MTN’s aYo Holding’s Cloud-Based Technology Transformation Gains Momentum

Marius Botha, aYo's CEO

African FinTech aYo Holdings has reached a major milestone in its ongoing technology transformation by fully migrating its Côte d’Ivoire insurance portfolio to a cloud platform.

The company, a subsidiary of African telecommunications giant MTN, has more than 15 million customers using its microinsurance products across Uganda, Ghana, Zambia and Côte d’Ivoire. Group CEO Marius Botha says 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.

“We see ourselves as a technology company first and foremost, that happens to sell microinsurance now. As our customers transition to a world where financial services are easily accessible via mobile phone and transacted via apps and other channels, we need to respond with a platform business model that will allow us to scale rapidly and cost-effectively manage material volumes of nano transactions,” Botha said last month.

Following the successful Côte d’Ivoire migration, the company will now proceed to migrate its three remaining market databases from on-premise to cloud platforms, in collaboration with technology partner Silvermoon Business Systems, said Lukas Barnard, CTIO of aYo Holdings.

The migration will improve the scalability of aYo’s operations, increase availability, reduce costs, and ensures that the company’s technology stack remains current.

“aYo is continually evolving its InsurTech platform to anticipate future customer demand and stay abreast of the newest technology. We had to move this platform into the cloud to align with our cloud strategy, with the bulk of our applications already having been shifted into Azure,” said Barnard.

“We’ve created 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.”

One of the core insurance systems that aYo uses is Khula, residing on a Lunos framework from Silvermoon. The tech stack overhaul meant implementing numerous changes simultaneously, including moving up to the latest version of Lunos and Java, and replacing the authentication mechanism. It also swapped out existing components with RabbitMQ and Qlik Replicate, and underwent a massive database transformation exercise from on-premise DB2 to PostgreSQL in the Microsoft cloud.

The entire migration was completed without any disruption to customer service, said Barnard.


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