UPDATED 16:02 EST / JULY 22 2021


Disruptor explains IBM-Cisco alliance

Monitoring all of the components in a customer’s interaction with digitized broker channels is an example of how a company can take advantage of the 25-year-old IBM-Cisco Systems Inc. strategic relationship, according to an insurance vendor user.

Automated, direct-to-customer channels, where customers don’t interact at all with company employees, can also be analyzed.

“We needed the ability to look deeper and get into the micro level, monitor the pulse of every component of our user’s journey,” said Kuberan Kandasamy (pictured center), vice president of personal insurance technology at Economical Insurance.

Kandasamy; Laura Guio (pictured left), general manager of the IBM global Cisco alliance at IBM; and Matthew Angelstad (pictured right), lead client partner, Canada financial services, at IBM, spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the recent IBM Think event. They discussed the alliance and how it can help a disruptor. (* Disclosure below.)

MVP focus

Kandasamy’s insurance company brought on the IBM-Cisco duo after Economical had launched its two award-winning, disruptive MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) early-development, but live, insurance channels: The first, direct-to-customer in 2016; and then broker-to-customer in 2018.

“Focus on fine-tuning key components” was the impetus. “Enhancing our focus on stability and predictability,” Kandasamy explains.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key element, he explains. “The ability to be able to actually mine that data and actually be taking proactive steps in terms of predicting, that’s where the AI ops comes in,” he says. “It’s a lot of data that we get.”

IBM’s role

“Leveraging data in a business context” was how IBM approached it using Cisco’s AppDynamics platform, according to IBM’s Angelstad. The AppDynamics product is geared toward full-stack observability for those organizations transforming to digitization. Cloud migration; cloud native and serverless monitoring; continuous delivery and microservices and container transaction health are elements, according to Cisco’s website.

“What we’re seeing, even more so in the past year of the pandemic, is a dramatic acceleration of that end-to-end digital experience,” Angelstad said. “Our clients and their customers are expecting digital-native solutions that are contextually personalized, highly secure and always available or extremely resilient.”

Multiple data sets contextualized is how AppDynamics contributes, he believes. “You can understand from a user perspective that end-to-end journey right from initiation in the application, all the way through the technical infrastructure,” Angelstad stated. Prevention of issues, meaning the resolution of potential problems is a part of that too, he added.

Hybrid cloud

Distributed cloud, where apps can be run anywhere (including non-IBM clouds such as Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure), and on-prem, edge and public cloud, a product IBM calls Cloud Satellite also plays a part. It’s a combination of the Cisco AppDynamics and the IBM distributed cloud technology creating the solution, according to Guio.

“They bring the elements to the solution when you look at networking. We look at some of the security. And then when we start looking at how this combines with edge technology, we really start getting combinations between the IBM technology, the Cisco technology and how that completes a picture in a solution for the client,” She said.

And according to Angelstad,  “Stitching together the data across those application sets to drive value out of it.”

Getting things going rapidly too was a benefit, Kandasamy added. You can start seeing ROI quickly, he claimed. IBM gets benefit from that too: By creating hybrid cloud solution, like the work accomplished for Economical Insurance, they don’t have to “reinvent that every time,” Guio pointed out.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Think. (*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for IBM Think. Neither IBM, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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