Leading financial services group builds a leaner claims processing system

Boosting business productivity by 16 percent with application outsourcing from IBM

Published on 26-Sep-2013

"Our partnership with IBM Global Business Services – Application Management Services has proven highly successful, and the team has absolutely delivered on its pledge to build a productive, well-supported environment for our Guideline ClaimCenter platform." - Spokesperson, leading financial services group

Customer:
Leading financial services group

Industry:
Financial Markets, Insurance

Solution:
Enabling Business Flexibility, Transforming Business

Overview

This leading financial services group operates a diverse portfolio of insurance, banking and investment brands. The group employs around 16,000 people, serves some nine million customers and manages total assets of more than 8.5 billion USD.

Business need:
This financial services group needed to improve its claims processing capabilities without increasing staff levels or costs, but its existing systems were too fragmented to scale cost-effectively.

Solution:
Outsourced the management and support of its insurance claims processing platform to IBM® Global Business Services®, gaining seamless, top-quality service from joint on-site and offshore teams.

Benefits:
Delivers a 16 percent improvement in claims productivity year-on-year; customer service satisfaction scores have risen from 2.25 to 4.5 out of 5, gained the ability to scale operations to meet demand.

Case Study

This leading financial services group operates a diverse portfolio of insurance, banking and investment brands. The group employs around 16,000 people, serves some nine million customers and manages total assets of more than 8.5 billion USD.

Moving towards a more streamlined business model
Continuing market volatility and changing regulatory requirements are putting more pressure than ever on financial services companies to reduce risk, improve responsiveness and deliver higher quality services more cost-efficiently.

To improve its ability to meet these challenges, the group embarked on a strategic simplification program, aimed at creating a more productive and profitable organization. By removing duplicate legacy systems and standardizing on modern platforms, the group expects to make considerable savings and improve the quality of customer interactions.

As part of this simplification initiative, the group is streamlining operations in its insurance business by consolidating a number of disparate claims systems onto Guidewire ClaimCenter – a centralized, web-based platform that delivers end-to-end management of claims processing.

A company spokesperson explains: “We started by migrating our core claims systems to Guidewire ClaimCenter, and were so impressed with the solution’s performance that we decided to bring of all of our brands onto ClaimCenter. Consolidating everything on a common platform will help us to improve group-wide visibility and efficiency. At the same time, we wanted to ensure that we were making an economically viable move.

“We are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, and knew that supporting the expanded ClaimCenter environment would require more resources than we were capable of providing in-house. We needed a way to grow the platform without additional investment, which prompted us to look at outsourcing as a potential solution.”

Joining forces with IBM
The group reviewed proposals for application outsourcing services – covering support, maintenance and management – and selected IBM Global Business Services as providing the best combination of service delivery and cost-efficient operations.

“IBM Global Business Services offered the total package, in terms of solution expertise, industry experience and the ability to allocate the right people to the right areas. The team also made a commitment to deliver productivity improvements of 16 percent for our ClaimCenter environment year-on-year, which convinced us that they were dedicated to building a valuable relationship rather than just selling us a solution.”

Drawing on solution and services resources from the IBM Global Delivery Center in China, IBM Global Business Services established a 23-member project team with core insurance business knowledge, Guidewire skills and proven project management capability. IBM set up a delivery model that allowed on-site and offshore teams to function as a single service provider to the group.

As a first step, the team transitioned Guidewire ClaimCenter support and maintenance to IBM Global Business Services – Application Management Services. IBM adopted a distributed agile development methodology to support a fast, iterative approach to the transition phase. By refreshing the incremental work cadences – known as sprints – every two weeks and holding daily scrum meetings, multiple teams working from geographically separate locations were able to keep a tight rein on project timelines and adapt flexibly to shifting needs.

A spokesperson comments: “By adopting a distributed agile approach, we were able to shorten time-to-value dramatically. In fact, when a former executive of a major UK-based insurance company who had been involved in a previous Guidewire ClaimCenter implementation visited the site, he congratulated us on the speed and precision we had obtained from the virtual co-location of our business and IT resources.”

After working closely on knowledge transfer between its staff and IBM, the financial services group fully outsourced management of Guidewire ClaimCenter to the IBM team, which will provide ongoing and ad hoc project support for the platform over the length of a five-year agreement.

Improved productivity and profitability
Consolidating outdated and inefficient systems to a common Guidewire ClaimCenter platform will allow the group to improve the efficiency of claims processing across its entire business and make substantial savings. By taking advantage of an outsourcing arrangement with IBM, the group has been able to build on these benefits, maximizing the productivity of its claims operations while keeping costs low.

“Our partnership with IBM Global Business Services – Application Management Services has proven highly successful, and the team has absolutely delivered on its pledge to build a productive, well-supported environment for our Guideline ClaimCenter platform,” notes a spokesperson. “IBM has met the commitment of providing a 16 percent productivity improvement for the platform, and we are confident that the benefits will only continue to grow over the coming months and years.”

IBM Global Business Services – Application Management Services continues to improve workflows and processes to achieve higher efficiency and ensure that user needs are met. This strategy has paid off, helping increase customer service satisfaction scores from 2.25 to 4.5 out of 5, an improvement of 45 percent.

The spokesperson concludes: “We have been highly impressed by the quality of work that IBM has provided at every stage of this project. Outsourcing has enabled us to redirect resources to more strategic areas of the business, reducing administration costs and playing our part in meeting the group’s simplification goals. We are well on track to building a more efficient, high-quality infrastructure that will help drive greater competitive advantage.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Service:
AMS: Full Outsourcing, IBM Global Business Services

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Corporation, New Orchard Road, Armonk, NY 10504. Produced in the United States. September 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Global Business Services are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.