Hollard Insurance Group

How Hollard Digital Shared Services Evolved their IaaS deployment plan to an App Service

Client: Hollard Insurance Group

Category: Azure

Date: January 2017

Hollard’s culture is steeped in continuously evolving. At Hollard’s core lies the concept of doing things differently, not for the sake of being different, but for the purpose of truly making a significant difference. Hollard wants to make a positive change in the lives of its customers, its partners, its suppliers, its communities, and the broader South Africa. Microsoft and Tangent Solutions worked with Hollard to evolve their on premise hosting environment to a environment hosted in Azure App Services. The outcome was a Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment which proved to a be an evolution of what would potentially be a Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) deployment.

Business Challenge

Hollard Digital Shared Services has traditionally been hosted on premises. The challenges that the business faced with this hosting model was that scaling to meet service demands proved to be a challenge. There was also a need to host separate environments for Development, Quality Assurance and Production. Managing consistency across these environments proved to be a challenge and an initial attempt was made to reproduce the on premise environment in Azure, but the cost of hosting quickly became a debilitating when compared to on premise hosting costs

Hollard was looking for a solution that would transform their digital services hosting experience from having to manage physical virtual machines and move toward Platform as a Service (PaaS) without sacrificing their current DevOps practices of Build Automation with Continuous Integration and automated Deployment.

How we helped

The Solution was to provide a deployment environment in Azure which addressed Hollard’s concerns. The Digital Leads Generating Service was selected as a workload to prove the concept as well as the technology proposed. After a workshop and demonstration of Azure App Services. The Hollard Digital team produced a new design, this time considering App Services at its core. Tangent Solutions aimed to prove that an Azure App Service could host the selected solution, an Azure App Service would be easy to Scale out and that an App Service could be easily integrated into Hollard’s current DevOps flow.

Results

At the end of this exercise the Hollard Digital Team felt comfortable with the way that the newly deployed service was performing as well as the way in which their Devops processes were complemented by Azure App Services and Visual Studio Team Suite. A decision has been made and budgets approved to migrate the entire Digital Services Offering into Azure over time. This exercise has laid the groundwork for a Conversation as a Platform engagement which is reliant on the services deployed to Azure App Services at present and will provide Hollard with an additional channel to service their new and existing customer base.