Goosehead Insurance

How Using Heroku Boosted Goosehead's Efficiency by 80%

Goosehead Insurance, a leading independent insurance agency in the competitive and regulated insurance industry, targets the challenges that consumers face when shopping for insurance by providing a simple, transparent and efficient way to get insurance quotes and connect with an expert agent . Their focus on choice, technology and people has made them the fastest-growing publicly traded personal lines insurance agency in the U.S. Goosehead Insurance excels by prioritizing operational control and security, maintaining high-security standards, and proactively responding to industry changes. These commitments are crucial for securing their market position, building trust, and fostering growth in a sector where compliance, data security, and efficiency are essential.

As a longtime Salesforce customer, Goosehead's engineering team was using Heroku Private Spaces, a Platform as a Service (PaaS), to efficiently develop, run, and manage applications. This approach eliminated the need to build and maintain complex infrastructure in-house. While this solution initially met their needs, Goosehead's growing business and evolving compliance demands necessitated increased control over operations and security met by the additional adoption of Heroku Shield.

Strengthening foundations for secure expansion

Goosehead's agent-facing tool, Aviator, developed using Heroku, Salesforce, and MuleSoft, is critical to their operations, handling 95% of their insurance quote processes. This tool efficiently manages interactions with over 150 carriers, delivering fast and accurate quotes for the wide range of services Goosehead offers.

As Goosehead Insurance continued to grow, maintaining client trust was paramount to keeping momentum. With an anticipated boost in load to Aviator from the new application, the engineering team focused on enhancing Aviator to handle up to a 10x increase in usage, boost its security, and ensure readiness for industry standards, including st Tringent PCI compliance requirements.

Meeting growing security and operational demands with Heroku Shield

Goosehead Insurance began the updates by working closely with their Heroku Signature Support technical account manager. Heroku provided a tailored approach, guiding Goosehead to effectively address their unique scaling challenges.

Heroku played a crucial role in Goosehead Insurance developing their client-facing application, the Digital Agent Platform, which provides Goosehead clients with home and auto quotes from a breadth of insurance companies in less than two minutes. The PaaS model streamlined the development process, enabling Goosehead's engineers to quickly set up a high-quality application, even though they had no specialized DevOps expertise. This help was vital for meeting their six-month project deadline. Additionally, as part of the Salesforce ecosystem, Goosehead aimed to integrate client data into Salesforce. Using Heroku Connect made this integration smooth, allowing for easy data synchronization between their applications and Salesforce.

Goosehead Insurance also initiated a migration from Heroku Private Spaces to Heroku Shield to enhance their security and compliance framework. Their objective was to create the most secure operational environment to future-proof their business. Heroku Shield provides additional security and compliance features on top of Heroku Private Spaces for managing sensitive data and meeting strict regulations like HIPAA or PCI. Migrating to Heroku Shield brought benefits such as improved security measures, regulatory compliance, enhanced data protection, optimized performance, streamlined development, and scalability to meet growing demands. With features like fast setup and deployment of compliant environments, Goosehead can seamlessly deploy apps while meeting regulatory requirements, all without the need for extensive security skills or a dedicated DevOps team. They can also securely share data with their Salesforce instance, including PII or PHI data, without compromising data privacy and security. With Heroku Shield, all their data remains private and secure over the public internet via an encrypted and mutually-authenticated connection.

Heroku Shield

The migration to Heroku Shield was straightforward, guided by Goosehead's technical account manager. The process began with migrating their Postgres database. They selected specific resources tailored to their needs, such as the database plan and Heroku Connect plan, to establish new resources instead of reusing old ones. Once the data transfer was complete and the old resources were phased out, Goosehead rolled out new applications in the Shield environment. The primary focus was on configuration, including options in the Shield space, updating configuration variables, and redirecting their domains to the new DNS targets.

