Granvillage Groupama

Groupama uses WebRTC in its Social Network for Business Customers

Groupama, the French Insurance and banking Group, shows how implementing WebRTC in a social network can constitute a very efficient and attractive solution for end customers.

Groupama: WebRTC + social network = a winning team

Groupama, the French Insurance and banking Group, shows how implementing WebRTC in a social network can constitute a very efficient and attractive solution for end customers.

The group’s Groupama Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne regional network of agencies (Southeast France: 50,000 farmers, 50,000 companies and 500,000 customers) created a social network called “granvillage” in order to offer a development and commercial platform to its producers of goods and services and business clients. Now this platform is spreading in France beyond Rhône-Alpes Auvergne area.

“As an insurance company, we mutualize the risks to ensure the financial soundness of our companies and farmers. The idea is to strengthen their financial soundness by offering them a platform that bolsters their sales. Groupama thus maximizes their loyalties and at the same time reinforces its brand image in terms of innovation,” explains Philippe Vayssac, Chief Innovation Officer at Groupama.

The first application “Groupama toujours là” (Groupama always there)  was launched in 2010 in the wake of the milk spot price crisis. At the time, prices plummeted and hundreds of dairy farmers were going out of business.

The objective of “Groupama toujours là” was to provide a better User Experience for the customers of Groupama and avoid IVR or waiting queue before reach a call center agent. Simple and free were and are key words of this innovation.

“granvillage” is based on the same “simple & free”principle but operates at a larger scale. By creating this social network, the insurer is seeking to link up its 500,000 private users with its professional members (farmers, SMEs, …) with its 500,000 private users and beyond. Initially, the application is aimed at the group’s end customers but the platform is open to all. In this way, Groupama hopes to kill two birds with one stone by capturing new clients and increasing their loyalty. The Group’s regional network of agencies is also projecting a positive image as an innovator.

Granvillage Groupama

Apparently this gamble has paid off. Sheila McGee-Smith, President & Principal Analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics, a leading US industry analyst wrote: “Most companies continue to struggle to find meaningful ways to capitalize on social networking.  Groupama’s new ‘granvillage’ application is just the kind of innovation that the combination of social, mobile and localization technologies promises.”

How does the service work? To post an offer, the producer calls a telephone number and leaves a message. The call is forwarded to an open source IPBX in the cloud using speak2text and text2speak features. It is also possible to send a text message on the same number.

On the granvillage native app (iOS and Android) for tablets, a new feature was added in April 2015 to improve contacts between consumers and producers. A clicktocall button call to the IPBX using WebRTC in the cloud then a SIP trunk displays the granvillage number.

Groupama developed the application for a tablet. If a caller wants to enter into contact with a producer, he only needs to press a button that triggers a call to the producer in webRTC mode. Network characteristics are validated first, if the network connection is poor, the call is rejected. A WebRTC call is then established between the tablet and the webRTC – PSTN gateway integrated within the “granvillage” backend. The gateway performs some specific validations and connect the call to the producer via a SIP trunk to the PSTN.

This is the first phase. The next step will be setting up Paypal.

Today “granvillage” generates 90,000 visits per month and consists of 1,398 producers and 4,000 users. A progression of 100% per year.

Groupama will demonstrate its application at the WebRTC Conference held in Paris the 16th to 18th of December.

The Granvillage platform is presented in this video.

And the integration of WebRTC into the service can be seen here.

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