Tech Talk Report: How Tower Insurance uses Sumo Logic to Ensure Reliability of their Digital Claims & Policy Applications



Hemanth from the Alliance Department here. In this blog i wanted to share insight of a recent Tech Talk that i attended "How Tower Insurance uses Sumo Logic to Ensure Reliability of their Digital Claims & Policy Applications".

Sumo Logic

A cloud-based log management and analytics software called Sumo Logic which enables businesses to exploit their machine data for useful insights. Sumo Logic's flexible capabilities make log data analysis simple and offer real-time visibility into operational and security insights.

Speaker for the TechTalk

Áine Molloy - Platform Engineering Manager, Tower NZ

David Garry - Sr. Director, APAC Customer Success, Sumo Logic

Report Contents

Background: Transforming Amidst Challenges

The first part of the discussion examined Tower Insurance's revolutionary journey in the face of technology advancements and market repositioning. The last eighteen months have been exceptionally dramatic, with extreme weather, volcanic eruptions, and an unprecedentedly rainy winter. The insurance sector encountered a singular circumstance that prompted a thorough exploration of creative alternatives.

Impact on Systems: Navigating Amidst Chaos

Tower Insurance encountered significant difficulties with managing claims related to large-scale events. Geographical obstacles brought on by disasters presented a frightening prospect, with examples ranging from flood damage to car claims. The contact center, too, was overwhelmed by the surge in inquiries.

Currently on the 4th Year Digital Transformation

Over a span of four years, Tower Insurance's commitment to digital transformation started gaining shape. The journey started off with a customer-centric approach and developed to optimize and improve the customer experience overall, especially throughout the claims phase.

Sumo Logic's Role in a 4-Year Digital Evolution

Sumo Logic emerged as a pivotal player in this transformative journey that exceeded initial expectations. Commencing with the implementation of centralized logging through Sumo Logic. A simple but profound goal of day-to-day performance monitoring but to unlock the ability to discern trending performance patterns over time. Sumo Logic evolved into a platform offering insights not only during performance issues but also during optimal operations. The importance of logs became evident—acting as a valuable resource for deriving insights and creating informative visualizations.

Observability in Modern Applications

The journey into observability is a continual process. Beginning with logs and progressing to metrics and data points, the recent introduction of OpenTelemetry (Otel) marked a significant step forward. Observability, with its focus on understanding system health before degradation, was just as posed with the functionality of monitoring after a system has encountered issues.

Sumo Logic in the Era of Containerization and Microservices

The deployment of microservices and containerization resulted in an overwhelming amount of logs, metrics, and data, which Sumo Logic was essential in handling. In addition to offering insights into usage and predicting possible credit exhaustion, the license model made ingestion management simpler. Emphasis was placed on the platform's capacity to discern between pertinent and superfluous data, with real-time data illustrating client behavior derived from live logs.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Observability

1) Define the Problem Clearly:

Identify challenges such as a decline in customer experience or a slump in sales. Clearly articulate the problem at hand.

2)Prioritize Issues:

Prioritize challenges based on arising questions and their significance. Lay the foundation for a strategic approach through prioritization.

3) Identify Key Scenarios:

Pinpoint key scenarios that encapsulate the essence of the identified problems. This step allows for a focused observability strategy.

4) Enhance What Needs Improvement:

Establish the primary goal: to enhance areas that require improvement. Direct efforts toward addressing the identified challenges effectively.

5) Delve into Specifics:

Delve into specifics of lacking information crucial for better decision-making. Understand the nuances of the issues at hand.

6) Meticulous Resource Redistribution:

Meticulously redistribute resources to address identified gaps. Ensure a strategic allocation of resources based on problem areas.

7) Emphasize Patience in the Journey:

Acknowledge that achieving effective observability is a time-demanding journey. Emphasize the importance of patience throughout the process.

8) Recognize Evolving Nature of Observability:

Acknowledge that observability is not static; it evolves with constant changes in the digital landscape. Adapt strategies to align with the dynamic nature of observability.

Q&A Session

Q1: how do you interpret the logs and schema's/insights, do you consider those insights in light of direct customer data from voice of customer surveys? See the front end and back end similarities?

  • It depends on the problem at hand, replacing voice customer survey survey with live data wouldn't solve it but they should compliment each other. Understand voice customer surveys when in optional comments such as system crash etc which can be very useful. Check convergence rate dropped and reason for dropped and returned normal after sometime might be due to sale or weather etc. Compliment each other is the key.
  • Q2: How customers didn't have internet access during the impact of 1 in 100 years event and how tower insurnace handled the situation.

  • Initially, door-to-door visits were conducted to aid customers in navigating the insurance claims process. The event prompted a collaborative effort among insurance companies, uniting under council guidance for weeks. Practical solutions were implemented, including the provision of laptops, Wi-Fi, and internet access. The focus extended to enabling essential online activities such as checking emails and internet banking. The pivotal strategy was being physically present on the ground, ensuring a comprehensive and hands-on response.