Business challenge

In launching Sonnet Insurance Company, Economical Insurance sought a hybrid cloud platform to accelerate speed and scalability to align with consumer preferences for a reliable digital experience.


Sonnet put all of its home insurance workloads on IBM Cloud infrastructure. Hosting its solution on the hybrid cloud platform helps Sonnet meet each person’s unique needs.


Speeds time to market

with a scalable platform that helped get the required infrastructure up and running

Creates visibility

for a new digital insurance business model, both in Canada and globally

Expects steady growth

in the business with a behavioral segment that prefers to buy home and auto insurance online

Business challenge story

Speeding time to market with digital technology

Market research conducted by Economical Insurance revealed that customer behavior was shifting throughout Canada. The shift identified an under-serviced segment that is comfortable with digital technology and sought new ways to buy insurance. Seizing an opportunity to disrupt the industry, Economical launched its digital direct business, Sonnet.

A true innovator, Sonnet wanted to make a competitive strike and sought a hybrid cloud platform to accelerate speed to market and scale the business to align with rapidly changing consumer preferences for a reliable digital experience. 

To ensure its customers had a truly personalized experience, Sonnet sought to provide a trusted, transparent, and simpler insurance process. “We needed to be agile, quick to market, and able to scale. A hybrid cloud infrastructure was the obvious way to deploy our business with speed and flexibility,” says Alice Keung, senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO), Economical Insurance, who was heavily involved in creating the new digital business.

The hybrid cloud strategy has enabled an agile environment that helps us respond to new demands and opportunities very quickly.

Alice Keung, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Economical Insurance

Transformation story

Hosting insurance workloads on IBM Cloud

With help from IBM® Global Business Services®—Application Development and Innovation, IBM Global Technology Services®, IBM Managed Security Services and IBM Premier Business Partner Deloitte—Sonnet put all of its home and auto insurance workloads and established systems on the security-rich IBM Bluemix® hybrid cloud infrastructure.

IBM provides managed services over the production environment so Economical can focus on its traditional business and allow Sonnet to concentrate on growth. The GBS team helped to set up Sonnet’s development and operations (DevOps) environment, and provided knowledge transfer so that Sonnet could become self-sufficient in managing its overall DevOps. GTS manages production, direct response and user acceptance training on the hybrid cloud platform. Solutions from IBM Managed Security Services were integrated as well as part of IBM’s overall monitoring service. Sonnet manages development testing and Deloitte, an IBM Premier Business Partner, handles application development. Sonnet deployed Guidewire, an insurance policy administration system, on the cloud infrastructure.

“The hybrid cloud strategy has allowed us to optimize the investments we have already made in technologies used as enterprise services by existing systems,” says Keung. Running on the IBM Cloud platform, the Sonnet solution uses technology and inputs from multiple sources to tailor recommendations for each policyholder and to meet each person’s unique needs. For example, Sonnet’s online insurance application allows autobinding, so that when a customer buys a policy online it becomes active immediately.

Results story

Creating awareness in Canadian insurance market

The IBM Cloud platform helped Sonnet reduce development time and increase speed to market while maintaining a strong security posture to ensure customer information is handled safely. A scalable platform helped get the required infrastructure up and running within six months of inception. The online presence has raised awareness of Sonnet and has already created significant visibility, both in the Canadian insurance market and worldwide. <br><br>The platform helps Sonnet maintain an environment that can respond quickly to new demands while facilitating future scalability and connection to existing systems. Sonnet anticipates steady growth in its online business among a distinct behavioral segment of the market preferring to buy home and auto insurance online. <br><br>

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About Sonnet Insurance Company

Sonnet Insurance Company is a digital direct business launched in 2016 by its parent company, Economical Insurance. Sonnet provides home and auto insurance online to Canadians. Economical is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, based in Waterloo, Ontario and operating since 1871.

To see Sonnet in action, visit

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