BG RCI merger enables greater operational efficiency and lower costs

Consolidating 270 million data records with IBM

Published on 22-Jan-2013

"We are very satisfied with the way that IBM Global Business Services has managed this complex and demanding migration project. With its extensive industry knowledge and strong commitment, IBM was able to drive successful co-operation and understanding between all the different parties involved in this initiative, and create real value for BG RCI’s core business." - Karsten Winschuh, Head of IT, BG RCI

Customer:
Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie (BG RCI)

Industry:
Government, Insurance

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Business Resiliency, Information Integration, Information Management Foundation

Overview

BG RCI is the German Social Statutory Accident Insurance Institution for the raw materials and chemical industry, established in 2010. It was created by merging six institutions for statutory accident insurance and prevention, which covered the mining, chemicals, leather, papermaking, quarrying and sugar industries. This merger is aimed at building greater solidarity between industries, and at maximising efficiencies and reducing costs through the creation of common structures and processes.

Business need:
Established following a merger of several social accident insurance institutions, BG RCI needed to undertake an ambitious data consolidation project, spanning six industries and four distinct system environments with a total data volume of over 270 data records.

Solution:
BG RCI engaged IBM® Global Business Services® to implement a data integration platform based on IBM DB2®, IBM InfoSphere® DataStage® and IBM InfoSphere Information Server, and migrate 270 million records onto the new platform.

Benefits:
Improved data quality, reporting and analysis, and ensured regulatory compliance. Reduced data volumes by 25 percent. Consolidated multiple systems to a single administration platform, improving integration and cutting costs and complexity. Enabled BG RCI to restructure the business and offer local representatives to all customers, improving customer satisfaction.

Case Study

To read a German language version of this case study, click here.

BG RCI is the German Social Statutory Accident Insurance Institution for the raw materials and chemical industry, established in 2010. It was created by merging six institutions for statutory accident insurance and prevention, which covered the mining, chemicals, leather, papermaking, quarrying and sugar industries. This merger is aimed at building greater solidarity between industries, and at maximising efficiencies and reducing costs through the creation of common structures and processes.

BG RCI is currently represented at 14 locations across Germany, with its headquarters in Heidelberg. As an institution for statutory accident insurance, BG RCI has a statutory duty to prevent work-related health risks and occupational accidents and diseases. It provides comprehensive assistance to around 36,000 companies and their 1.3 million employees in all occupational safety matters. It also provides training for insured employees, investigates the causes of accidents and tests technical equipment.

BG RCI provides insured employees with comprehensive and expert support following an occupational accident or disease, plus financial compensation where necessary. It takes all measures necessary to ensure medical, social or occupational rehabilitation for insured employees, following the principle of providing “everything from a single source”.

Large-scale consolidation project
Following its establishment, BG RCI was required to consolidate a wide array of systems and data that had previously been in operation at the six former social accident insurance institutions prior to the merger. This consolidation was designed to help to meet the merger’s original objective of improving synergies and maximising efficiency. However, it would not be an easy task, given that the consolidation project spanned six industries and four disparate system environments.

BG RCI’s primary objective was to phase out legacy systems in favour of standardising work processes on a sector-by-sector basis. To do this, BG RCI began working on 12 projects to unify the different systems and processes that governed areas such as human resource management, accounting, controlling and telecommunications.

The most important and technologically demanding challenge for the organisation was to find an effective way to consolidate information from a variety of source database systems into a central repository that would support the rapid delivery of accurate information to all business users.

Optimising data integration and management
Faced with such an ambitious business transformation project, BG RCI looked for an implementation partner with technical expertise and experience, who could ensure that the migration process went smoothly. With these criteria in mind, the association selected IBM Global Business Services to manage and execute the change management process, since BG RCI had been working with IBM on complex projects for a long time.

“Because of our positive experiences in other projects, we were confident that IBM would be able to provide us with professional advice and support during the complicated merging of our data repositories,” says Karsten Winschuh, Head of IT at BG RCI.

Working with the project manager at BG RCI, IBM began by creating a technical design for the data migration project. Karsten Winschuh explains, “Thanks to the expert and competent support from IBM, we were able to significantly increase the quality of the migration project from the planning up to the implementation. We had never worked on such a large and complex project before. With IBM, we had a partner that could support us throughout the project and provide exactly the right personnel and technical resources to successfully complete this project, which was a great advantage for us.”

