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Cloud-native orchestration

Swiss Re’s Journey Toward a Cloud-Native Orchestration Solution

Swiss Re has recently undergone a transformative journey toward a modern and cloud-native process orchestration solution. The global reinsurance company decided to embrace a cloud strategy due to a desire to empty its data centers and achieve a long-term goal of integrating open, agile solutions for process automation. Simply stated, the company’s requirements for process automation had outgrown its monolithic BPM solution.

During CamundaCon, Swiss Re’s head of product integration, Benny Nedumkariyil, spoke about this epic transformation in a presentation inspired by Homer’s classic poem, The Odyssey. Nedumkariyil spoke about why his team selected Camunda Platform 8 as its cloud-native process orchestration solution and shared the long-term goals his organization is hoping to accomplish with this new BPMN workflow engine.  

Let’s take a closer look at Swiss Re’s odyssey toward a cloud-native process orchestration solution.

The Beginning of the Cloud Era 

The plan for Swiss Re, Nedumkariyil said, was to freeze the development of its legacy BPM platform and begin identifying the requirements for a new, more agile solution for process automation. The ultimate goals for this new platform were, “not only to empty our data centers and move toward open source solutions, but also to create a valuable service for our customer consumer clients at an affordable price,” Nedumkariyil said. 

These requirements made it clear that Swiss Re was in need of an adaptable, cloud-native process orchestration solution. In order to prepare his organization for the cloud, Nedumkariyil and his team began an extensive search for a replacement for their monolithic BPM solution and attempted to anticipate the potential challenges that could arise from the transition.

“We knew that this transition was also an investment in our people because they would have to learn this new technology. Fortunately, we have very good people…but we wanted to find a solution that was easy to understand and set up,”  Nedumkariyil said. 

Choosing Camunda Platform 8

The extensive research conducted by Nedumkariyil and his team led to several viable BPM solutions, all of which had the potential to act as the process engine of Swiss Re’s new automation platform. Ultimately, Camunda Platform 8, and its process automation engine, Zeebe, were chosen for Swiss Re’s new platform.

“The reason why we decided on Zeebe is because we believe it is future-proof…it has a cloud-native approach, and we can count on its scalability,” Nedumkariyil said.

With Camunda Platform 8, Nedumkariyil found not only the scalability and automation that he set out to discover in a BPM solution, but he also discovered the power of BPM notation (BPMN).

“Another benefit of Zeebe is the BPMN. It helps us understand our business and customers better, and it also allows our customers to understand us better. Camunda Platform 8 has become the bridge between us and our customers,” Nedumkariyil said.

3 Key Results

Process automation touches many aspects of operations at Swiss Re. The new process orchestration platform that the company built with Camunda Platform 8 has already made a big impact in a few key areas, Nedumkariyil said.

Government-related tasks

Swiss Re successfully moved through all quality gates of the digital governance framework, including licensing, security, and compliance, on time and with little issue.  

Production cluster

Swiss Re deployed a production cluster to the public cloud and also migrated most workflows to the new microservices orchestration platform. 

Upskilled team members 

All members of Nedumkariyil’s team learned, and continue to learn about microservices. The team also organized deep dives on these topics and shared insights with each other. Ultimately, workflow owners at Swiss Re learned to develop their own workflows, and Nedumkariyil is particularly proud of that achievement. 

Empowered to Excel

The story told by Nedumkariyil at CamundaCon is not only about digital transformation and cloud-native process orchestration, but also about empowering team members and workflow owners. While Camunda Platform 8 has already enabled improved scalability and process automation for Swiss Re, Nedumkariyil and his team think they’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible with process automation:

“It’s very important for a company to invest in its people and the future. We always need to be moving ahead and widening the horizons for the company. Process automation helps us do that.”

Want to hear the entire story? Watch the full video of Nedumkariyil’s presentation on Swiss Re’s epic transformation with Camunda Platform 8. 

Your organization can be next. Learn more about what Camunda Platform 8 offers and how we can support your digital transformation.

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