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SAP for Insurance

153 Posts


(Reprinted from the Digitalist Magazine)


Technology, data, and analytics are hot topics in just about every industry these days. However, by all accounts the insurance industry has been slow to embrace the practices and processes of analytics, telematics, and Big Data. While a few frontrunners such as Progressive and Allianz are reaping the benefits of their digital initiatives, other insurers need to follow their lead and seize the opportunity to gather, process, and analyze the actions and behaviors of their customers by implementing technology that makes business more efficient.


The benefits of adopting an enterprise-wide comprehensive insurance technology platform that streamlines core insurance operations are clear. To be sure, there are challenges to redesigning insurance processes and products for the digital age. However, using tech to create an integrated and complete claims management process, simplify policy administration, and efficiently monitor regulatory compliance has proven to be successful. For example, SAP for insurance shows a 44% decrease in audit costs in firms that streamline financial compliance processes.


Know your customer


Insurance sales, often still a face-to-face process, have been one of the slowest areas to adopt the benefits of technology. But modernization need not be at the expense of tradition. Insurance technology allows companies to provide a consistent customer experience across new and multiple channels, matching consumers in their new shopping and purchasing behaviors. In addition, it offers a new level of customer intimacy with access to real-time customer data, enabling companies to more quickly and efficiently uncover and respond to customer trends and buying patterns.


Offer a better customer experience


It’s no secret that the trend is for customers to interact with their insurance companies less often and preferably via the Internet. For that reason, customer-centric insurers who creatively engage with consumers online are pulling ahead of the competition. Even for face-to-face encounters, improving the overall customer experience with accurate and up-to-date data and information is the best way to ensure the success of the sales force.


Maximize your data usage


One of the fastest-emerging gateways to new forms of customer data and behavioral information involves the Internet of Things. Small devices attached to vehicles, embedded in home appliances, and other sensors found in consumer products are gathering data and are set to transform the way everyone does business. Insurers now have new ways to collect data, assess risk, and therefore create new product offerings in tune with current market data. Insurers that have cultivated the systems and processes to gather, analyze and use this copious amount of new data will be one step ahead. Businesses that are listening to the buzz and investing now for the future will be the ones reaping the benefits of the new opportunities that come with the changing landscape.


The insurance industry is on the brink of change and it is time to embrace the future or be left behind. The key is using technology to enable the customer-centric insurer to drive the sales and service of innovative products and cut costs, while staying compliant. Learn how SAP can help here.



Big data, mobile and the Internet of Things are key trends driving insurers to go digital. But going digital is not just the latest “new thing” or new title (e.g., chief digital officer). It’s not just about marketing or sales. It is a fundamental shift in how customers, both individuals and businesses, interact with insurers throughout the insurance life cycle and how carriers not only sell but also underwrite, adjust and provide other services. It’s about being connected to the insured and insured objects in real time, all the time. And it’s about intelligent interactions fueled by data and analytics.


To be a digital insurer, you need a digital strategy, digital capabilities, digital culture and a digital executive champion.

  • Digital strategy defines what digital means to your organization and how it is aligned with your overall business strategy. It requires looking at digital threats and opportunities, their potential scale and alternate responses. It includes looking outside your usual competitors at disrupters like Amazon or Google and determining if they are competitors, partners or both.
  • Digital capabilities include data management, analytics and databases.You must be able to access and integrate a myriad of data streams – social, machine-generated, external, structured and non-structured--in real time. Data security is also a key capability. You must evaluate the state of your current technologies to leverage digital content and to empower meaningful interactions. 
  • Digital culture is about people and processes. It includes aligning your organization; evaluating, developing or hiring digital talent; simplifying your business processes and ensuring that you are agile enough to adapt them quickly; and creating and monitoring digital key performance indicators aligned with your strategy.
  • Digital champions advocate and champion transformation. Digital transformation is usually a board-level business initiative led by the chief innovation officer or senior vice president of strategy working closely with the chief information officer or chief technology officer. A Digital Champion is an executive business sponsor who works closely with IT and the business areas.


You don’t become digital overnight. Take a "crawl, walk, run" approach. Leverage existing capabilities and extend, or develop, new ones using pilots. But instill a “fail fast, fail often” mentality; be agile enough to execute many projects and learn from them. Then extend them across the enterprise.


