Here you can find the key thought leadership blogs from SAP Financial Services and Industry experts.
Here you can find the key thought leadership blogs from SAP Financial Services and Industry experts.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
For more information, visit us here and please share your thoughts.
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:
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!
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:-
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
Is your financial services business equipped to lay a foundation for digital change? If this is a question you can’t answer – or haven’t even addressed – then plan on a visit this summer to London for the SAP Financial Services Forum on June 23–24, 2015.
During this transformative two-day event in the heart of London’s financial district, you will have the opportunity to:
Enjoy keynote presentations, participate in panel discussions, and take advantage of one-on-one meetings and numerous networking opportunities. Draw inspiration from many industry-leading speakers, including:
• Kevin Hanley, Director of Design, Services, RBS
• Margaret Robins, Analyst, Aviva
• James Strickland, Investment Director, HSBC
• Rene Schuurman, Director - Global Transaction Services, Citibank
• Seth McGuire, Senior Business Development Manager, Twitter
• Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO, Women's Tennis Association
After you leave London, you can return to your company with a wealth of valuable information, including a firm grasp on global competition, regional collaboration, and how to manage the many challenges brought forth by digital transformation within financial services.
You’ll also have the ability to take a practical look at the application of new technology and learn how firms can harness innovation, enhance core technology infrastructures, and use technology to provide a seamless customer experience that helps solidify brand loyalty.
Join your industry peers who are reimagining financial services for the next generation. Take what you learn at the beautiful Grange St. Paul’s Hotel and directly apply it to your business – building a solid foundation for digital change. Learn more about the event and register today.
Hope to see you there. #sapfsforum
Insurance is a long-standing industry. Although core insurance operations tend to be pretty consistent across the industry, it's clear that some insurers are winning against global competition while others are falling behind. Why? The answer has to do with the fact that consumers today expect and demand their preferred business partners to be more customer-centric.
Customer Management in the Future
Insurance comparisons are just a click or swipe away. Often the competition shares the same web page so the customer can do a side by side comparison. In this world of perfect information, customer experience is the differentiator. Successful insurers are concentrating on improving their reputation with customers by being more proactive and responsive. Customer management has become as essential a component for insurers as claims processing and fraud management, both of which impact customer perception in important ways. Customers today are focused on handling their business in the most efficient way possible, with immediate access to payments online and insurance claims management over mobile devices. Some insurers have gone out of their way to put the needs of customers first, and they are reaping the rewards of this strategy every day.
Multiple Channels and Touch Points
Everything from traditional auto insurance to the reinsurance lifecycle has been redefined by new technologies. Cloud-based applications and advances in mobile Internet have been instrumental in allowing brokers and agents to connect with customers in new ways and meet them wherever they are at the moment. Now insurers also need to anticipate what customers need at the next stage and while providing a seamless experience across multiple channels and touch points.
Leading insurers are analyzing vast streams of data from a variety of sources and using this to help agents make critical customer decisions with finer accuracy in real time. It has ramped up productivity and transformed the traditional ways of interacting with customers at every level. Customers expect their insurance agent to be able to help them resolve all of their issues like a trusted adviser. They want personalized experiences and well-considered recommendations for other services that could simplify their lives. All of that is possible, but only with the agent can have right data delivered and analyzed immediately.
More on Becoming Customer-Centric
Fortunately, insurers have a way to find out exactly what kind of insurance technology solutions they need for the future. The microforum session “Become a Customer-Centric Insurer,” at the SAPPHIRE NOW user conference in Orlando will cover a lot of this ground in a short time. SAPPHIRE NOW is a gathering of leading executives in insurance, finance, management and IT on May 5-7, 2015, in Orlando, FL. The event is full of actionable advice on applying recent technology innovations to the insurance industry. Join us for this session and start transforming your company's performance with customer-centric best practices.
The Customer Centric Insurer [Video], https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep0W0u4x034
There are numerous standard mass activity transactions in SAP FS-CD, e.g. Payment run, Clearing run, Debit run etc and there is a provision to create your own mass activity as well. Through this blog, I would like to share detail information on how to create your own mass activity and its usage in customer projects.
