Published on 28-Jan-2010
"Working with IBM Cognos Professional Services and Capgemini, we managed to implement a customised dashboard solution within a period of 24 weeks, while keeping to the set budget. This new solution helps us to guide the organisation towards providing added value to all our stakeholders." - Jos van Breen, Manager BPM, Occupational Health, Achmea
Among the deciding factors was the flexibility of the IBM Cognos solution, its ability to bring together data from disparate sources, and its usability for a varied range of users. In addition, IBM Cognos Professional Services had the expertise to customise the dashboard solution to meet this customer’s unique set of requirements.
Achmea’s Occupational Health wanted a dashboard reporting system to provide management with the support it needed in implementing its stakeholder value management vision: achieving balanced progress towards delivering added value to four groups of stakeholders. The reporting had to be based on a concept developed by Achmea itself and required a specific customised solution that would guarantee both standardisation and flexibility.
IBM Cognos Professional Services met the challenge with IBM Cognos 8 BI, bringing in business partner Capgemini to implement the project.
Generically applicable, customised solution for dashboard reporting, delivered on time and within budget; standardised reporting that can be geared quickly and simply to user requirements; strategic and operational insight for supporting stakeholder value management.
Achmea is the largest insurance group in the Dutch marketplace, with brand names such as Centraal Beheer Achmea, Interpolis, Zilveren Kruis Achmea, FBTO and Avéro Achmea. The common aim of the insurers and service-providers at Achmea is to relieve policyholders of worries. The issues central to achieving this objective are security, health, money for later in life, job participation, business continuity and employment terms. To relieve customers of the pressures created by these issues, Achmea is seeking to position itself as a committed, involved, results-orientated, and innovative organisation. Achmea is a subsidiary of Eureko which employs a staff of 22,000.
Apart from relieving customers of their worries, Achmea aims just as much to promote the interests of its shareholders, employees, and distribution partners. “From a cooperative point of view, we work on creating added value for all our stakeholders. What we do has to be good, not only for one group, but also for the others. That’s the balance we’re aiming for,” says Jos van Breen, Manager, Business Performance Management for the Occupational Health at Achmea. This division of the company is one of the leading players in the market for income protection insurance and occupational services.
Van Breen was aware that the conventional way of reporting was not appropriate for supporting the stakeholder value management vision at Achmea. “Our financial reporting and management reports came in all sorts of forms,” he says, “as did the annual customer satisfaction survey. But we lacked insight into how to connect data from these various sources. Our managers had to create these connections in their heads. So we were looking to tie the various strands of information together into a single report that would tell us which path to take, from strategy to operating performance indicators.”
Achmea Social Security decided to produce a stakeholder value management dashboard for its directors, managers and controllers – a solution that would provide information to around eighty people in total. To achieve this, the division turned to the IBM® Cognos® team to come up with a customised solution based on a concept devised by Van Breen. They determined they needed a collection of flexible data components to make it possible to gear the design of a standard dashboard report quickly – and without the assistance of IT – to suit the wishes and requirements of users. IBM Cognos Professional Services met the challenge with IBM Cognos 8 BI, bringing in business partner Capgemini to implement the project. Capgemini proposed an approach by which the functional design, technical design and ETL structure would all take place at the same time. “This created interaction between the various business areas and gave us ideas for solutions that we wouldn’t have come up with if we had worked step by step,” says Van Breen. The IBM Cognos team and Achmea fixed aspects of the project such as lead time and budget. And to meet these project targets, a strict project schedule was implemented by Capgemini.
“The schedule was divided into two phases of twelve weeks,” relates Van Breen. “Phase one was to demonstrate that the solution we were looking to achieve was technically feasible. Phase two was actually putting it in place. We set ourselves targets in advance, in four-week blocks. These had to be approved by a number of users, as well as our technical manager and operating manager. No approval meant no payment, so the risks in the project were spread across all parties.”
The collaboration between Achmea, Capgemini, and IBM Cognos Professional Services delivered results. The required solution was achieved on time and within budget, producing a standardised dashboard reporting system that provides insight – at both a strategic and operational level – into the various aspects of stakeholder value management, and how they affect one another. Users are able to see easily whether the objectives are being achieved and what lies behind them. They can also track developments over time. Any change or addition to a report can be implemented within three days by the controllers of the Occupational Health using the ‘IKEA book’ developed by Capgemini.
“Just like at IKEA, where you assemble a cupboard using specific parts, we can model our report quickly using the fixed data components in our book,” says Van Breen. “For example, users can choose from thirty different graphics to view data the way they want. We didn’t have to develop anything for that.”
Each of the partners made their own important contribution to the success of the project. “Capgemini outlined the approach with us and then selected the right people to build the concept. The schedule also worked like a pressure cooker to speed things up. IBM Cognos Professional Services brought in significant expertise as the project contractor with final responsibility. The people from the IBM Cognos team were involved with the design from the outset, acting as our sparring partner and helping to solve problems. That way, we were able to produce the right solution.”
Another success factor resulted from the fact that the project was focused purely on reporting data. “Unlocking data can often take a lot of time and so we wanted to be detached from this project. The result is a solution that operates independently from the source where the data is brought in, and hence, each of our companies can use it,” says Van Breen.
The level of interest at Achmea for the project is high. Of the company’s six divisions, four have already shown an interest in the dashboard solution.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Cognos 8 Business Intelligence
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