Allstate is best known for being the “good hands” company, founded in 1931 to insure cars and property. But like other companies of a certain age, it needs to venture into new areas.
That’s what the insurance giant—number 84 on this year’s Fortune 500 list with $36.5 billion in revenue—has done over the past few years, starting up its CompoZed Labs unit to speed up development of new software services. After all, Allstate (ALL, -0.17%) now has to compete not only with traditional insurance rivals, but a raft of startups aiming to change the industry just as Uber and Airbnb have shaken up the transportation and lodging markets, respectively.
Launched in 2014, CompoZed Labs now handles 40% of Allstate’s software development, according to Doug Safford, Allstate’s vice president of technology innovation. The unit uses Pivotal Cloud Foundry, a software workbench for building applications that can run on a company’s internal servers, or on third-party public cloud infrastructure from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, or Google. Pivotal, a tech company backed by investors includingDell Technologies, General Electric @general(GE, -2.36%), and Ford (F, -1.07%) offers a commercial version of Cloud Foundry, which is free, open-source software.
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