Success Story Sobrado & VSHN
With VSHN, SOBRADO has found a reliable Swiss partner for the operation of its IT platforms. Through automation and streamlining of operating processes, new versions and features can be rolled out much faster and SOBRADO’s software is therefore closer to its customers, the brokers. Silvan Mühlemann, CTO of SOBRADO, explains in an interview how the cooperation between SOBRADO and VSHN went.
Interview with Silvan Mühlemann, CTO and co-founder of SOBRADO
Hello Silvan, can you briefly explain what SOBRADO does?
SOBRADO optimizes the tender and offer process for insurance brokers and providers. With SOBRADO, brokers can easily enter tenders and send them to all providers. Offers of the insurance companies are then automatically evaluated and can be seen by the broker in a comparison. Brokers thus work more efficiently and securely.
What is your role at SOBRADO?
I am co-founder of the platform, I am CTO and therefore responsible for the software development, the technical infrastructure – and the team that makes this possible. In addition, I wrote the code for the PDF parser – the core component that automatically evaluates offers.
What challenges did you face with your application and infrastructure?
Over the years, the number of users, the volume of data processed, and the amount of program code have grown continuously.
This led to various problems with the existing infrastructure. The biggest: scaling the application became increasingly difficult. On the other hand, we had increasing problems deploying the application: more and more often, errors occurred on the production line immediately after deployment.
By switching to APPUiO we were able to solve our two biggest problems: with one click we can now increase the number of instances of our PHP servers. More servers during the week. Less during the weekend. We also have Blue/Green deployments: a new version of the application is only activated if it successfully passes tests on the target environment. This means that errors occur significantly less often after a new release.
How did you hear about VSHN and why did you choose APPUiO as your container platform?
VSHN is known in the startup scene as an innovative and reliable provider. Even before the product APPUiO was available, we hosted our software at VSHN.
I knew the product APPUiO from my job at Mühlemann&Popp, a company builder. There we hosted our start-ups very early on APPUiO and had good experiences. Therefore it was obvious to use this solution also for SOBRADO.
What have we achieved together and how do we currently support you?
We have managed to bring a platform, which wasn’t “cloud-ready” by technology (PHP), to the cloud with the help of the specialists from VSHN.
In addition, we can save money because the entire server configuration is now in our source code: our developers can make adjustments themselves and do not always have to rely on VSHN specialists.
But it doesn’t work completely without VSHN: for the tricky things we fall back on them.
What works well and where can we improve?
The application is stable and the processes are well established. At the moment we are very satisfied. What could have gone better in the project? We were not made aware enough that this is a complex platform and that normal software developers should allow enough time for training. Before the actual migration, there was a low level of acceptance of the new infrastructure by our developers. They were hardly familiar with the “OpenShift” and “Kubernetes” technologies. In the beginning, the SOBRADO application also showed increased performance problems, which mainly affected the speed of the software. But these difficulties are now overcome.
Why or for what would you recommend us?
If personal and professional support by specialists in Switzerland is important to you, then you are right at VSHN.
Thank you for your time and open feedback, Silvan. We wish you continued success with SOBRADO and are very glad about our cooperation.
The interview was carried out by Markus Speth, CMO of VSHN.
As a digital pioneer, SOBRADO provides an advantageous solution for all insurance processes. With the use of SOBRADO the offer and tender process for brokers and insurance providers is optimized. A step-by-step process enables brokers to record the tender efficiently and quickly. Offers from insurers are automatically evaluated and compared for the broker with just one mouse click. Furthermore, the SOBRADO Library offers access to important market information with over 5000 insurance-related documents. The SOBRADO platform offers these advantages and much more. Further information is available at www.sobrado.ch
About VSHN – The DevOps Company
VSHN was founded with the intention to fundamentally shake up the hosting market. As a lean startup, we focused on the operation of IT platforms through automation, agility and a continuous improvement process. Completely independent of location and without our own hardware, we operate extensive applications according to the DevOps principle agile and 24/7 on any infrastructure, so that software developers can concentrate on their business and IT operations are relieved. VSHN (pronounced like “vision”) is the leading Swiss partner for DevOps, Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift, Rancher & 24/7 Cloud Operations. Learn more on www.vshn.ch
About APPUiO – Swiss Container Platform
APPUiO is the largest Swiss container platform for the design, development and operation of applications. Based on proven Open Source concepts such as Docker and Kubernetes, APPUiO enables DevOps: through automation and self-service, development, deployment and operational processes are accelerated and the collaboration between software developers and business organization is improved. APPUiO is a joint brand of VSHN und Puzzle ITC. Learn more on www.appuio.ch
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