The return on investment can be significant. Digital leaders can achieve a significant increase in sales; they can also reduce administrative and claim costs by digitizing processes and providing more self-service.  But Insurers should also consider the cost of doing nothing--the loss of both market share and profitability to competitors, especially nontraditional ones.


Pat Saporito is senior director of SAP Global Center of Excellence for Analytics and author of Applied Insurance Analytics: A Framework for Driving More Value From Data Assets, Technologies and Tools, FT Press. She may be reached at pat.saporito@sap.com.

"This is a summary of an article published in the Technology Insight column in Best Review, titled: Brave New World.  Read the full article in Best Review and listen to the companion podcast. www.bestreview.com"

To send data from SAP FS-CD system to other systems, SAP has provided a container known as the Information container. Standard processes like Dunning and Returns use this container to send data to systems like SAP FS-PM. There may be scenarios where you might need to send data that is not covered by these standard information containers. So we can create our own custom information containers.


Process Steps


IMG Activities:-

  • Customizing entries can be created as shown in the below picture


  • Standard Information container entries can be seen below. Similarly we can create our own Information container category e.g. Z001. Before we add a new entry in the below customizing node, we have to create three structures and an implementing class. We can use the standard classes and structures as a template and create our own objects. The structures represent the type of data that we need to send and the class is responsible for executing the process. It is not required to modify the methods of the implementing class but the structures should be modified to cater the requirement. I have not experimented much with the storage type. The data is stored as a XML string in the main information container table.


  • Once the above step is completed we should activate the new information container category as shown below. Again for the send type, I have always used Remote function call.



Development Activities

Below is the list of function modules that should be created in the system:

  • Function module A: This function module checks whether the information container is active or not. Standard function module FKKINFCO_TYPE_0001_CHECK can be used as a template.
  • Function module B: This function module saves the relevant data to Information container database tables. Standard function module FKKINFCO_TYPE_0001_STORE can be used as a template.
  • Function module C: This function module should serve as the starting point of picking up the data, hence this function module can be called at a point where it is desired to send data to Information container. Standard function module FKKINFCO_TYPE_0001_POST can be used as a template.
  • Function module D: This function module should be called in event 3703 and is responsible for sending the data to different systems. The event 3703 is called when the mass activity for Information container is executed. Add this function module in FQEVENTS transaction under event 3703. Standard function module FKK_SAMPLE_3703 can be used as a template.

Function modules from A to C will call the different methods of the implementing class at various point of time.


  • Once the triggering point is set, the entries for the information container can be checked in the table DFKKINFCO. This is the main database table for the information containers. One more additional database table is DFKKINFCOS.
  • Run transaction FPINFCO1. Mass activity for Information container.
  • Check the status of sent entries in transaction FPINFCO2

Hope this blog helps

When one starts to work with  policy management solution from SAP it is important to get familiar with the product API . Especially if you are tasked to work with some custom development.


There are few frameworks that make sure  things work smoothly in FSPM such as PBT (Policy based technology ) and Time model Functions( to enable the policy positioning n the past or in the future ) . Along with learning these frameworks it is always useful to play with the existing API and learn how it works .


Most of the tasks in the FSPM are depending on the policy business object which is manipulated  using various APIs depending on the requirement.


Please find below sample program to start playing with APIs in FSPM




    lr_date_service         TYPE REF TO   /pm0/if_abp_bc_extcordt_srvcs,

    lr_date_service_init    TYPE REF TO   /pm0/cl_abp_bc_excodt_srvcs,

    ls_polpr_key            TYPE          /pm0/abvapolpr, "/PM0/ABVAPOLICY

    lt_polpr_keys           TYPE          /pm0/abvapolpr_t,

    lf_extenal_date         TYPE          abap_bool,

    lf_correspondence_date  TYPE          abap_bool,

    lf_bts_date             TYPE          abap_bool,

    lv_applnr_tt            TYPE          /pm0/abd_applnr_tt,

    iv_planstate_id         TYPE          /pm0/abd_stateextdate_id,

    it_polpr                TYPE          /pm0/abwapolpr_t,

    gr_get_policy           TYPE REF TO   /pm0/if_abp_tc_get_policy,

    gr_get_polpr            TYPE REF TO   /pm0/if_abp_tc_get_polpr,

    gr_get_cov              TYPE REF TO   /pm0/if_abp_tc_get_cov,

    lr_uboi                 TYPE REF TO   /pm0/cl_abp_bou_ctr_fac,

    ls_policy_key           TYPE          /pm0/abvapolicy,

    it_policy               TYPE TABLE OF /pm0/abwapolicy,

    lv_duedate               TYPE         /pm0/abd_duedate_dt.






