Swiss Re Sees Threefold Increase in Performance Using Optimized System on Ready-to-Run Hardware, Deployed in Record Time
 
 

Swiss Re Sees Threefold Increase in Performance Using Optimized System on Ready-to-Run Hardware, Deployed in Record Time

  • Oracle Customer:  Swiss Re
    Location:  Zurich, Switzerland
    Industry:  Insurance
    Employees:  11,193
    Annual Revenue:  Over $5 Billion

Swiss Re is a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer, a pioneer in insurance-based capital market solutions that combine financial strength and unparalleled expertise for the benefit of global clients. Founded in 1863, the company has 150 years of experience in providing wholesale reinsurance and risk-management solutions, delivering both traditional and innovative offerings in property and casualty and life and health that meet clients’ needs. Swiss Re is the second-largest insurer/reinsurer in the world and has attained high grades from ratings agencies—such as the A1 rating granted by Moody’s.

In 2002, Swiss Re established a data warehouse for its client markets and products to gather reinsurance information across all organizational units into an integrated structure. The data warehouse provided the basis for reporting at the group level with drill-down capability to individual contracts, while facilitating application integration and data exchange by using common data standards. Initially focusing on property and casualty reinsurance information only, it now includes life and health reinsurance, insurance, and nonlife insurance information.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Swiss Re

  • “The high quality data that is readily available with Oracle Exadata gives us the insight and agility we need to cater to client needs. We also can continue re-engineering to keep up with the increasing demand without having to grow the organization. This combination creates excellent business value.” – Dr. Stephan Gutzwiller, Head of Data Warehouse Services, Swiss Re

  • Increase hardware performance rapidly for more timely insurance and reinsurance intelligence that lead to more agile business decisions
  • Deliver insurance and reinsurance analytics more rapidly to internal customers without growing the small IT team, distributed across seven international locations
  • Manage 6 terabytes of financial and insurance data more efficiently across one production and five nonproduction environments by reducing the effort required for continuous system performance tuning

Solutions

Oracle Product and Services

  • Deployed Oracle Exadata Database Machine from installation to production, going live in four months with only two weeks required between power-on to testing the machine with full data volumes—the fastest major release change in the Swiss Re’s history
  • Improved average reporting performance threefold, compared to the previous, perfectly-tuned, high-performance solution
  • Reduced average runtime by 24% for standard reports, such as tracking incoming client payments or outgoing claims, to deliver faster in-depth insurance insight to 50 internal customers
  • Achieved significant performance improvements in longer-to-run reports—for example by reducing the longest-to-run, sample-selection report from 480 seconds to 150 seconds, out of the box—enabling up to 3,000, regular, end users to run more reports in less time without customization
  • Reduced the time to feed the data warehouse and generate data marts by 58%—from 800 minutes to 325 minutes (average figures monitored over a 14-days period)—enabling Swiss Re to deliver daily accurate information at the beginning of the working day for all locations
  • Gained the ability to comfortably load two data warehouse refreshes per day with incremental feeds from IBM DB2, IBM AS/400, and Oracle Database—enabling Swiss Re to greatly exploit up-to-date analytics across property, casualty, life, health insurance, and reinsurance lines to identify successful products
  • Freed up technical experts by significantly minimizing time to tune the system for reporting requirements, enabling Swiss Re to focus on business content

Why Oracle

“We were operating a complete Oracle stack, including servers, storage area network, operating systems, and databases that was well optimized and delivered very good performance over an extended period of time. When a hardware replacement was scheduled for 2012, Oracle Exadata was a natural choice—and the performance increase was impressive. It enabled us to deliver analytics to our internal customers faster, without hiring more IT staff,” said Dr. Stephan Gutzwiller, head of data warehouse services, Swiss Re.