MMI had the vision to enter new markets all over the African continent with new products designed to win in these emerging markets. Their idea was to develop insurance products for people who can’t pay via a bank account. The view was to enable clients to pay for insurance using their cell phones, a technology available throughout the African continent. Their existing systems were not designed for this challenge. MMI then decided to work with us using the LUNOS platform. Micro-insurance products require significant insurance product flexibility and automation at scale, which is not readily available in traditional insurance systems. LUNOS provided MMI with the flexibility to develop this product agilely.

To distribute and service the product, MMI teamed with MTN, a leading mobile Telco company. This joint venture, named aYo, has grown rapidly and now delivers insurance services to nearly 20 million insurance customers in multiple countries. The platform handles between three and four million real-time client transactions on any average day.

Chief Executive of aYo Holdings, Marius Botha, said:

“Its vision is to grow into the largest financial services technology platform in Africa by enabling the distribution of a range of affordable and accessible micro financial services products.”

Overcoming Extreme Automation and Scale Challenges in Insurance

Like any insurance company, aYo needs to implement product changes to existing portfolios. Because customers interact with the system 24 / 7 / 365, the system cannot be taken offline for hours. As an added challenge, aYo doesn’t want to have customers on legacy products. This means that all policies must be migrated to the new product version as soon as it is introduced while preserving policy history for late arriving claims. In summary, we need to do product migrations on portfolios of multiple millions of policies without customer service interruption.

Leveraging the advanced product flexibility of the LUNOS platform, we implemented a mechanism that allows aYo to apply these product changes with automated policy migration in the live environment.

aYo Migration to the Cloud

Initially, aYo’s infrastructure was hosted at MMI’s data centres in South Africa. Given the growth, it was desirable to move to a more flexible and scalable cloud infrastructure. At the same time, there was a desire to move to an open source middleware platform away from proprietary commercial Database, Integration and Application Server Software. This was a large undertaking which was completed for each country separately with minimal downtime.

aYo’s CIO, Lukas Barnard, said:

“We have a cloud-based solution which easily processes 500 policy adjustments every second. This is true scale – but it can only be achieved with the right partners, the right technologies, and a superb in-house team. … The entire migration was completed without any disruption to customer service.”

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