How we optimized Rethink’s underwriting platform for insurance with Salesforce

Boban Miksin Categories: Business Insights, Case Studies Date 06-Aug-2021 3 minute to read

    Rethink is a part of Howden’s DUAL group, one of the world’s largest international MGAs. Cutting-edge. Exciting. Data-driven. Rethink combines innovation and technology to help insurers make better decisions.

    The challenge: A complex, time-consuming data entry process

    Making it easier for companies in the insurance sector to find the information they need to calculate risk and automate decisions. Brokers and underwriters consume and use large amounts of data every day. These data entry and validation processes become increasingly complex and time-consuming, especially when multiple lines of business are involved. As an innovative digital solution, Rethink aims to make the process simpler for all stakeholders.

    Rethink’s digital underwriting platform automates the matching of capacity to risk. They already had an existing Salesforce solution and wanted to enhance its intuitiveness, stability, and scalability. That is where Vega IT stepped in.

    The team: A powerhouse of 20 experts to drive Rethink’s success

    Rethink was looking for an external tech partner with strong domain experience and expertise in Salesforce that would work with them side by side, support them, and help them achieve the desired objectives faster.

    Vega IT was entrusted as the sole vendor for Salesforce development. We collaborate closely with the client's technology and underwriting teams, fostering a cohesive partnership to drive successful integration efforts.

    We created a team of professionals that has evolved over time, in parallel with the client’s requirements. In continuous collaboration with the client, we kept a watchful eye on the project's progress and made recommendations for additional roles when required.

    At the moment, twenty experts from Vega IT are working on the Rethink project. We provide Howden with a team of twelve Salesforce professionals, which includes five software developers, one business analyst, two administrators, three QA engineers, and one solution architect. Additionally, the team includes eight more people - two DevOps engineers, two integration developers, two data scientists, a scrum master, and a client success manager.

    The solution: Improving UI and future-proofing the platform

    Ready for automated underwriting

    The product’s MVP provided features for a manual underwriting process, but needed further development to support the future of automated insurance. We removed unused code and restructured the database to give the product a solid foundation. We then focused on refactoring and improving the code, introducing newer, much faster functionalities than before. This ensured the technology stack was ready for data-driven, low-touch, automated underwriting.

    Improving system performance and scalability with Salesforce

    A notable aspect of this project is based on cutting-edge technologies, specifically Salesforce Industries for Insurance and the OmniStudio package. OmniStudio incorporates a range of tools and serves as our low-code, rapid development solution, enabling us to efficiently deliver project requirements. These greenfield technologies brought innovative capabilities and functionalities to the project, enabling us to create tailored solutions within the insurance domain.

    While OmniStudio provided robust functionality in most areas, there were specific instances where we required customized implementations. In these cases, we employed a custom approach.

    Throughout the project's lifecycle, our primary focus remains on ensuring future-proof, scalable, and integration-friendly outcomes. By adhering to these guiding principles, we are paving the way for a robust and adaptable solution capable of meeting evolving business needs.

    Improving user interface

    We have made significant improvements to the user interface (UI) within the Salesforce platform.

    One of the main issues the client faced was slow loading times, which compromised user experiences and made it difficult for users to navigate the system effectively. To fix that, our team proposed a loading-on-request approach. That simply means that only the essential parts of the application display data instead of reloading the entire page.

    Working with the platform’s users, we also streamlined and reduced unnecessary steps, making the overall user interface more seamless and intuitive.

    Maintenance and future-proofing

    Throughout the design and implementation phases, our key focus was on making the app reusable and scalable.

    To enable that, we refactored critical sections on the Salesforce application. This process involved restructuring the codebase to ensure long-term stability and flexibility, making the application more maintainable.

    We also decoupled the application’s logic. That way, we achieved a higher level of modularity, making it easier to maintain and update in the future. Our team diligently aimed to minimize the number of components while maximizing their reusability. This approach contributes to a more scalable and adaptable solution.

    System integrations

    We have worked on a number of integrations to complement Salesforce, which form part of the wider client system. This includes an external rules engine where underwriting parameters are maintained, so that offers of capacity can be generated. Salesforce is also integrated to provide an automated sanctions check, enrichment of party data, underwriter notes, and access to documents from other systems.

    These integrations improve efficiency and allow data and information to be centralized and easily accessed.

    We also worked on a project to develop components that extract and interpret data from historic documents. The team built a tool using Azure Cognitive Services to identify and categorize documents based on their type and content.

    How does the global insurance and risk advisor describe working with Vega IT?

    Paul Hillier Testimonial Cover (1)

    Howden Group

    Howden is a global insurance and risk advisor. A home for 15,000 talented professionals in the fields of broking, risk management, underwriting, and reinsurance. Since joining forces in 2020, our collaboration spans across four distinct sectors. A unified vision. Common goals. Seamless synergy. Those are the pillars of our partnership.

    The result: Significant performance improvements

    We are working with Rethink to develop an optimized, automated platform built for the future. We changed the architecture of the software to quickly deliver more accurate results; these changes accelerated the development process, making it faster to add new features and functionality. And the product itself is more efficient, making life a whole lot faster for the underwriters who use it.

    The implementation of Salesforce changes resulted in accelerated data loading in the existing system and simplified data entry. We have achieved significant performance improvements in general. For example, smoke test automation execution was accelerated by almost 50%.

    Our team also implemented agile management principles and frameworks for bigger teams and different procedures. That way, we enhanced the balance between production hotfixes and new feature development.

    The tech details

    Salesforce technologies


    • FlexCards
    • OmniScripts
    • DataRaptors
    • Integration Procedures

    User Interface (UI):

    • Salesforce Lightning Web Components (LWC)
    • Visualforce

    Server-side logic:

    • Salesforce Apex
    • REST API
    • SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language)
    • Triggers

    Other technologies

    • Integrations – we integrated the system with several other third-party services.