The entire process involves a combination of IMG activity and creation of function modules.
Create two custom (Z) function modules using standard function modules ‘FKK_SAMPLE_INTERVAL_1740’ and ‘FKK_SAMPLE_INTERVAL_1741’ as reference. The content must be modified based on your requirements. To give an idea, the above two standard function modules belong to event 1740 and 1741, which are a type of exit programs for the standard Mass activity of Payment Run.
Run transaction code SM30. Enter table name TFKFBM (Event table).
Create two new entries in the above table. These entries are known as events; hence in other words create two new events as shown below. Add the two function modules created in previous step in this table for the corresponding event. It will look like the below picture.
The standard Mass activity framework uses two important structures, they are ‘Basics’ and ‘Addons’. The ‘Basics’ structure remains mostly constant but the ‘Addons’ structure can vary from one type of mass activity to another. The ‘Basics’ structure contains information about general selections, parallel processing objects, date and time of mass activity creation, log data, authorization data and many more. This information is crucial for the standard mass activity framework to run properly. On the other hand, the ‘Addons’ structure is used to transfer data between the screens and database, hence this structure varies for different type of mass activity.
In this example, I have used the standard ‘Basics’ structure i.e. ‘FKK_MAD_BASICS’.
For the ‘Addons’ structure, you have to create a custom structure that will define the custom screen elements.
Below is an example of such a structure.
Create a custom transaction code. Run transaction SE93.
Please ensure that the program and screen number remains same as shown in the picture below.
Create a custom sub-screen in the same Function group that was used to create the event function modules.
This sub-screen will define the screen fields relevant to your requirements. The fields in the ‘Addons’ structure can be used to link the screen fields.
Group frame is a place-holder for the screen layouts to be used in the mass activity. In this document, we will be using a combination of standard group frames and newly created custom group frames.
Select the entry as shown below and then click on Group box on the left.
Create a new group frame. Add the screen program name (function group) and screen number (created earlier) as shown below. This will result into a new custom tab in the final mass activity transaction.
Go back to the IMG activity main menu for mass activities. Select and execute "Define layout for mass activities".
Create a new custom layout. Select the entry and click on Tab page titles.
Create entries as shown in the picture
Including Tab 3 and Tab 4 is logically mandatory because those two tabs will facilitate declaring parallel processing object and error handling during the mass activity.
Select on each entry and click on ‘Position of group’ to enter the group frames. Only for Tab 2, you need to include the newly created group frame in the previous step. Below picture will show the various group frames to be included.
Prepare Mass Activities
Go back to the IMG activity main menu for mass activities. Select and execute "Prepare mass activities".
Create a new custom mass activity as shown below.
Select the entry and click on General control and fill the required fields as mentioned below.
Enter the events created earlier.
Enter the transaction code created earlier
Enter the ‘Addons’ structure created earlier
Type FICA as the object name
Enter the tab layout created earlier
All the activities related to the screens and customizing are now complete, run your mass activity transaction and it should look like the picture below
The core program behind your new mass activity will be those two new function modules that you have created in the beginning. You must modify the function module ending with 'Z001' to suit your requirement. It is recommendable to use the already existing sub-routines for handling the error messages in the application logs.
You should also add your own code for the custom tab on the screen. The screen programs transfer the data from the screen to those function modules during the mass activity processing.
The other tabs on the screen don't need much change as they belong to the standard group frames.
Custom mass activities can help you control various database updates to be done at once. Instead of writing longer lines of code inside the exit programs or making multiple database updates during a business process, you can use the mass activity to make a single update for multiple types of data. This provides more control and maintains data accuracy in the critical standard tables.
For insurers, long product development cycles have been a hindrance to agility and their ability to change along with their customer and the marketplace. These days, a short product development cycle is essential to win competitive advantage and SAP customers have proven that Improved Product Quality can be a byproduct of efforts to improve Speed to Market.
