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AWS re:Invent 2018: Terry Wise and Allianz Call Out Contino for Creating Huge Value
Dominic Ayres

AWS re:Invent 2018: Terry Wise and Allianz Call Out Contino for Creating Huge Value

The AWS partner ecosystem has grown 230-fold in the seven years since the first ever Global Partner Summit took place. Partner-led customer migrations have increased four-fold during that time, while database migrations to AWS Aurora have increased seven-fold over the last two years alone.

In sum: the partner ecosystem matters.

That’s why it was great to see Terry Wise, AWS’s Global VP of Channels and Alliances, open the second day of this year’s re:Invent with a homage to the strength of the community that has emerged around AWS services: “It’s fantastic to spend today and this week with such a passionate group of partners who are working with us to innovate on behalf of our mutual customers. The cost savings, the speed and agility, the innovation and economic value-add we’re providing to our mutual customers is just astounding.”

He called out in particular how partners are creating huge value for shareholders: “Traditionally in the partner world we talk about profitability and margins and rebates and incentives programmes and these are all important things that help drive and build businesses and it's something that we’re investing in as well. But, really, what’s most exciting is we stand back and look at the value that you’re being able to create for your employees and shareholders. We’re seeing companies being funded at incredible rates at very strong valuations. New born-in-the-cloud companies or organizations that have just recently gotten started. Contino and Lemongrass are two great partners that have gotten strong rounds of funding to extend their business.”

The keynote also featured stories from customers who had successfully engaged partners to accelerate their transformation journeys. Bernd Heinemann from Allianz Germany took to the stage to walk us through the context for the insurer’s own journey of digital transformation.

Allianz is a leading global player in a global insurance industry is worth $5 trillion globally (around 6% of global GDP!). The entire industry is a perfect case for transformation: the product is an intangible that is defined by logic, data and rules. In his words, “it should be a paradise for digitization”.

Crucial to remember, however, is that the industry is heavily dependent on person-to-person engagement. Less than 10% do insurance entirely online and most customers want the best of both worlds. As Bernd pointed out, “it’s the human element that can make the abstract nature of insurance tangible”.

The core of their strategy, then, lies in striking the perfect balance between digital access and personal assistance. Physical, personal touchpoints are being embedded into a fully-digitized system to make this a reality.

The move is a considerable undertaking: “We’re changing our entire infrastructure. We’re in the middle of the one of our largest technological challenges ever. We don’t do this alone, but with strong partners.”

He highlighted Contino’s work at Allianz UK helping them to build a DevSecOps operating model for their front-end systems so that they can improve their customer-facing web apps: “AWS partner Contino did a great job with my colleagues at Allianz UK”.

In Germany, they are now 50% complete with migrating 300 applications and are piloting the migration of core systems. As they proceed they will continue to rely on partners: “I’m looking to you, the AWS community, to assist us. I invite you to join our exciting journey. It will be a journey to success!”

And their strategy is working. Last year, they completely revised their car insurance ecosystem with seamless online/offline connections based on advanced technologies. After your car breaks down Allianz get you on the move again within 60 minutes wherever you are. Go on their website and you’ll get a quote in only 60 seconds. The result? They doubled their new business after launch.

Bernd closed with a succinct summary of the Allianz mindset that has led to their success: Think digital, be human.

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