Solera Holdings: Cutting-Edge Private Cloud Built with Pivotal Cloud Foundry

January 26, 2017

Cutting-Edge Private Cloud Built with Pivotal Cloud Foundry Helps Solera Quickly Develop Game-Changing Applications to Drive Digital Disruption

Solera Holdings, Inc. was founded in 2005 to drive digital transformation in the risk and asset management industry. Through growth and strategic acquisitions, over 30 businesses now operate under the Solera group umbrella, with innovative offerings that bring together insurers, original equipment manufacturers, dealers, service maintenance and repair industry participants, and many others. Today, Solera processes over 230 million transactions each year, with 180,000 customers across more than 75 countries. With that, Solera is a global leader in data & software for automotive, home ownership, and digital identity management.

Challenge

Ensuring Success with Transformational Software Development

Solera has become a leader in its industry by boldly blended digital technologies to manage risk and assets for auto and home. However, the industry is changing thanks to new technologies and a shrinking demand for traditional products and services. With over 30 businesses within the Solera group, each with their own applications and technology infrastructure, leaders initiated the next technological leap to ensure that Solera could innovate and thrive in the disruptive future.

“We needed to establish a completely new ecosystem for future products," says Jaroslav Bláha, Global CIO/CTO at Solera. “We want to give every developer and every business unit the same capability to develop and deploy software quickly so businesses can, in a very aggressive and agile way, collaboratively create value propositions for our customers and bring apps to life."

Solution

Create a Global Private Cloud to Design and Launch Applications

With a clear mandate to implement a new global software platform, Solera was limited to on-premise or private cloud-based options, because of strict compliance regulations in the insurance industry.

Enter Pivotal and Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Solera leaders recognized that Pivotal’s cloud native solution would be the optimal choice to create a state-of-the-art, private “Cloud of Clouds." Further, Pivotal experts could also offer a development and process model to help Solera further expand its culture of innovation and collaboration.

Business Benefits

Enable Developers to Quickly Prototype and Deploy Applications

Initially, Solera focused on using Pivotal Cloud Foundry to launch a new private cloud system within its R3PI innovation group. Working together, Pivotal and Solera were able to implement the first private cloud and modernize operations in Solera’s Zürich data centers for Europe practically overnight. “Six months from proof of concept to production is definitely record time," says Bláha. “Collaboration with the team was great and our DevOps team has readily mastered and adopted the new technology," confirms Friedrich Rub, Solera’s CIO for EMEA/APAC.

The R3PI team found Pivotal’s software to be robust, easy to implement, and easy to use. With such positive outcomes, in the near future, the platform will be made available across the global organization so all developers can enjoy the same capabilities.

Developed, Tested, and Deployed their Revolutionary Mobile App

Recently, R3PI developers utilized Pivotal Cloud Foundry tools at their fingertips to easily provision processing and storage power, and to automate manual tasks in order to launch a revolutionary app called “Digital Garage". This game-changing app allows car owners to manage the end-to-end ownership lifecycle of their vehicles from their mobile devices. It represents just the beginning of cutting-edge applications and products that Solera continues to develop now that it has the right platform and tools in place.

Foster a Culture of Innovation and Collaboration across the Organization

With the new private cloud system in place, developments and advancements can be more easily shared across all of Solera’s businesses. This is encouraging an environment of communication and innovation, where improvements and optimizations can take root quickly and efficiently. The traditional, ITIL-based process to exchange “fix-it" tickets between developers and IT operations has been completely disrupted. Developers are empowered to solve their own issues or to work in tandem with IT to find solutions. For example, instead of dealing with a backlog of hundreds of firewall requests, a self-service portal will automate the entire process.

“This is the new way of collaboration that’s more fun for people on both sides, because they see progress much faster," observes Bláha. “Pivotal truly makes solving such issues a pleasure."

Conclusion

With the unquestionable success of the private cloud system within its R3PI unit, organizational transformation will continue as the platform is introduced to other business units. Ultimately, Solera’s state-of-the-art, private “Cloud of Clouds " will be a fully automated and autonomous platform on a global scale, accessible across the organization. It will also help to expand the competitive advantage Solera has to thrive in an industry facing disruptive change.

“We will be able to develop, deploy, and execute software with a high degree of automation on a global scale," says Bláha. “We will move extremely fast and adapt to disruptive business needs."

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