Mid Size Insurer
This multi line company offers a variety of property and casualty insurance products to consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses in seven states in the Eastern and Western U.S. and carries an A. M. Best rating of "A" and is a rapidly expanding company.
The CIO Paul Corkery, had the challenge of expanding his agent channel while at the same time protecting his core legacy systems investment. Paul also needed to plan to transition to newer core systems. According to Paul:
"The solution that Synergy implemented substantially increased the company's sales effectiveness by providing a rich front end to both the agent and underwriting communities by isolating the many complex legacy systems. The portal provides easy functionality that allows us to interface with rules and rating via web services. The portal tool set, which includes the Q-Designer, allows much of the development and configuration to be done by our business analysts. Maintenance and keeping the systems in sync is reduced by automating extractions from the underlying core system."
Synergy addressed the business needs and concerns by leveraging their investment in installed back-end systems (Phoenix). By adding more functionality and a modern agent-facing user interface, packaged as a “web portal” for agents and underwriters to access from any browser. Essentially, Synergy's solution provided a cost-effective means to:
- Import and synchronize Phoenix data and other legacy systems
- Place a modern, customizable user interface on your existing system
- Reduce the per-quote involvement of your underwriting staff
- Capture underwriting referral logic to manage risk in a consistent manner
- Un-tether your users from a single desktop application, by providing them with a Web-based solution
- Increase the “community” between agents and underwriting with a built in messaging system
- Enable agents to easily create quotes without the system getting in the way
The Synergy solution is proven and is in production (runs in tandem with the Phoenix Policy Administration System and other policy administration systems). The Synergy solution allows our clients to be able to quickly bring up multiple lines of business in multiple states (BOP, CAP, SCP, WCP, etc.) with the same front end.
Synergy began working with the what is now the third largest (over US$2B) underwriting agency at Lloyds, which already had a successful enterprise system handling risk and claim management based on J2EE technologies. One challenge the client faced as their business had expanded into new areas, was the requirement for an online quotation system to be used by external brokers. While the exiting J2EE system was highly capable, it was not thought to be appropriate for this new requirement.
Synergy introduced the client to its technology by demonstrating its core insurance system including the quotation services and a number of demonstration insurance products. This showed that Synergy's capability not only met the client's requirements and fitted in with their architectural approach; it also exceeded requirements in offering a better product builder application.
Initially, it was decided that a proof of concept should be undertaken. This would take one of the five products that the client intended to go live with and implement it using Synergy services to the point where quotations could be produced. Of the five products, Accountants Professional Indemnity was chosen, primarily because it was moderately complex.
This proof of concept was completed in two days.
The client chose to move ahead with Synergy. The system was delivered to the client and deployed to their live environment of Windows, Weblogic 8.1 and SQL Server. As the client had already made an architectural commitment to the Yasu Techs Quick Rules rule engine, an additional adapter was provided.
The models needed to support the product were built in hours using patterns, and realized without writing a line of customized code. The product itself and the associated rules were built using the Product Manager and were ready to support quotations in a few hours. The quotations user interface was then built to complete the system.
The system is now in full production and supports multiple commercial lines products.
Major U.S. Personal Lines Carrier
Synergy helped a major carrier examine strategies to reduce IT costs, reduced time to market for new products, and enabled its business units to rapidly respond to changing business requirements. As part of this effort, Synergy conducted a study to investigate application of a repository of reusable resources for the carrier's Personal Lines systems. The study included a comprehensive current state survey that was sent to each Personal Lines subsidiary, as well as on-site demonstrations of existing applications, and discussions with business users and IT staff.
The results of the business requirements survey and ensuing analysis demonstrate the following:
- A wide variety of disparate technologies are currently being used in the various systems of the Personal Lines subsidiaries.
- Business users from multiple subsidiaries report similar issues due to technology limitations of these systems.
- Candidates for reusable resources are being created (both in-house development and purchased applications) as the subsidiaries pursue independent efforts to solve these problems.
- A component-based, iterative migration strategy to solve the critical business needs within each subsidiary is more likely to succeed than a big-bang system replacement strategy.
- A repository of reusable resources, that includes existing applications and new rules-based components, can decrease the rollout intervals for new applications and technology both within and across subsidiaries.
Ping An Insurance, China
Synergy's Components, Inc., utilizing its state of the art software and insurance domain knowledge, worked with Sun Microsystems to develop an online motor quotation system at Ping An Insurance (PAIC). PAIC is a composite insurer and China's third largest insurance company. The portal is a MDA (model driven architecture) product that is based on standard software pattern to automate and enforce quality software delivery in a fraction of the time that would normally otherwise be available. Synergy provided their existing set of "ready to run" quotation services, Sun Microsystems acted as the Systems integrator (SI) providing a localized Chinese language front end, and integrated the systems into Ping An's existing IT infrastructure. The system was delivered on spec, on time (within seven weeks) and met with Ping An's enthusiastic approval using a minimal amount of personnel resources.
Major U.S. Commercial Lines Carrier
Synergy created an EJB-based Framework to facilitate component-based development of a re-usable enterprise system for use among the subsidiaries of a large, U.S.-based commercial lines carrier. Synergy developed the application architecture within the Framework itself. The technologies used in the Framework, included Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) and state machine based application design.
The net result for the carrier was, the ability to migrate from several aging mainframes to a Sun Unix environment. By utilizing the Framework along with practical application of service oriented architectures the client was able to ensure a timely transition.
"A unique feature of the portal is it allows agents to work the way they choose to, instead of the way companies and underwriters choose for them."
— Paul Corkery, Senior Vice President