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The cloud gets mobile apps moving

Sharon Gaudin | Aug. 18, 2015
New York City uses cloud services to get apps tested and built more quickly.

Creating insurance apps in the cloud
"With a few commands, you have a server up and running. You work on the app and then launch it," said Mackenzie Kosut, head of technical operations with Oscar Insurance, a startup built on tech and a "human" approach to customer service. "We can re-iterate ideas over and over much faster and improve things. That's a huge advantage in any industry."

Oscar Insurance, which is running completely on the AWS cloud, depends heavily on mobile apps, with versions for both Android and AWS.

"Mobile is enormous for Oscar," Kosut said. "Customers can check on a timeline of their health history, track steps and be connected to a doctor with a push of a button day or night. Having real connectivity with each one of our members is extremely important."

Keeping those apps updated and being able to fix problems and add new features is key.

"We can take an idea and turn it into an app and launch it much quicker than another company could," he claimed. "The cloud lets us build a self-service model for developers."

Girish Juneja, CTO of Altisource Porfolio Solutions -- a global provider of mortgage, financial and technology services for the real estate industry -- also turned to app dev in the cloud for the speed it provides.

His team began working on their first app in the Verizon cloud about nine months ago and launched it within the last few weeks.

The Real Trans Inspector is an app built for property appraisers, enabling them to bid on jobs and enter data and photos, along with pushing alerts.

"Many of these apps often use services from other cloud service providers, like Google Maps," said Juneja. "It's much easier to integrate third-party services if you're using the cloud. When you have an internal environment and have to make outbound calls to third-party providers, you have more hoops to jump through, like security validations."

He also noted that it's easier to build and test in the cloud because he doesn't have to spend time and money acquiring new hardware, a new network or more storage

"In the cloud, you have all these building blocks to get started with," said Juneja. "Because storage is provided, you are testing fewer moving parts... Our app uses a whole bunch of pictures. The cloud offers us the storage API."

Altisource is a multi-cloud company, using both Verizon and AWS.

Juneja said his team is working on more apps in the cloud, and will use both Verizon and AWS going forward. Apps that have more requirements for data protection will be built on the Verizon platform, he explained.


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