Oracle Globally Distributed Database addresses multi-country data residency challenges for Munich Re HealthTech

May 14, 2024 | 8 minute read
Deeksha Sehgal
Senior Product Manager
Pankaj Chandiramani
Director, Product Management
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Customer Success story with Oracle Globally Distributed Database: 

Oracle has helped the leading global specialist in digital solutions for the health insurance industry achieve scalability and data residency through Oracle Globally Distributed Database.

Read their story

The insurance sector has been correlated with economic growth radically – Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge impact on insurers across the world. Digitalization is a critical driver in shaping politics, economics, and the balance of power in global events. The amplification of growth in technology is changing customer expectations, and in turn, prompting the incumbent and larger insurance companies to accelerate digitization and adopt new ways of working to offer seamless services to their customers.

While the industry heads forward with the changes happening in the ecosystem and shifting regulations with digital initiatives, a few more direct impacts that convert to lower profit margin and growth are compelling insurers to cut costs and perform more efficiently at the same time. Legacy IT infrastructure and the overly manual nature of certain processes and capabilities have challenged insurers’ ability to respond to such crises. This success story will take you through the nuances of the insurance vertical, and how Oracle Globally Distributed Database is helping enterprises in responding to these challenges.

Data Sovereignty in the Post-pandemic Insurance Industry

As insurers and regulators navigate through the digital revolution, the challenges of cyber risk pose obstacles in this thriving data-rich universe. Insurance companies have to collect massive amounts of data with the goal of risk mitigation, optimizing performance, and meeting the rocketing expectations of customers hence, data is key to remaining competitive. For ages, insurance companies have been aggregating a great deal of data, however, they face challenges, preventing them from making the most of the power offered by data governance frameworks and meeting the data sovereignty requirements such as:

  • Maintaining control over encryption and access to your data
  • Giving organization visibility and control over provider operations

Organizations across the globe are now prioritizing their data sovereignty to stay ahead of the curve. Residing the data close to the consumers is the best way to deal with such issues.


Oracle Globally Distributed Database meets data sovereignty requirements and supports applications that require low latency and high availability. It offers user-defined data placement for complying with regulatory requirements.

Oracle Globally Distributed Database provides comprehensive data sovereignty solutions that focus on the following aspects:

Data Residency: Data can be distributed across multiple shards, which can be deployed in different geographical locations.

Data Processing: Application requests are automatically routed to the correct shard irrespective of where the application is running.

Data Access: Data access within a region can be restricted further using the Virtual Private Database capability of Oracle Database.

Derivative Data: Ensuring that the data is stored in an Oracle Database, and using Oracle Database features to contain the proliferation of derivative data.

Data Replication: Oracle Globally Distributed Database can be used with Oracle Data Guard or Oracle GoldenGate to replicate data within the same Data Sovereignty region.


Customer story : 

Oracle has helped the leading global specialist in digital solutions for the health insurance industry achieve scalability and data residency through Oracle Globally Distributed Database.

Watch the Video

Read their story

Company’s Overview :

  • Munich Re HealthTech (MRHT) is a division of Munich Re, one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance and insurance-related risk solutions. MRHT, which is a leading global specialist in digital solutions for the health insurance industry, has been operating since 1995 and its solutions currently support 27 organizations in 19 countries in Europe, MEA, Asia and Latin America.

  • They have an application called SMAART i.e Munich Re HealthTech’s all-in-one tool for sophisticated insurance claims reserving, advanced portfolio performance monitoring, and pricing system for the health insurance business. It provides you with a 360-degree view of your business performance, allowing you to monitor your portfolio profitability from a product and policy perspective.

  • SMAART is built using the low-code Oracle APEX development platform within the Oracle Database

Business Challenges:

Data Sovereignty - Privacy & Residency

  • SMAART is experiencing growth across multiple countries, and it requires adherence to data residency laws

  • Clients that are using their systems are companies with a business that spans across several countries: Regulators (UAE, Saudi Arabia so far, and more countries in the ME in the coming future) are enforcing data residency requirements where personal and/or non-personal data must be stored locally

  • There was a need to store some of the client data locally in the country of origin to comply with data residency regulations 

  • Clients do not want to have a limited view of data per country, they need to be able to see the overall picture

  • The maintainability of multiple infrastructures for a single client in multiple countries is an issue due to the costs involved

  • Maintenance costs for MRHT are also higher due to increased support

  • The customer evaluated several vendors to build a globally distributed database. However, migrating the data model and modifying the code would take several years if they build a globally distributed database. Some of the other shortcomings included a lack of full concurrency, transaction, and update support or joins

SMAART Got Intelligent Architecture With Oracle Globally Distributed Database

In-country data storage with a global view

  • Oracle Globally Distributed Database architecture enabled a single logical database to be distributed over multiple geographies to achieve data residency requirement
  • The application stack is deployed in one region, while database shards are stored in different countries
  • Support from APEX to run multi-shard and single-shard queries and VPD (Oracle VPD) to handle row-level security 

