Accenture helped the Norwegian National Insurance Administration (NIA) devise and develop an IT strategy and architecture to better support their business strategy. This new IT initiative served as a platform which enabled the NIA to embark on a modernisation program assisted by Accenture. Accenture is currently working with the NIA to move their system portfolio to this new platform.
The NIA manages the National Insurance Scheme, and is responsible for the administration and payments of a number of different social security benefits, such as child benefits, child support, pensions, disability benefits etc. The NIA processes more than 6 million cases every year, with payments totalling more than NOK 230 billion annually.
The NIA experienced that their IT systems were not properly aligned with their business strategy, and that their business processes were not streamlined. This resulted in difficulties adapting to new government regulations, and to their business strategy.
One of the most significant challenges faced by the NIA was the new child reform of 2001. This reform impacted 10% of the Norwegian population and introduced a set of complicated and demanding regulations, which the existing child support application was unable to handle.
Since 1998, Accenture has been responsible for and/or involved in several projects at the NIA. This long-term relationship was initiated as Accenture worked with the NIA to develop a new IT strategy that met the NIA requirements of tighter alignment with business strategies, improved co-ordination with other IT development efforts, improved adaptability to new, complex regulations and enhanced customer service.
When facing the challenge of the new child support reform of 2001, the NIA teamed up with Accenture to develop a new central unit (the “Recalculation Centre”). The Recalculation Centre was able to handle the extra workload associated with the processing of all the child support cases impacted by the new child support reform. The new unit also included a call centre for better serving their customers. Accenture was involved in the establishment of the new streamlined processes and routines, along with the transition of key personnel to the new unit. ”The external consultants have shown a solid understanding of the culture and social conventions of the NIA. The good cooperation between the external project manager and our internal head of division has been of vital importance for the outcome of the project,” says Arild Sundberg, Director of the NIA.
As a result of the new IT strategy, a number of projects were initiated to consolidate legacy systems to a new application platform. Accenture assisted in the assessment of various options, which led to the selection of J2EE as the NIA’s new strategic platform. Accenture was also responsible for and involved in several of the transition projects. For example, a new and improved IT solution to support the processing of child support claims was developed, boosting processing efficiency. Accenture also assisted in the acquisition and implementation of a new electronic document management system, which will reduce the amount of paper-based documents and cut processing time for incoming documents.
Accenture also helped establish an enhanced contact centre platform for the NIA’s customer service. Accenture was involved in the acquisition and development of call centre applications and processes as well as organisational development, leadership development, and training of personnel. In addition, Accenture assisted in the implementation of new web based solutions, increasing the availability and quality of information and providing additional self service options to NIA’s end users. Corresponding solutions were developed for the Recalculation Centre. “Altogether, I think these channels have provided our end users with a good offer,” says Sundberg.
In June 2004, the NIA, with program management support from Accenture, successfully launched a new customer oriented web portal, which provides up-to-date, high quality information and a number of web based services. One of the new services was the on-line ordering of the European Health Insurance Card. More than 600 000 cards were ordered through the new portal.
Today, the NIA is well prepared to face upcoming challenges by focussing on an enhanced and efficient organisation and improved customer service through:
New customer service centres with easier access to the callers’ various cases, which allows for more efficient and improved customer interaction
Multiple communication channels which encourage self-service and simpler and more intuitive dialogue with end users
Introduction of efficient and streamlined processes and routines which free up staff from spending time on manual calculations and instead focus on improved accuracy and timeliness in individual case handling
A new, flexible IT architecture as a basis for new IT systems, which will help the NIA stay on top of new and increasingly complex benefit regulations
A new web based Child Support system built on the new IT platform