Our experience has proven that true speed to market isn’t just about how fast you can bring the next new product offering to market, but how well you recalibrate your entire product development process. And this is all about simplicity, stability, and reusability as well as flexibility and scalability in terms of how fast you can respond to market shifts and emerging opportunities.
Recalibration of processes improves quality
Indeed, two of our customers, one a P&C carrier from North America, and the other, a healthcare organization in the UK, both reported improved product quality as a positive and unexpected consequence of taking a transformative approach to product development using a product agility engine.
While documenting as much as a 30% to 60% improvement in speed to market, these customers have also improved the quality of product implementations and reduced the number of day two production issues.
Work on multiple products at the same time
Whereas legacy environments traditionally limit the number of concurrent changes you can make to your product portfolio, a focused product agility engine allows you to develop or modify multiple products in parallel. Utilizing multiple sandboxes, you’re not constrained by bandwidth so you can implement significant or multiple new products in the same development cycles.
Following the lead of manufacturers
Using advanced product planning and sophisticated consumer analytics, leading insurance companies are developing a more structured process around product development and innovation.
Following a typical manufacturing process, products are broken down into elemental components of similar processes, rules, forms, rates, and user interaction.
In this factory, marketable insurance products can be assembled or bolted together using components from the library. Changes to rates, limits, or rules can be made in a sandbox and tested step-by-step in the repository before being published.
Give business users more control
With this scenario, you give business users the ability to enter and test rates and product versions with start and termination dates all prior to the effective date of the changes. Moving the work closer to the end user that
has the most hands on knowledge, while reducing the translation required in typical IT coding requests, dramatically increases the quality of the outcome. The sophistication of the SAP versioning capability, along with the granularity of
changes that are possible, provides two strong differentiators in the market.
With all product related information in one spot, the factory provides a single version of the product truth, and increases
the visibility of changes across the entire product portfolio to all designated users. This enhanced visibility helps support both quality improvements in development and implementation, and reduces the number of requests for changes.
The concept of a centralized product factory for configuration and product change management as well as for viewing completed products as a runtime component was central to the development of the SAP technical
Over a period of ten years, working with multiple companies in several countries, SAP has refined the separation required to enable a common configuration factory - and one that allows product information
to be published in a way that can be consumed by a wide variety of applications. So a business person can step through the calculations and process in a sandbox prior to publishing. This new layer of
testing leads to the improved quality as experienced by our customers.
We have successfully integrated this level of product agility into Web portals and digital front ends for brokers and employees, as well as into self-service capabilities for end customers. Integration with CRM, claims, and billing systems, as well as multiple legacy policy administrative environments means you can publish to 30+ different systems of varying technologies.
One of our customers told us that with this innovation from SAP, it was better able to respond to fluctuations in the marketplace, all while improving quality and speed to market.
This is a third blog focused on Product Agility, more information can be found in my prior two blogs:
Interested in finding out more? Why not discover how SAP is helping insurance companies around the
world turn product agility into significant competitive advantage.
I look forward to your Thoughts. Please follow me on Twitter @Mike_Key.
We all have things we need to protect – our family, health, a home, a car. That’s why insurance is one of most personal and vital purchases consumers make. We’re all looking for the easiest, most transparent experience. If the purchasing process is fast and simple, we anticipate the rest of our interactions with the insurer will follow suit.
And those follow-up interactions will surely have a critical impact on the policyholder-insurer relationship. For example, when it comes to the filing of a claim, the customer experience is paramount. Per Accenture’s study “The Digital Insurer-Claims Customer Survey”, 41% of customers are likely to change insurance companies after the filing of a claim. Clearly, interactions that happen in a time of need are the ones that matter most to customers and create lasting impressions.
Insurers need to provide comprehensive policies and seamless experiences that quickly address their customers’ needs. To win new business and keep existing customers happy, they need to adopt a Run Simple approach by:
So what are some steps insurers can take to run simply?
What is the value of the Run Simple approach to insurers?
Your customers can reap tangible benefits that transform them from policyholders into advocates, such as:
Read more about Run Simple and how the SAP HANA platform can help your insurance company master real-time digital processes – and help create a loyal base of satisfied customers. Please share your comments.