Simplifying the development and maintenance of a multi-jurisdictional insurance portal Another Cofomo Applications Support Success Story
Reality: A Complex Environment
The insurance sector is a complex one, and large players operate on a global stage which adds a level of complication and a need for consistency. In an age of rapid, relentless digitalization and business modernization this can create imposing challenges which, if unaddressed, can lead to workflow and organizational inefficiencies which directly affect competitiveness and, in turn, the bottom line.
Insurance products are multiple and can include everything from life and property insurance to liability insurance, to annuities, and all things in between. Insurance consumers and agents rely upon having access to their accounts to examine and understand their policies and options. Similarly, trusting that the online portals they use are set up in full compliance with local industry norms, as well as rules and regulations, is important. Once again, not an easy feat if you’re operating in multiple jurisdictions. That sums up our client’s then current situation when they initially approached Cofomo.
Challenge: Product Gaps
Our client’s global online presence meant day-to-day operations were a constant navigation through a maze of rules and regulations governing insurance across a wide range of jurisdictions and juggling that across multiple versions of their servicing portal.
One of the immediate issues resulting from this approach was the creation of product gaps – features and functions specific to certain regions but not to the portal tool as designed or implemented. Filling them monopolized available time and prevented work from progressing as intended on the product roadmap.
In the past, practicality and the need to be constantly filling in product gaps, dictated that this client delivered and maintained different versions of their servicing portal using independent teams—which in turn chose their own methods, tools and resources to implement the products worldwide.
These several versions, which are always changing due to their geographical specificities, must provide varied features and capabilities to various end customers with diverse needs. Hence the creation of product gaps and the need to fill them.
One of the immediate issues was product gaps – features and functions specific to certain regions but not to the portal tool.
Addressing the disparities
To address the disparities in feature requirements and functionality, the client had created one large service team that assigned no less than six project teams to oversee the global array of customized consumer portals.
Each team, as described, worked differently, and the multiple portal iterations only added to the operational confusion and the potential for error.
Coupled with this was that the portal’s update and maintenance were not planned to the portal’s evolution. The result was that in-house teams were often reassigned, thus creating a serious knowledge-transfer issue and steep learning curve each time a new team was assigned to a portal’s update and maintenance.
This instability in turn engendered a staff retention problem, further exacerbating the challenges this project was already presenting.
The client created six project teams to oversee the global array of customized consumer portals, leading to operational confusion, errors, knowledge-transfer issues, and staff retention problems.
To meet these challenges, as well as an accompanying list of specific requirements, Cofomo used its access to an exclusive pool of professional talents to tailor a solution and develop a plan for this large internationally active company.
A unified delivery method was developed to help consolidate the SaaS-based product with a baseline code following the original principles. A brand-new delivery team was specifically chosen to implement a single online servicing portal using industry-standard methods, tools, and programming languages to cover most regions and jurisdictions. The portal was then customised to adhere to local laws and regulations.
It was deemed appropriate to implant a specialized delivery manager to begin the job of consolidating and merging the functions of multiple teams into one, dedicated team.
With a new delivery method, Cofomo’s specialized delivery manager formed and led a team of highly skilled members. All of whom merged and standardized the various portals.
The delivery manager’s priority was to form and lead a team of highly specialized frontend and backend developers, configurators, quality-assurance experts, lead developer, and business analyst – all of which participated in information sharing sessions so that the portals’ implementations were merged and standardized.
The delivery manager also served an essential educational role, working to create connections between teams, and help the client manage change.
Results: Unity, Efficiency, Stability
Consistency, standardization of methods and tools, and a certain measure of stability are the first and most obvious results of the fulfillment of this ongoing mandate. Because retention stabilized, teams refocussed onto more important or motivating priorities. Everyone wins.
Interesting Key Facts
Worked on projects destined to serve markets in several different locations including the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, Cyprus, and Australia;
Dedicated 478 work hours to resolve product gaps and cover sellable value features within six months using a limited number of developers working in an experimental phase; Was consolidated according to scrum-based agile methodology and in alignment with the product team, thus providing the client the with an efficient collaboration model. Worked to recover an essential account for the client and is now responsible for product delivery. This account serves as an opening for the client in the extensive Australian market.
Cofomo’s project manager continues to contribute to product price adjustments and profitability estimates in support of the portal products’ marketing strategy.
Cofomo’s single dedicated delivery and maintenance team vastly improved and streamlined operations.
With the new operational standards of the global array of online consumer portals now determined, a single dedicated delivery and maintenance team in place, portal product gaps addressed, operations have been vastly improved and streamlined.
This application support success story is one of overcoming an IT challenge and ultimately delivering peace-of-mind. Cofomo is proud to have been asked to work in partnership with its client, proud of how its hand-picked teams performed, and confident in its ability to continue to offer this vital service.
For more information about our talent delivery model, contact us about your needs, we’ll evaluate your situation and find the optimal way forward together.
Sources and Thanks
• Cofomo internal case studies
• We’d like to express our sincere thanks to Alejandro René Morales-Loaiza, IT Applications Project Manager, for his invaluable contribution to this success story, both in achieving it, and in helping us tell you the story. And a special thanks also goes to Yiannis Mvoula who steered us in the right direction in the early phase of article development.