Using Heroku's platform has always been straightforward for us, but partnering with Heroku’s Signature Support team took our confidence and efficiency to the next level. Knowing they are immediately available if we encounter any issues in production has empowered us to accelerate our development and deployment processes significantly. Brim Basom, Managing Director of Technology and Innovation, Goosehead Insurance

Redefining the online insurance experience with Heroku

Heroku’s PaaS services allowed Goosehead’s engineering team to swiftly respond to increasing consumer demands, aligning with their broader objectives of market expansion and revenue growth. The transition to Heroku Shield enhanced their security and compliance. This improvement has, in turn, bolstered consumer trust in Goosehead’s brand and services.

Optimizing business outcomes

The deployment of Aviator on Heroku has significantly enhanced Goosehead’s operational efficiency. Using Heroku’s streamlined development processes and integrations, Goosehead’s engineering team achieved a 55% improvement in average response time for Aviator from baseline performance measurements, cutting the time required for agents to generate quotes by 80%. This allows agents to manage a higher volume of work without sacrificing the quality of user experience.

Average Response Time

Unlocking new revenue streams through enhanced security and compliance

Adopting Heroku Shield has elevated Goosehead's security standards, strengthened consumer trust, and addressed crucial infrastructure questions. Only allowlist IP addresses and validated SSL certificates can now access the system. The post-migration enhancement in security and compliance, along with Heroku's Signature Support, allows Goosehead Insurance to maintain optimal performance. Heroku’s proactive monitoring system, which provides round-the-clock alerts on performance, errors, and limits, has led to a 75% improvement in Goosehead’s engineering team identifying and resolving issues.

The advantages of Heroku Shield extend across the company. The QA team benefits from improved access to essential tools and logs, improving testing and review operations. In sales and marketing, Goosehead Insurance emphasizes the platform's data privacy and security, attracting more clients and building brand trust. The assured security and compliance attract more partnership opportunities with carriers who prioritize system security.

Accelerating innovation with Heroku

In the fast-paced financial services sector, speed is crucial, and Goosehead used Heroku’s platform to fast-track their innovation. This agility has not only allowed them to meet consumer needs promptly but also positioned them to take advantage of future market changes. Heroku’s platform offers built-in guardrails, enabling immediate use with minimal setup. Now, Goosehead’s engineers can focus on development rather than DevOps tasks.

Resource scaling and adding new features are achieved with just a few clicks. Even developers new to cloud technology can become proficient in under a week, independently managing logs and other tasks.

Transitioning Aviator to Heroku Shield marked a pivotal moment in our journey, significantly enhancing our operational capabilities and product offerings. The seamless integration and robust security features of Heroku's platform, combined with their exceptional support, have empowered us to not only meet but exceed our customer and partner expectations, setting a new standard of excellence in our services. Brim Basom, Managing Director of Technology and Innovation, Goosehead Insurance

What’s next for Goosehead Insurance?

Goosehead Insurance is preparing to upgrade the Aviator platform by integrating Einstein Copilot, adding advanced AI features to improve the platform's functionality. This enhancement will enable agents to deliver more intelligent and comprehensive insurance solutions. Additionally, Goosehead plans to expand Einstein AI features across its Salesforce ecosystem, enhancing capabilities in Customer Service, Marketing, and Analytics, to drive further innovation in its operations.

Simplifying success with PaaS

Goosehead’s journey with Heroku showcases the power of PaaS in simplifying and transforming business operations. By leveraging Heroku's developer-friendly PaaS environment, Goosehead significantly enhanced efficiency and customer service, particularly through their Aviator application, without needing to use DevOps resources. For companies aiming for swift expansion while prioritizing security and compliance, Heroku Shield offers a straightforward path to turn potential challenges into industry-leading successes.

Explore Further:

  • Master app building, deployment, and management with Heroku's comprehensive documentation. Dive in →
  • Dive into Heroku Postgres foundations. Learn more →
  • Navigate the complexities of high-compliance app development with Heroku Shield, catering to sectors like healthcare and finance. Discover how →
  • Understand why Heroku is the choice for developers and businesses for app deployment and scalability. Explore the reasons →
  • Curious to explore what Heroku has to offer? Get started today →

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on future reliability improvements we can make, check out our public roadmap on GitHub and submit an issue!