  DATA :

        it_covdetail TYPE TABLE OF /pm0/abwacov,

        is_sec_cov   TYPE /pm0/abvacov,

        ls_cov_det   TYPE /pm0/abwacov.

  /pm0/cl_ab_bpu_registry=>init( 'D').



  IF /pm0/cl_ab_bpu_registry=>gr_ctr_fac IS BOUND.

    gr_get_policy = /pm0/cl_ab_bpu_registry=>gr_ctr_fac->get_gb_policy( ).

    gr_get_polpr /pm0/cl_ab_bpu_registry=>gr_ctr_fac->get_gb_polpr( ).

    gr_get_cov /pm0/cl_ab_bpu_registry=>gr_ctr_fac->get_gb_cov( ).



  FIELD-SYMBOLS : <fs_polpr> TYPE /pm0/abwapolpr.

*get the application number for a certain existing policy

  SELECT SINGLE c~applnr_tt  INTO  lv_applnr_tt FROM /pm0/abdapolicy AS p INNER JOIN /pm0/abdapolpr AS c ON p~secpol_id = c~policy_id

      WHERE p~policynr_tt = '' ."enter existing policy number here




*get reference to the date service

  lr_date_service = /pm0/cl_abp_bc_excodt_srvcs=>get_singleton( ).

  lr_date_service_init ?= lr_date_service.


*Load the application



      iv_effective_dt = sy-datum

      iv_policynr_tt  = ''"enter existing policy number here

      iv_polprnr_tt   = lv_applnr_tt


      es_polpr_key    = ls_polpr_key

      ev_planstate_id = iv_planstate_id


  CHECK iv_planstate_id EQ '0'. " Plane State OK

  ls_policy_key-bo_id = ls_polpr_key-bo_id.


*Get policy Data


      CALL METHOD gr_get_policy->get_policy


          is_sec    = ls_policy_key


          et_policy = it_policy.

    CATCH /pm0/cx_abp_uboi .

      WRITE : 'Exception in UBOI'.

    CATCH /pm0/cx_3ft_exception .

      WRITE : 'Exception in Framework'.



*Get contract data

  CALL METHOD gr_get_polpr->get_polpr


      is_sec   = ls_polpr_key


      et_polpr = it_polpr.

  READ TABLE it_polpr ASSIGNING <fs_polpr> INDEX 1.


  MOVE-CORRESPONDING ls_polpr_key TO  is_sec_cov.



*Get Coverage data


      CALL METHOD gr_get_cov->get_cov


          is_sec = is_sec_cov


          et_cov = it_covdetail.


    CATCH /pm0/cx_abp_uboi .

    CATCH /pm0/cx_3ft_exception .


Similarly some other APIS can also be used once the policy BO is loaded

DATA:   et_document_cf TYPE /pm0/abcn_cashfl_t,

        et_cfdocs TYPE /pm0/abn_cashfl_t,

        account_data TYPE REF TO /pm0/cl_ab_int_ac,

        et_document_nc TYPE /pm0/abcn_nocash_t.



  CREATE OBJECT account_data.


*get cash-flow documents for certain Contract


  CALL METHOD account_data->/pm0/if_ab_int_ac~get_docs_cf


      is_polpr_key   = ls_polpr_key


      et_document_cf = et_document_cf

      et_cfdocs      = et_cfdocs.


*get non cash flow documents for certain contract


  CALL METHOD account_data->/pm0/if_ab_int_ac~get_docs_nc


      is_polpr_key   = ls_polpr_key


      et_document_nc = et_document_nc.



The world is faced with an all-embracing trend which also affects the traditional insurance business. New digital technologies are changing the way consumers engage and interact with insurers. For insurance companies this means that their traditional structures and operations are getting disrupted. The executives need to reassess their business models and rethink existing strategies.


The fundamental change that has happened is that customers themselves realize that they can express themselves as individuals and want to be recognized and dealt with as individuals. And they expect this from everyone, especially organizations that they do business with.


About 79% of customers are digitally connected and spend at least 50% of total shopping time researching products online, 53% of customers are social networkers who already abandoned an in-store purchase due to negative online sentiment, and 59% of customers are willing to try a new brand to get better customer service.


How will this affect the insurance markets?


