Technology

Q&A: Meet Domestic & General, a 110-year-old company tackling digital transformation


Domestic & General Group Ltd., a provider of appliance breakdown protection in 13 countries, is a 110-year-old company that has been navigating the digital transformation through the adoption of software as a service (SaaS) with the help of Hexaware Technologies Ltd., a company looking to lead any company into the cloud no matter the challenges.

So what is it like for a legacy company to partner with a cloud-first technology company through such a massive overhaul?

Nikhil Date (pictured, left), direct of engineering and application services at Domestic & General, and Milan Bhatt (pictured, right), president and head of cloud at Hexaware, spoke with theCUBE hosts Lisa Martin and Dave Vellante at AWS re:Invent, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. (* Disclosure below.)

They discussed the ways Domestic & General has successfully a navigated digital transformation with the help of Hexaware, why this partnership has been so effective, and how such scale is achievable with the help of Amazon Web Services’ cloud-first platform.

[The following content has been condensed for clarity.]

Martin: Talk to the audience about Domestic & General. What kind of business is it? What’s the business model?

Date: We protect in warranty and out-of-warranty care for domestic appliances … TVs, boilers, refrigerators, washing machines, that kind of thing. But we are also a business-to-business company in the sense that you might think you are getting a warranty from some of our biggest customers, but actually, it’s D&G at the back trying to administer that for you.

Martin: What drew you to the organization? And where was Domestic & General in their digital transformation journey? A legacy company is a big challenge.

Date: The assets that we have are our people who are really passionate about the business. I think what we had to do was to find a partner that can upskill the tech, but also upskill the people at the same time and upskill the delivery model. By working with a partner such as Hexaware and embracing cloud … that was the massive agenda that drew me to the company.

But I think what is also fair is — digitalization is a misunderstood and often abused term, because for the most part, when companies start on this journey, they take a journey that works in the brick-and-mortar world, and we were a contact center business.

Vellante: How was Hexaware involved? And where did Hexaware start? How did you gauge what the requirement was?

Bhatt: When Nikhil and the rest of the management team came in, they came up with a competitive process. They were very clear that they were not looking for someone who can just digitize their paper processes, but who can help them completely re-imagine what the new process would look like, what the new experience would look like. And we were using cloud technology, but … they wanted to make sure that a provider brings in a mix of experience and engineering expertise. And that’s really hard to find.

Lisa: Nikhil, share with us some of the significant business outcomes that Hexaware services and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are helping the company to achieve?

Date: In some cases, we are going to market … two, three times faster than what we were. Costs, obviously, 50% cheaper. But the big thing here is, because now there is a common underlying technology innovation that client X wants to do, [it] becomes available for client Y. Which means that there’s a virtual circle of constant improvement. From my point of view, that’s the big benefit.

Bhatt: What has been really impressive about the decision-making at D&G is that they have adopted cloud in the right way. So they are one of the few customers who have truly taken the [AWS Well-Architected Framework] to heart. They have taken things like the right workloads to the cloud and wait to do the right remediations before you take the rest of the workloads to the cloud. They’ve used native services available on AWS from apps perspective as well as a data perspective. So that’s  a little bit more color on the technology and architecture.

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS re:Invent:

(* Disclosure: Hexaware Technologies Ltd. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Hexaware Technologies nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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