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Case Studies

  Policy Administration System Implementation


CHALLENGE:

A Massachusetts based insurance carrier selected a new cloud-based Policy Administration System platform, however did not have the bandwidth and/or expertise to test the system, migrate customer and policy data, and integrate the new system with their existing agency portal.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged to assist with the implementation in three areas – QA/UAT, data migration/integration, and overall implementation advisory. The project included:

  • Attending requirements sessions to develop understanding of the business requirements;
  • Development of testing strategy, test plans and test cases;
  • Overall project management, coordination and tracking of the testing process;
  • Development of test automation to facilitate regression testing;
  • Analysis of the legacy system to determine how to trigger the extract and where to extract the data from;
  • Definition of the data migration process, including technical, process changes and staffing requirements;
  • Development and testing of the data migration solution, which including a cleansing and consolidation of customer data;
  • Provide advisory services related to business process re-engineering and agent/insured portal integration

BENEFITS:

Cosenta’s involvement allowed the client to focus on communicating their business requirements to the vendor and ensured that the client was never the cause of delays in the implementation, which managed the risk and cost of a schedule overrun.

  Self-Service BI


CHALLENGE:

Users at a Pennsylvania based company were dissatisfied with the accessibility of data in their aging data warehouse. Both data warehouse and the associated Business Objects universe were difficult to understand and use, and provided limited insight to guide business strategy.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged to define and develop a data delivery and visualization strategy to improve data accessibility and analysis capabilities in the organization. The project included:

  • Design and development of Microsoft SSAS tabular model cubes for claims performance, agency performance and geographical location analysis;
  • Transformation of raw data into actionable information using DAX calculations and incorporation of key performance indicators (KPIs) into the cubes to monitor business performance;
  • Training users in the use of Excel PowerPivot for reporting and analysis;
  • Deployment of Microsoft PowerMap to support visualization of premiums and claims data on geographical maps.

BENEFITS:

Business users were empowered to develop their own reports and perform their own analysis without IT intervention using technology they were already comfortable with (Excel Pivot tables). IT resources were freed to focus on long-term data planning activities.

  Enterprise Data Warehouse


CHALLENGE:

Growth of a New York based mid-sized company was hindered by lack of access to reliable, timely and actionable information. The organization needed to move beyond monthly reporting as the primary means of managing their product and regional expansion.

SOLUTION:

Data modernization was identified as a key component of their technology program, and development of a new Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) as the critical first step. The client engaged Cosenta to define and develop their EDW which included the following:

  • Gather data requirements for each subject area, with detailed requirements for product performance;
  • Define a data vision and strategy;
  • Identify organizational and departmental KPIs; ensure alignment between them and define an infrastructure to measure and optimize them;
  • Develop dimensional data model and populate data into it from multiple source systems with necessary cleanup and transformation;
  • Roll-out of corporate and departmental dashboards in MS SharePoint, with KPIs and alerting capability;
  • Creation of multidimensional data cubes for ad-hoc analysis in MS Excel.

BENEFITS:

  • The enterprise data warehouse provided a solid data foundation with a verified and agreed-upon version of the truth, easily traceable to the source systems.
  • Data was made broadly accessible to support fast, reliable decision making;
  • Client was able to use their data more effectively to increase business profitability by controlling costs, identifying new product opportunities and improving customer satisfaction;
  • The EDW formed the basis of future initiatives including advanced/predictive analytics.

  Virtual CIO


CHALLENGE:

A Pennsylvania based company struggled with multiple compliance, strategy and management related issues following the unexpected departure of their CIO.

SOLUTION:

Client initially engaged a Cosenta Principal to perform an IT assessment, and then subsequently to serve as their interim technology leader. The project included the following:

  • Assess how well the IT group and infrastructure was positioned to meet the needs of the business, and determine what improvements could be made to better align technology and business;
  • Identify any “buried bodies”, particularly any immediate risks to business continuity;
  • Develop recommendations for improvement based on industry best-practices and present internally and to the board of directors;
  • Develop a technology road-map for the organization including system replacement, imaging implementation and data warehouse completion;
  • Lead migration of commercial lines business (auto, property, GL) to a new fronting carrier;
  • Define and implement key risk management processes including incident and change management;
  • Define departmental structure and staffing levels for the group, based on the needs of the business and industry best practices;
  • Interview and hire developers and ultimately, a new IT director to lead the group.

BENEFITS:

The client stabilized the organization, gained clear understanding of the current state, addressed short term risk, as well as gaining a coherent and defensible strategy for the longer-term. Management of the group was successfully transitioned when a new director was recruited.