Every company needs to reassess their business models. For example some markets are dominated by intermediaries. The insurers leave relationship management to these intermediaries. In former times such co-operations were an appropriate way to increase market shares. Now in the new digital world the constraints of this business model become visible.


The insurers are missing out on opportunities for a greater dialogue with the customer and deeper insight into the customer’s needs. This makes it difficult and expensive to create new offers and solutions. Because of missing details of customer behavior in the digital world some of these activities will lead to trial and error. Another hindrance is the lack of information about how the customers interact with the digital world and how insurers could connect to them.


As a result of this the topic of customer centricity becomes a #1 priority action item for  the insurance industry.

Another example of how the new digital world will affect the insurance industry is found in the way that customers are interacting with insurers. About 79% of the customers are digitally connected and spend half of their total digital shopping time with product research. More than 50% of the customers have already abandoned an in-store purchase due to negative online sentiment.

Today in a digital world customers get more and more transparency about market offers. Especially for the insurance business where you sell trust to be the right partner the positive gut feeling of customers is very important. It starts with an easy to understand digital appearance by intuitive handling, a good shopping experience of tailored solutions supported with simple processes, and an easy-to-consume-services which helps to run your life better.


In order to be able to offer an excellent customer experience in real-time it’s necessary to manage and analyze high data volumes, predict the customer needs, provide real-time offers, and exceed  customer’s expectation with valuable add-on services. This means you need to be able to manage big data in real-time, run simple processes, and offer exceptional front-end experiences.

How can SAP support this challenge?


Every company needs to think about digitization across five key business pillars which SAP is calling the Digital Business Framework.

Digital Business Framework.jpg

This Digital Business Framework helps customers to manage the challenges of the new digital world. A fast core platform for managing the business processes of a digital world, supported by powerful analytical capabilities, and connected with customers, workforce as well as suppliers can help insurers to cope with their digital challenges.


With the digital core insurers can simplify their processes which are the basis for a positive customer experience, create successful and beneficial connection of suppliers, and enable cost-effective operation for their insurance business.


The most interesting challenge for the insurance industry now is how to transform from traditional insurance business management into the new digital world. The best way to manage business transformation will be part of my next editorial.

Karsten Tecklenburg

Industry Principal Insurance – MEE (Middle & East Europe)

SAP Deutschland SE & Co. KG, Hasso-Plattner-Ring 7, 69190 Walldorf, Germany

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***Update***: as noted at the end of this blog, the session replays are now available here


Following the interactive and content-packed Day 1 of the SAP Financial Services Forum, Day 2 kept the momentum going. The general session Keynote was kicked off by Todd Freedman, Head of Strategy, SAP and covered the power of collaboration and business networks. The idea is to connect every business, across every core business process that’s critical to the success of companies, everywhere. The connected business network will enable companies to re-imagine the way businesses manage their resources globally, connecting travel, procurement, contingent workforces or any other spend, in real time.


The morning sessions then broke out into 3 groups: Retail Banking, Commercial Banking and Insurance. For the Insurance track, the session breakouts focused on customer loyalty and the informed cross-sell. Two of the presentations are highlighted below, and I encourage you to revisit this blog in the future for recordings of all of the participants.


Aviva- Dr. Margaret Robbins, (Analyst Data, Analytics and Insight, Aviva) discussed how firms can predict behavior and make more intelligent use of customer data. But first, the tensions between ’Data guys’ (database and analytics) and ‘Marketing guys’ (creative) must be resolved to create synergy. Some examples of what’s needed for communication’s synergy included: Data guys must learn to speak English (!), while Marketing guys must challenge techno-speak; and, Data guys want accuracy and precision to be perfect, while Marketing guys must communicate what’s ‘good enough’. Once the tensions are resolved, the foundation is set for more effective use of modelling in marketing. This includes decisions on how many people to contact, limitations, and sales by direct contact, all of which have led to improved campaign ROI.


Ovum- Charles Juniper (Principal Analyst, Insurance, Ovum) examined how well the insurance industry is doing in building the foundation for digital change. For starters, the trend from 2008-2012 has been reversed, with insurance ranking 5th out of 18 verticals for IT budget expansion. Overall, the global investment in digital communication with customers is expected to be $17 billion in 2015. However, he was quick to point out that the next challenge is adoption of digital inside the organization. This includes investment in core operation systems thru digital collaboration. Look out for his study in September based on 530 interviews of insurance executives titled “Core Operations Platforms to Support the Digital Insurer”, sponsored by SAP.


