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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Java and service-oriented architecture help leading insurer reach new markets

Deployed a Java-based SOA solution for a leading general insurer to support it’s new multi-channel platform and gain market share.

Overview

 

Accenture helped a leading general insurer implement a new multi-channel web platform partially custom-built on Java to support a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The results: greater market share and increased bottom-line growth.

The new platform positions the company to use new and growing aggregator sales and to reduce its service-center costs via enhanced self-service functions.

Thanks to component-based reuse features enabled by the platform’s agile-development methodology and industrialized design, the company has also been able to win new business opportunities as a result of reduced time-to-market and costs.

The new Java platform positioned the insurer to utilize new and growing aggregator sales as well as reduce service center costs via self-servicing functions.

Opportunity

This general insurer operates in multiple geographies and has businesses in both mature and emerging markets. It sought to bring a new product proposition to the market for its motor-insurance segment.

Their strategy was to exploit the commoditized nature of its direct-motor business via aggregator channels. The aggregator channels—using the firm’s dedicated portal—would integrate the insurer’s direct channel and new product proposition with an enhanced customer experience to drive additional business.

The main objective of the roll-out was to increase revenues by gaining a larger share of the aggregator market and securing a greater number of affinity deals (when one party seeks to add value for its existing customers by selling new products and services on behalf of another party based on the strength of their existing customer relationships).

To do this, the insurer's personal-lines insurance business required a major architecture overhaul in order to meet their motor-insurance segment goals.

Solution

Accenture helped the company implement a multi-channel platform partially custom-built on Java to support a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach. The solution was comprised of a set of web User Interface (UI) and Java component-based services that integrated tried and trusted systems with new sales channels to provide rich and robust insurance propositions to a wider customer base.

The project exploited the new web architecture and a Spring technology stack—an open-source framework providing infrastructural-services support—to address complex architecture concerns such as transaction management and logging.

Accenture introduced a number of unique aspects to building the solution, including:

  • An SOA approach that allowed reuse of all the original policy-system services by creating wrappers around the legacy system’s code. This meant minimal change for the legacy code, making migration to the new technology platform simpler and more predictable.

  • Wrapped services that can be re-used from a framework perspective across multiple lines of business.

  • A custom-design repository (DR) tool to standardize and automate the design, build, and fix processes of the solution. The DR tool supported the capture and specifications of a variety of interfaces and interface types, with reporting and validation to facilitate an integral robust design.

With the new system in place, the insurer has over 130 services to support the customer journey across key insurance transactions in the value chain. Clients also have a new, easy-to-use interface to get quotes, purchase and amend policies, and conduct renewals online with minimal service-center support.

During the course of this complex, large-scale integration, Accenture provided a range of services, including consulting, systems implementation and integration, application maintenance and deveDesign HTlopment (AM/AD), change management, and post go-live support.

Results

The Java platform has positioned the insurer to utilize new and growing aggregator sales, handling some 500,000 quote requests per day in Q1 2013, and increasing policy sales from 200 a day at the initial go-live stage in August 2010 to 1,000 a day by April 2013. The platform has also helped the insurer reduce service-center costs and build brand loyalty by providing robust self-service options to an increasingly tech-savvy customer base, all of whom now benefit from a more efficient user interface with the new web architecture.

Thanks to component-based reuse features enabled by the platform’s agile-development methodology and industrialized design, the company has also been able to win new business opportunities as a result of reduced time-to-market and costs.

The sophisticated, enterprise-scale Java solution has helped improve delivery quality across applications, reduced application-development efforts and delivery costs, and leveraged emerging technologies to deliver an enhanced user experience. Due to the SOA approach, and its links into the legacy system, existing services were able to be leveraged for new products and services.

The company has also succeeded in migrating a premium brand onto its new web architecture which, combined with the new business brought on due to the integration, has helped achieve its initial goal of selling 400 policies per day. Indeed, such was its satisfaction with the results of this integration that the insurer commenced a new project in late 2012 to extend the web architecture to a number of its other businesses.

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Financial Services Applications