  Custom Development


CHALLENGE:

An upstate New York based food manufacturer had recently implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX to support their rapidly growing yogurt business. However, EDI errors caused many orders to fail, leading to unhappy customers and damaged relationships. In addition, since fixing the messages required knowledge of XML, expensive IT resources were required to process the failed messages.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged analyze the EDI problem and develop a solution on an abbreviated time frame. Cosenta found that most of the issues were related to employees at the company’s business partner incorrectly keying information including pallet and batch IDs into the system. The Cosenta solution involved:

  • Integrating with Dynamics AX to analyze every EDI failure that happened in real-time;
  • Automatically fix the data issues if possible, then resubmit the message. This was done by performing fuzzy logic matches against the AX database and replacing the bad data;
  • If the message could not be fixed automatically, a user friendly interface was provided to allow a business user to modify the failing message and resubmit it manually;
  • Develop a number of reports to track EDI failures allow the EDI process to be further optimized over time.

BENEFITS:

The remediation backlog of failed EDI transactions was reduced from over two weeks to less than one day. The 3 person IT team responsible for fixing messages was eliminated entirely from the process and replaced with a single part-time business user.

  SharePoint Development


CHALLENGE:

A New England manufacturer of industrial diaphragms struggled without applications to help with program management, business process automation, communication and collaboration. They had learned of Microsoft SharePoint, but were unsure on how to best deploy it to help with their organizational challenges.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged to analyze the critical needs of the business and to deploy SharePoint solutions to address them. The solutions included:

  • An intranet portal to serve as the central hub for unifying access to all enterprise information and applications;
  • Project sites to support project management and communication across all corporate projects, with status roll-up to a PMO dashboard for program management and executive reporting;
  • A quality site using SharePoint workflows to track manufacturing defect events and their remediation;
  • An engineering site including inventory databases for manufacturing materials, rubbers, presses and technicians, and a process to generate marketing “spec sheets” from the data;
  • Corporate reporting using SharePoint Excel services dashboards;
  • Enterprise search was deployed to allow users to quickly locate information across multiple back-end systems.

BENEFITS:

The business benefited greatly from automating manual processes that were unwieldy and error-prone, and from the consolidation and centralization of many information sources.

  System Integration


CHALLENGE:

A regional personal and commercial lines carrier (revenues ~$300M) selected a new policy administration platform and requested help integrating it with their existing back-end systems (billing, claims, statistical reporting, data warehouse), some of which were over 30 year old.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged to define and develop an approach to support the integration of the new system with the existing systems. Since the client’s goal was to retire their mainframe in the medium term, they asked that the solution minimize investment on that side. The final solution involved the development of an operational data store (ODS) in SQL Server, coupled with a business rules engine, which allowed the client to integrate the new system and transition another major system off the mainframe at the same time. The project included:

  • Comprehensive analysis of all necessary data flows between the new policy system and the back-end systems;
  • Development of an integration approach and architecture to support the integration, including the migration of the other legacy system off the mainframe;
  • Creation of an operational data store (ODS) to support all financial transactions for all lines of business (personal and commercial);
  • Development of extract, transform and load (ETL) feeds between the new policy system and the ODS;
  • Knowledge transfer of the ODS to a client team.

BENEFITS:

The new policy system was integrated without a hitch, and the new ODS delivered significant value to the business above and beyond what was originally anticipated by allowing SQL queries to be executed against raw transactional data, something that had not been possible on the mainframe.

  RFP / System Selection


CHALLENGE:

A New York based organization determined that their legacy core system (mainframe-based) hindered innovation in product offerings, and prevented them from presenting a competitive web presence to customers and business partners.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged to manage a system selection/RFP process which included:

  • Business requirements definition;
  • Identification of vendor distribution list (15 vendors);
  • Development, distribution and scoring of the RFP;
  • Scripting, facilitation and scoring of product demonstrations;
  • Identification of finalists;
  • Assistance with negotiation and contract reviews;

After selection, Cosenta assisted client with the product roll-out, including integration with their other systems.

BENEFITS:

A comprehensive market review ensured that the most suitable vendors were brought to the table for consideration. The client followed a formal, rigorous and defensible process to their final selection, and the documentation gathered throughout the process helped minimize the number of surprises encountered during implementation.

  Product Assessment


CHALLENGE:

A Massachusetts based policy administration vendor experienced problems during the initial roll-out of a bundled 3rd party BI solution. They were uncertain whether to continue to roll-out, or to take a different direction.

SOLUTION:

Cosenta was engaged to perform an assessment of BI platform to determine:

  • Alignment with the needs and expectations of customer base, current and future;
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of product relative to the competitive landscape;
  • Identify functional, technical and operational issues that may hinder adoption and/or customer satisfaction;
  • Provide recommendations on potential go-forward strategies;

Product and competitive analysis determined that the product was viable for a subset of segments within client’s target market. Additionally, specific technology and process improvements would broaden its applicability and overall competitiveness.

BENEFITS:

  • Client better understood product strengths and weaknesses, and could identify best-fit customers, as well as manage customer expectations before, during and after implementation.
  • Additional investment opportunities were clarified, allowing a detailed product road-map to be defined and communicated to customers, along with a detailed roll-out schedule.
  • Client embarked on a successful roll-out to its customer base.