Globally Distributed Database

SMAART Got Intelligent Architecture


The SMAART Approach

In-country data storage with a global view

  1. Central ‘Catalog’ database and two sharded nodes one in each remote site
  2. Selected the Sharding Key (in this case Client Organization ID)
  3. We uploaded data in the Catalog database and verified that they were directly stored in the relevant sharded tables depending on the organization ID
  4. Could connect to and query the Catalog database transparently, getting results for all sharded tables as if they were stored in the same centralized location
  5. Could connect directly to the shard and retrieve information only for the data of the particular shard
  6. Installed Oracle APEX on the Catalog database and installed the SMAART application
  7. Applied VPD and tested VPD through APEX
  8. Tested different types of user access through APEX

Business Benefits:

The client gained notable efficiencies from the comprehensive system overhaul:

High Performance 

  • Sharded architecture delivered a single global database for the customer, offering higher performance than ever before

  • This architecture substantially reduced global data replication and selectively replicate data only when needed to satisfy joins against local data

  • APEX automated the data extraction from spreadsheets reducing the time to build analytical dashboards from 15 days to an hour and reducing human error and security risks

  • Enabled customer to perform shard-specific DML or cross-shard DML without any impact on performance

Faster reporting response 

  • Enabled customers to run reports and analytics against a single global database as and when needed

  • This robust architecture eliminated the need to copy large amounts of data to a central warehouse as distributed parallel queries run against all shards with local data

  • The architected solution offered a bird’s eye view of their entire cross-country portfolio, and at the same time limited access of users to specific areas that how much they need to see

The actuary is making better decisions now

  • Oracle capabilities empowered them to build AI forecasting models by using the R interface with Oracle Machine Learning in Oracle Database

  • The client achieved enhanced performance and isolated data manipulations at the local shard site with the support of R, ODI, and ODM

  • Fully supports Oracle Analytics Server and enables cross-shard access and single-shard access based on user setup and configuration (can be enabled in RPD)

This is how Oracle Globally Distributed Database made it possible to satisfy data privacy regulatory requirements related to data residency where regional data would remain in respective regions and storing data close to its consumers that delivered data proximity.

To conclude, Oracle Globally Distributed Database is the perfect solution for covering data residency requirements while keeping central maintenance of their application and users. The solution can deliver hybrid functionalities leveraging Cloud and on-premises infrastructures.

Munich Re HealthTech gives customers insights and control with OCI:

Watch the Video

Read their story

Addressing the migration, performance, availability, and regulatory challenges with Oracle Globally Distributed Database

What do you need?

How you can achieve it with Oracle Globally Distributed Database

Hybrid Cloud

Explore Terraform-based Oracle Globally Distributed Database deployment : On-premises and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure


Read Deploying linearly scalable Oracle sharded databases across multi-cloud (Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services)

Seamless Data migration

Read Migrating to an Oracle Globally Distributed Database


Linear Scalability

Read How Oracle BlueKai Data Management Platform scales to 1 Million transactions per second with Oracle Globally Distributed Database deployed in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Data Sovereignty & Data Proximity

Read How to Achieve Data Sovereignty with Oracle Globally Distributed Database


Read Replication in Oracle Globally Distributed Database

The Way Forward:

Since 2014, top insurance players had delivered an annual Total Shareholder Return of 20% by the end of 2019. However, by the second quarter of 2020, the insurance sector underperformed the market by approximately 12%. The insurance industry’s proportionality with economic growth and fallouts is crystal clear. Going forward, technological enhancements and data sovereignty will have a significant impact on the growth potential of the insurance industry and ultimately the global economy. The road ahead will necessarily be paved by the growing digital and technological capabilities of countries as they aim for newer advancements in technology and digital sovereignty. Oracle Globally Distributed Database is all set to help its customers in this upcoming wave of disruption.

Deeksha Sehgal

Senior Product Manager

Deeksha Sehgal is a Senior Product Manager in Oracle with over 12 years of experience in IT Infrastructure services across product management, GTM strategy, technical design and integration, service delivery, database consulting, and hybrid/multi-cloud solutions. In her current role, she develops and effectively positions Oracle's Globally Distributed Database services as a standout offering among other products in the market. Her proficiency in market research and product analysis plays a key role in propelling the product's success.

Pankaj Chandiramani

Director, Product Management

With an extensive 18-year background in business technology, Pankaj Chandiramani currently holds the position of Director of Product Management for Oracle Database. His expertise lies in the development and marketing of enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS), hybrid, and on-premises products. He has successfully contributed to various domains, including AI/ML, IT Operations, Data Management, and DevOps.

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