gaps.  Knowing that Elephant Insurance had intention to migrate workloads to the cloud, SNP invested additional time - at no additional cost - to provide discovery sessions around Elephant Insurance’s stated business objectives to modernize their on-premises data warehouse and explore how to leverage cloud for BCDR.  In addition, SNP invested even further time assisting Elephant Insurance – again, at no cost – to address and retire, if possible, blockers with their adoption of AKS.  SNP was able to retire two minor blockers and then proposed an AKS MLOps engagement to enable automation of development pipelines and maintain NIST & PCI compliance.  The outcome of this engagement will accelerate Elephant Insurance’s development team to rapidly bring value to the business and drive revenue, while not compromising the requirement for maintaining compliance.

SNP is now working with Elephant Insurance on data warehouse modernization engagement.  As Elephant Insurance has a very customer centric feedback model, they are interested in taking using ML to take real-time feedback from their customers to make rapid changes to their offerings. 

SNP expects Elephant Insurance year-to-year growth in ADS, and Data Center migration year-to-year growth in ACR to parallel Protective Insurance.


Jatinder Virdee Linkedin Profile

Jatinder Virdee

Jatinder Virdee leads the Digital and Content Marketing initiatives at SNP Technologies. She is responsible for Website Content Audit & Management, Content Writing, Digital & Social Media Marketing, Brand Management, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation and Managing Multiple Microsoft Partner Programs & Events.