Sun Life Selects AWS as Its Long-Term Strategic Cloud Provider

The Canadian insurer will use AWS technology to transform digital services, innovate for clients, develop employees, and become a more agile business in the cloud.

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Sun Life (Toronto) has selected AWS (Seattle) as its long-term strategic cloud technology provider to become a cloud-first organization, drive ongoing innovation, and develop new digital client experiences, according to an AWS statement. The insurer will use AWS’s portfolio of cloud technologies, including analytics, machine learning, storage, security, and databases, to drive operational efficiency and innovation to the company’s clients and employees, the statement says.

Laura Money, EVP, CIO, Sun Life.

AWS reports that, through its relationship with AWS, Sun Life became the first company in Canada to launch an immersive cloud skills training program, which is now available to Sun Life employees. Called “Catalysts for Cloud” and using the AWS Skills Guild, which the vendor characterizes as a comprehensive skills enablement program to build cloud fluency, the initiative focuses on attracting and developing top talent. The program will unite Sun Life’s cloud experts with AWS instructors to offer peer-to-peer learning and hands-on training to build cloud skills across the organization. Over the next few months, Sun Life plans to certify the first 450 business and technical employees with the AWS program and will continue to train more employees to help expedite cloud adoption and develop new client-facing and internal capabilities.

As part of its move to accelerate digital transformation and deliver new client experiences using the cloud, Sun Life has built development workspaces in North America and innovation labs in Asia to assemble IT teams and business leaders to innovate with AWS technologies.

“In Asia, for example, one of the labs created the Sun Life Secure Experience, which enables Sun Life advisors to collaborate with clients virtually using video conferencing and secure file sharing,” the AWS statement says.

The new offering uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Route 53 (AWS’s cloud Domain Name System web service) to provide what the vendor calls a reliable and cost-effective way for clients and advisors to connect remotely to view and discuss financial documents. The Sun Life Secure Experience also uses Amazon SageMaker, which is AWS’s service designed to enable data scientists and developers to build, train, and deploy machine learning models quickly in the cloud and at the edge.

Frank Fallon, VP, Financial Services, Amazon Web Services, Inc.

“Our aim in moving to the cloud is to be a digital innovator for our clients and use technology to shape how we work and develop employees at Sun Life,”  comments Laura Money, CIO and Executive VP, Sun Life. “AWS’s portfolio of cloud technologies help us to be predictive, proactive, and personal by taking client insights and translating them into new, digital ways to meet their needs. I dream of the day when we get client insights in the morning and deliver a solution by the evening. I’m excited to know we can realize this dream with our teams working differently using AWS.”

Agility to Quickly Build and Scale New Platforms

“Sun Life has a long history of embracing digital technology to offer new services and features that keep customers at the center of everything they do,” says Frank Fallon, VP, Financial Services, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “By running on the world’s leading cloud, Sun Life has the agility to quickly build and scale new platforms to give customers more ways to manage their portfolios as the demand for digital services continues to grow. Sun Life’s cloud-first approach signals a commitment to modernizing its infrastructure that sets the standard for other insurers in Canada. Companies throughout the financial services industry can count on AWS’s scale, performance, and breadth of capabilities to drive innovation and continuously deliver for their customers.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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