“If we had started implementing the customer data program using an on premise solution, we would still not be ready”, Janne Miettinen, solution architect at pension insurer Elo concludes.
In 2018, Elo started a customer data program with the aim to bring together in one environment all relevant data related to a customer for the purpose of client management. Data from operative systems was combined with unstructured behavioural data from various touchpoints, with the goal of building a 360 view on the customer and their needs in order to optimize customer experience.
Elo had taken some smaller services into cloud before, but this was the first larger scale cloud environment to be set up in the company. Careful analysis was therefore done before the decision was made. “We trusted in DAIN Studios views and earlier experiences with cloud environments”, said Janne when asked what was finally the decisive factor in choosing a cloud based solution. The decision was also in line with Elo cloud strategy.
Based on prior systems in use at Elo, Microsoft Azure was selected as the cloud services provider. “For instance Azure Devops had already been taken into use, and cross functionality with Azure tools has increased efficiency during the development phase, as task management, pull request and soon also testing are all in the same system”.
Cloud tooling develops fast, and full compatibility of all selected tooling was not 100% certain until the program team was able to test them in practice. Many challenges were resolved in tight collaboration with Microsoft support. Some of the requirements regarding sufficiently granular logging and access control, for instance, were still in a development phase on the Azure roadmap, and temporary solutions needed to be put in pace in the Elo customer data program while waiting.
Key question right from the beginning has been information security, which is of utmost importance for the pension insurer when customer data is being processed. “The program has done a really good job on this front as well. Matias Dahl from DAIN Studios has managed the big picture, and every decision has been made with security in mind. Now we have a cloud environment in place where we could take practically any data”, says Janne Miettinen.