BG RCI implemented a centralised data integration and management solution based on IBM InfoSphere DataStage and IBM InfoSphere Information Server, with IBM DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows providing industry-leading database performance and scalability for mixed workloads. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is used as the operating system for the new environment.

IBM InfoSphere Information Server offers a highly scalable, secure, and robust data integration platform designed to simplify data integration. InfoSphere DataStage is used for the collection and integration of large volumes of data, and provides support for “big data” applications, handling highly complex transformations and multiple integration processes with scalable parallel processing. The architecture created by IBM performed well at extracting information from the different technology platforms in use at the four different source locations, and consolidating it into a single, standardised solution.

During the migration, IBM used a controlled layer and staging procedure to ensure that information was efficiently imported into the target database. The IBM team also designed a series of mechanisms for the extract, transform and load (ETL) operations, and selected suitable tools and mechanisms to help manage the migration.

Guaranteeing migration success
IBM worked with BG RCI to implement a comprehensive system of key performance indicators (KPIs), with over 600 quantitative and qualitative test categories, to provide effective synchronisation of the migration data from six industry systems. For quality management, IBM relied on the robust data analytics capabilities of IBM InfoSphere Information Server. The KPIs were tested numerous times to ensure that the migration went smoothly.

BG RCI migrated five distinct categories of data: membership and contribution, rehabilitation and performance, recourse, prevention, and statistics. In all, approximately 130 GB of data, representing 170 million records out of the original 270 million records, was transformed and migrated from the source systems. Thanks to advanced IBM DB2 features, BG RCI was able to effectively manage this data during both the test phases and the implementation into production. The entire technical migration process, including unloading the old systems, was completed within 55 hours over the implementation weekend.

Certain types of information relating to membership and contribution needed to be temporarily maintained in the source systems for functional reasons. To achieve this, and ensure that the data was synchronised with the new target database, IBM helped BG RCI to build a continuous data supply solution for membership and contribution information. The solution transports new and modified data from three source systems into the BG Expert target system on a daily basis, and also provides updates when particular items have been deleted from the source systems. This provides BG RCI with accurate, up-to-date information on scheme members’ insurance allocations, contributions and compensation proceedings.

Transforming business processes
Working with IBM, BG RCI has gained a unified solution that will support the delivery of high quality, trustworthy information to the business. By harmonising the systems, the organisation has been able to consolidate its four data centres into one location. This is expected to deliver additional operational cost savings of almost 50 percent. System and process standardisation will help to break down cultural divides between industries and strengthen the common ground.

“During the merger, we strengthened the ties between administrative processes in different sectors and introduced strict regional divides,” says Karsten Winschuh. “This means that the merging of the systems directly affects the satisfaction of insured workers and companies, who now have competent local contacts at BG RCI across all of Germany.” In addition, BG RCI has laid the foundation for innovative new solutions. Upcoming projects will enable employees to access the standardised data using a smartphone or tablet.

IBM DB2 and IBM InfoSphere Information Server provide a solid backbone for the company’s new BG Expert management system, helping to provide data that is authoritative, consistent, timely and relevant for analysis and reporting. This will improve the speed and quality of information delivered to the business, helping to streamline insurance case processing and boost service to members.

With an integrated data management platform, BG RCI can also take advantage of stronger information governance. This will ensure that the organisation complies with strict regulations for the handling of insurance data, and will provide the business with easy access to accurate, verified information.

From a technology standpoint, BG RCI has seen a clear reduction in the overall number of its information management systems. Coupled with the unification of application data, this helps to reduce the administrative burden on IT staff and substantially reduce the time and cost spent on maintenance work.

Karsten Winschuh concludes: “We are very satisfied with the way that IBM Global Business Services has managed this complex and demanding migration project. With its extensive industry knowledge and strong commitment, IBM was able to drive successful co-operation and understanding between all the different parties involved in this initiative, and create real value for BG RCI’s core business.”

Products and services used

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

Software:
DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, InfoSphere DataStage, InfoSphere Information Server Packages

Operating system:
Linux

Service:
GBS Strategy and Change: Organization Change Strategy

Legal Information

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