Day 2 of the SAP Financial Services Forum  concluded with a robust discussion and debate about re-imagining Financial Services for the next generation. The panel of speakers from across the 2 days spoke about how the industry will evolve in the 21st century.


If you couldn’t attend the forum, we plan on making the session replays available shortly.

Forum 2015.png

***Update***: as noted at the end of this blog, the session replays are now available here


Welcome to London and the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel…vicariously, if you were not in attendance! The venue is packed with 450+ senior business, operations and IT decision makers and industry leaders from banking and insurance firms, press and analysts. All registrants have gathered for the fifth annual SAP Financial Services Forum flagship event. The turnout for the two day forum includes 19 press and analyst registrants, 14 sponsoring partners, and 29 speakers from leading organizations, including Aviva, Citibank, Deloitte, IBM and Twitter. A strong focus has been placed on the many challenges, and opportunities, brought forth by digital transformation within financial services. This was a great start to the event, so let’s review the Day 1 highlights


First off, Ross Wainwright, Global Head of Financial Services, SAP, kicked things off with his presentation addressing digital transformation and innovation in financial services. He explained that digital innovation represents not only an opportunity, but also a necessity, to remain competitive in today's market. Adoption of digital technologies is essential for creating a sustainable business model, generating new revenue streams and establishing a unique customer experience.  Since digital markets move more quickly than traditional markets, they require the agility and the ability to respond to challenges and opportunities faster than business models of the past. Following Ross, some of the other interactive presentations included:

RBS- Kevin Hanley, (Director of Design, RBS) discussed the imperative of investing in innovation to drive digital change. He cited great examples of innovation, such as the world’s largest taxi company which owns no vehicles (Uber) and the world’s most popular media content owner that creates no content (Facebook). His focus on why innovation matters included making it easier and quicker for customers to do business with RBS by simplifying their business processes and systems. He noted that to become more innovative, companies need to closely evaluate their approach to change, attitude to risk, and how to encourage a more collaborative, trusting environment. This was quite a thought-provoking session.

Twitter- Seth McGuire (Sr. Business Devl. Manager, Data Channels, Twitter) spoke about how ‘new data’ is driving better business decisions. His presentation covered the fact that ‘new data’ is unstructured data – raw data requiring deep aggregate analysis. The importance of this unstructured data is that it becomes an aggregate view of individuals’ behaviors and opinions regarding business, technology, news, politics and more. Acting on insights from this data can impact marketing, operations, finance, sales and customer service, to name just a few. Finally, as a compelling example of the power of Twitter, Seth shared the fact that Elon Musk created nearly $1 billion in value for Tesla with a single tweet on March 30, 2015. Impressive!     

The afternoon offered the attendees two tracks focused on digital change and innovation. The first track was a foundational one which explained how to build a sustainable platform for digital delivery. The second track was a strategic one that covered how financial services firms can effectively foster innovation and agility, as well as seamlessly creating a customer journey across channel borders. The sessions were lively, interactive, and very informative. The wrap-up session by Stacey Allaster, (Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association) offered a view of data in action. Her focus was on the way that real-time data analytics are transforming women’s tennis today, as well as the fan experience.  


Day 1 of the SAP Financial Services Forum  delivered on its commitment to provide high-level discussions, strategy setting and networking opportunities. Watch for tomorrow’s update of Day 2.

If you couldn’t attend the forum, the session replays will be available shortly. 

Written by Geoff Weiss, Senior Principal, Industry Value Engineering, Insurance Industry at SAP


We all know that the world around us is constantly changing, and it’s no different for insurance companies – or their finance organizations.  What was once considered a static role tasked with crunching numbers, analyzing costs, maintaining budgets, and improving financial management processes has evolved into a strategic partnership that’s also expected to drive more value company-wide.


You can’t afford to stand still in a changing world

For many insurance companies, the role of the finance organization as a strategic partner is unchartered territory.  To adapt to this new role, finance organizations need to reach beyond core functions of policy administration, underwriting, and claims to drive the financial insight required to maintain a competitive edge. For finance organizations that are already stretched thin with limited budgets and resources – as well as outdated software systems – transformation can seem like an especially daunting task.

