May 19, 2020

Insurtech startup to provide affordable insurance for farmers

World Cover
Jason Schapiro
Christopher Sheehan
Maureen Maingi
2 min
Insurtech startup to provide affordable insurance for farmers

Insurtech startup World Cover has continued to expand its services across Africa. The insurance provider has announced that it will provide services in Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya.

World Cover is an insurtech startup which provides satellite-enabled climate insurance to smallholder farmers. The company was originally founded in 2015 as a fintech marketplace for climate insurance, and has consistently grown since then, providing support to many areas of Africa. Unlike traditional insurance companies, which require lengthy in-person evaluations, the company consolidates data on weather and crop yield obtained from satellites. As an example, in Feburary 2019, the company made several payouts to farmers in Kenya as poor rainfall caused large amount of crop failure.

Across the globe, smallholder farmers lose between $50 billion and $100 billion annually, often from natural disasters, but reportedly only 1% is insured from these accidents.

SEE ALSO:

 

Jason Schapiro, WorldCover Lead Engineer, said “Our algorithms are specifically calibrated to rainfall events by region and crop type, automatically triggering instant payouts to insured farmers through mobile money services like M-Pesa.” Schapiro went on to explain the benefit of this technology, as cuts down the length loss assessment process.

Christopher Sheehan, CEO and co-founder of World Cover emphasises the importance of technology-enabled insurance in strengthening smallholder farmers' businesses.

“WorldCover has uniquely combined technological advances and developed a solution that allows us to support smallholder farmers caught in conditions that are worsening due to climate change," Sheehan said.

Share article

Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

Share article