René Walter, the founder of Consor, is stepping down from the Board of Directors at the end of 2022 after many successful years. The General Meeting has elected Désirée Mettraux as his successor.
Does the following sound familiar to you? In times of globalization, insurance companies merge, expand their global coverage and serve an increasingly complex market. As their business grows, so do the associated IT systems. Soon you end up with a a large number of applications, whose integration with surrounding systems is complex and correspondingly expensive to maintain. The user experience is often unsatisfactory.
Our long-standing partner Helvetia was also confronted with such challenges in the Specialty Lines segment. Helvetia’s Specialty Lines business focuses on technical insurance, marine insurance and art insurance. They operate throughout Europe and selected niche markets worldwide.
The acquisition of Nationale Suisse by Helvetia in spring 2015 meant that the Specialty Lines underwriters had to work with a large number of different applications. Moreover, those applications were not consistently integrated with the administrative, support and analytical systems.
Challenges for business and IT
The acquisition posed major challenges for Helvetia’s business and IT departments. For the business side, it was particularly important to address the following:
- Eliminate the need for teams in the specialist and claims departments to work with several applications per portfolio covering the same functionality
- Support for automation through end-to-end process coverage
- Multi-tenancy support as the business is written by numerous separate legal entities
- Multi-currency capability over all process steps
- Rollout of the solution to the Asian subsidiaries so that they too can us it to run their business
Helvetia decided to use software components it already had in place, i.e. SAP FS-RI for accounting and claims management, SAP FS-CD for collection/disbursement and SAP BW for business intelligence. Consor Universal was chosen as the quoting, policy issuing system for all business in which Helvetia acts as the primary insurer. As such, it acts as the front-end system for all customer-related processes.
It is crucial for us that the Universal front-end system gives us full flexibility in our external sales processes, while the SAP FS-RI back-end guarantees stability in the financial processes.
In February 2018 the new system landscape with Universal went live and the old systems were switched off. The new processes and interfaces were implemented within a few months. The design of the first insurance products in Universal has been completed and is in productive use. Helvetia made a deliberate decision to go live with the first processes as quickly as possible, and to continuously refined and optimize from there.
Additional insurance products are now gradually being added to Universal and connected to the SAP back-end. Universal also serves as the printing engine for all invoicing from SAP FS-CD and is connected to surrounding systems such as identity and access management, partner management and the electronic archive.
With Universal, we are able model all product and contract structures required by our international operating environment.
To the underwriters, Universal thus offers seamless support of all their business processes, while ensuring that surrounding systems such as SAP are fed all relevant data and events consistently and in a structured format. Moreover, Helvetia has a sustainable solution in place that can easily and swiftly be adapted to support upcoming needs.
Helvetia can introduce new and adjust existing client-facing B2B and B2C processes while staying in complete control of the administrative processes, and without having to change the accounting, claims management or collection/disbursement systems. The consistency and simple integration of Universal leads to a significant improvement here.
For Helvetia Specialty Lines, the new setup represents an ideal balance between cost-efficiency and timeliness on the one hand and comprehensiveness and durability on the other.
We are convinced that we have found an excellent solution that gives us lots of flexibility for the future.
Quotes: Bruno Rohner, Head of Operations Specialty Lines CH & International Helvetia Insurance
Pic: Consor Collection, Zürich