Any job can be easy – when you have the right tools

Whatever the task at hand – changing a tire, hanging a picture, or baking a pie – having the right tools and knowledge can mean the difference between success and failure.  Similarly, the right software can provide financial organizations with the best practices and tools you need to streamline and simplify processes, so you can transform operations and create greater value for your company.

The key is to find software that can help you:

  • Accelerate business transformation by providing one, integrated view of all financial data to ensure enterprise-wide consistency and accurate, real-time insights
  • Create immediate efficiencies by taking a modular approach to improving financial operations
  • Simplify your financial system with an architecture that removes replications and aggregates
  • Turn insight into action by automating and streamlining processes for gathering financial information

SAP Simple Finance provides a simple solution to a complex task

The SAP Simple Finance solution streamlines and simplifies end-to-end finance processes and delivers instant insights via a simple, personalized user experience. It has been designed to drive smarter decisions and create greater strategic value by enabling built-in consistency, real-time analytic insights, and automated processes.

Get started on the road to insurance finance transformation
Learn more about the future of the insurance finance organization and how SAP Simple Finance can help you overcome business complexities and accelerate greater business transformation.  Join your peers and industry experts on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. ET for a lively Webinar “Insurance Companies: Transforming their Finance Organizations.”  Register and learn more.

Making the wrong decision can be costly when you’re in the insurance business, but doing nothing can be even more risky. Knowing how to creatively move forward in order to find new solutions that are both simple and smart is an art – one that our presenters at this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference have mastered. They have found ways to leverage new technology solutions to address age-old problems.


Check out these session highlights to learn how to master your HR processes, get more out of your data, and manage your resources like a pro.


Simplifying HR for Better Efficiency

Allstate Insurance Company is the largest publicly held personal lines insurer in the United States, but it faced a common problem: Its human resources platform was complicated, slow, and made up of disconnected systems. Without a focus on integration, simplicity, and user experience, Allstate was unable to recruit, train, and manage its employees effectively.


By investing in the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) human capital management (HCM) solution with SuccessFactors Talent solutions and HR analytics, Allstate is entering a new realm of operational efficiency. In addition, they’re able to put the “human” back in human resources by having more time to focus on the employee experience. Brett Winchell, Allstate HR director, shares the company’s journey.


Gaining Greater Data Visibility

The insurance industry is complicated, but your business suite doesn’t have to be. Take it from people who know – a panel of experts including leaders from within SAP and Peter Nikoletatos, the executive director and chief information officer of La Trobe University, share how the SAP S/4HANA platform enables companies to connect their entire operation without running a complicated platform. By giving greater visibility into data and processes and helping create one cohesive platform from all of your systems, SAP HANA can streamline your lifecycle management and offer a better experience for both internal and external customers. Decisions become more informed and processes speed up with the SAP S/4HANA platform.


Leveraging Data More Easily

Swiss Re is the world’s second-largest reinsurer. A company this big needed a way to easily gain instant insights from its finance data. Thomas Wright, director of finance transformation and IT lead, explains that by leveraging the SAP Simple Finance solution powered by SAP HANA, Swiss Re has seen improvements in its ability to harness data without using complicated technology. As Wright says, “Simply put, the product does what it says.” If only everything offered that kind of simplicity.


Managing Resources More Effectively

In a growing global economy, managing resources well is imperative. With new regulations that are increasingly complex, and more risks and sources of competition, the insurance industry must seek new ways to network in order to manage its resources effectively. Michael Fauscette, group vice president of software business solutions at IDC, and Alex Saric, global vice president of business network marketing at SAP, discuss smart solutions to resource deployment in this panel that you won’t want to miss.  Fauscette asks, “Can I use a network to solve this efficiently?” More often than not, the answer is yes.


Mastering the Art of Disruption

Knowing when to take risks and when to play it safe is an essential skill. But sometimes doing nothing is the biggest risk of all. In order to stay competitive and relevant, smart risks must be taken in today’s market. Three leaders, including Bob Cummings, the global head of the insurance industry business unit at SAP; Daniel Latimore, the senior vice president of banking from Celent; and Kari Escobedo, a consultant known for delivering cutting-edge, innovative technologies and IT development, discuss the perils and rewards of risk-taking and share their thoughts on how to master the art of disrupting.



Staying competitive means being responsive and proactive, but this isn’t easy when regulations abound and when being proactive can mean running into red tape. However, in the competitive insurance industry, standing still is an even greater risk. By continually innovating and leveraging new technology, companies are seeing new ways to solve old problems, and in doing so, are disrupting their industries. 


Discover more keynotes, sessions, and interviews to inspire your next decision from the SAPPHIRE NOW conference. Browse the replays now.

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The subject of Finance, Risk and Compliance comes up quite frequently in the media today, as well as during many of my conversations. Insurers are under constant pressure to find effective ways to manage these areas, since the consequences of not doing so can be very costly. As an example, I think back to the $15.4 million in civil penalties against four insurance companies in connection with alleged improper payments (article here). Would better finance, risk and compliance processes have helped? I like rhetorical questions, so let’s move on and look at some practical approaches which can help in these areas. 

Managing Risk and Compliance

To manage risks and comply with regulations applicable to the insurance industry, companies must be able to adequately monitor defined risk indicators and assess compliance status at any given time. Companies must also be able to respond to changing markets and finance plans that affect compliance and policy processing risks. An IDC Global Survey sponsored by SAP reveals this tightening relationship between risk and finance. Recommendations for resolving these issues include:

  • Putting in place solutions that align finance processes with risk management and compliance strategies.
  • Improving the quality of risk management procedures and performance with built-in operational controls.

Responsible risk management and enhanced compliance monitoring, coupled with better financial forecasting, contribute to an improved financial state for insurers 

Accurate Finance Data Is Part of the Plan

Insurance companies also need to balance financial considerations with up-to-date risk data and industry regulation information. The need to assess regulation compliance and risks related to overall finance operations is imperative. This will contribute to the insurer’s success in achieving financial goals and business sustainability at lower costs.

Preparing financial plans based on accurate data is essential for managing financial and operational performance. Real-time assessments are needed for insurance companies to get a clear picture of business costs and revenues for stronger financial forecasting. With improved solutions for financial planning, analysis and monitoring, insurers can:

  • Gather large amounts of data, so they can rapidly adjust finance plans and investments according to market conditions.
  • Use modeling components to help improve the financial planning process.

With better accuracy in planning and analysis, insurers can optimize the performance of their overall operations. 


SAP Value and Business Benefits

SAP for Insurance solutions, like the Insurance Analyzer (watch video), help reduce business costs and improve financial operations, with complementary risk management and compliance monitoring capabilities. Through the use of efficient and integrated finance processes, companies have access to essential, real-time information, making it easier to take prompt business actions. The benefits are clear:

  • Better insight of finance and risk business performance, enabling quick, reliable decision-making.
  • Cost reductions resulting from integrated and efficient accounting, risk and financial processes.
  • Alignment of corporate and operational compliance goals across your enterprise

For more information, visit us here and please share your thoughts.

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The theme of this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW was clear: Run Simple in an increasingly complex world. Insurance businesses that can evolve in the data driven environment that we live in now will be the ones that lead and excel.


Today, customers and competitors have more information about your business than you might have about them. How can your business use the data it has, or the data it has access to, to gain the upper hand and provide immediate value? SAPPHIRE NOW provided plenty of advice for insurance companies to use technology to create a competitive advantage.

Stop Reporting the Past and Start Predicting the Future


Tom Wright from Swiss Re, a major reinsurer, highlighted the growth in complexity of reporting requirements since the economic downturn. The shift was simply not sustainable given Swiss Re’s older processes and systems. In order for this century-old company to survive the new landscape and thrive in the digital age, they undertook a shift from manual operations toward technology solutions. Working with SAP, Swiss Re launched a multi-year finance transformation program based on real-time planning, prediction, and analytics. The retooling allowed them to set the target of reducing closing time from fifty-five days down to five, thus providing their partners with the data and the transparency they need in a useful time frame. View the 20 minute session here.

Focus on Simplicity and Sustainability


Allstate, which is a truly global company with over 70,000 team members, had built a robust system for HR operations. The system was built with a focus on function and operation, both appropriate goals, at least at the time. However, the system was overly complex and expensive to maintain. As Brett Winchell pointed out in his session, the mistake, seen in hindsight, was not focusing on the user perspective first and the function and processes of the system second. When designing the new system with SAP, the goals were simplicity and sustainability. In addition, understanding the outcomes from a reporting and analytics perspective was a driving force in all decisions during the process. View the 20 minute session here.

Disrupt or Be Disrupted


The finance and insurance industries are seeing an influx of disruptors from non-insurance financial companies and smaller financial technology companies. Not burdened with legacy systems, these companies develop in an agile fashion, hitting the market early and refining products as they go by asking, “What else can we offer?” In addition, many of these companies are not subject to the same regulations as traditional insurers. Disruptors use new business models and are forcing many established businesses to break out of their risk-aversion mind sets and take the first-mover advantage. View the 30 minute session here.

Insurance technology is rapidly changing and the sessions at SAPPHIRE NOW show how some companies are using data to gain market insight, better manage their competitors, and build customer intimacy. With a simple and sustainable approach, it’s now time for you to reimagine your business.

See all of the recorded sessions here and please share your feedback.

Yes, it’s insurance data and technology show season again. Below are some highlights of recent and upcoming events:




I missed the ACORD annual conference this year but am looking forward to the fall event. I recently had a sneak preview into the exciting ACORD Open Innovation program in November from Malou August of ACORD; am looking forward to participating! Stay tuned -- you won’t want to miss it!




I spoke at the largest ever Insurance Data Management Association annual in Philadelphia last month. Big Data, Internet of Things and Self Service are creating Tsunamis of change for insurers. Tom Barger, of Zurich NA and I co –presented on data management and governance challenges and opportunities. Tom shared some real life insights on how claims professionals are integrating and leveraging big data and analytics. See our joint presentation on Slide Share.




I met with a number of insurance companies at our annual SAPPHIRE user conference last week, customers talking with them about their challenges – largely user adoption, funding, proving business value and getting continuous funding for programs. The show included an SAP insurance industry booth where customers could see complete set of insurance solutions, as well as many industry solutions our SAP partners. I also had a chance to catch up with Kimberly Harris-Ferrante from Gartner and compare notes on what we’ve been hearing from insurers. You can view replays at www.sap.com/sapphire





Join me, Drew Birtwistle, Monique Hesslering of SMA (Strategy Meets Action), and Louis Bode from Great American at IASA. Come to our session #272 - Taking Analytics to the Next Level.


Come visit us at booth #701 to:


  • Use our Interactive NBA Game Stats Showcase to keep on top of the action during the NBA Finals and discover how the NBA’s success with real-time analytics can apply to your insurance organization


  • Learn how to Run Simple in the increasingly complex insurance landscape with insight on financial management and accounting; customer engagement, commerce, and CRM solutions; analytics; and cloud solutions


  • Meet with SAP executives, experts, and partners at specially arranged 1:1 sessions


  • Attend our presentations on business intelligence/predictive analytics (9:50 a.m., booth #884) and emerging technologies (11:00 a.m., booth #985) on Monday, June 8



If you’ve already bought my book, Applied Insurance Analytics, please bring it.  I’ll be doing a book signing at the SAP booth on the floor show.  You can also sign up for a one on one meeting with me to discuss your BI strategy and best practices to drive more value from your analytics program!


See you in Vegas!

HI Guys,

Good day to you all,


Today I want to talk about the recently introduced SAP certification in area of Insurance.


In 2013, SAP came up with certification on Insurance solution - C_FININS_66-"SAP Certified Application Associate - SAP for Insurance ERP 6.0 EHP6".

This certification encapsulates following areas:-

1) SAP FS-PM- Plan management

2) SAP FSCD- Collections & Disbursement

3) SAP FSCM- Claim Management

4) SAP ICM- Incentive & Commission management


Details of Area

The distribution provided for the certification area:-



Final Words

The idea of this certification is to enable practitioner to have a well rounded skill in the area of Insurance.


One challenge in pursuing this certification is that rarely one get a chance to work in all the areas of the SAP Insurance solution.

In that case getting the relevant SAP training can be really useful.

Having said that, the pass criteria is pretty comfortable and getting good hold on 3 modules gives you a great chance of clearing this.


So go ahead get yourself certified and as a fellow certified practitioner, I would say its worth it...


We are pleased to introduce a new SAP Insurance Analyzer video, which showcases integrated finance and risk management for Insurance. 


Find out how the SAP Insurance Analyzer, together with SAP Lumira, gives you real-time insights into asset, liability, and solvency capital positions to support compliance with upcoming regulations and accounting standards.


This is an optimized way to quickly (3:38 minutes) and effectively gain an understanding of the value of the SAP Insurance Analyzer solution, which helps Insurance companies Run Simple.


Demo videos are constructed based upon the ‘day-in-the-life’ approach to using SAP solutions.    


Enjoy the video and please share your feedback


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