IBM announced today that its consulting division, IBM Business Consulting Services, has been awarded a contract by Danish pensions and insurance company ATP to deliver and implement a New Core Insurance and Administration System.
The project will transform ATP's operational structure, enhancing its operational efficiency and its ability to respond to changing business requirements. Working with insurance application specialist Edlund, IBM will transform ATP's core systems from their current product and unit orientation by creating a single common, centralised set of system and process. The new structure will support ATP's aim in an increasingly deregulated and competitive market by rationalising the business.
Simply attempting to integrate these operations across ATP's business units by wiring them together would not have been enough, as integration without transformation results simply in increased systems complexity and reduced system performance. Instead IBM will use its Business Transformation Framework and Edlund's actuarial framework system for the administration of life insurance policies and pension schemes to transform ATP's operational systems so that they can serve the enterprise as a whole.
"This project will act as an important catalyst for change within ATP as we transform the business to support our new vision. Given the importance of the new solution in supporting our core business, it was vital for us to select a business partners that not only had a proven track record of successful implementation, but also real insight and expertise in this industry," said Peder Andreasen, vice-director in ATP. "In working with IBM, we benefit from the Edlund Solution, IBM's expertise in project management combined with its commitment to industry specific competencies within pensions and insurance area - a sector that is going through huge changes."
"Often companies allow their historical operational structure to constrain their strategic vision. Exhaustive initiatives for process optimisation within individual units rarely provide sustained competitive advantage. Indeed they often prove to be counter-productive as each unit makes major changes - from the business processes, through the applications and down to the technology - in order to optimise their own operations, but they do so at the expense of the enterprise, which actually becomes more complex overall," said John Senior, EMEA Insurance Leader, IBM Business Consulting Services, "Instead IBM Business Consulting Services is working with ATP to improve the efficiency of the entire organisation by increasing the simplicity and flexibility of the organisation at an enterprise level. This is not a trivial task though - and will require a holistic, standards-based, on-demand service oriented architecture."
In addition to providing enhanced operational efficiency, this will reduce the time that it takes ATP to bring new products to market and will also allow ATP to exploit a single central meta-model to bring together all the data that supports the customer. The single view provides benefits for the users of ATP's customer-supporting applications right across the organization. Different people performing different roles at different times and accessing data from different areas within the company will all see the same information.
Centred on Edlund's core insurance application, IBM consultants will implement and integrate the New Core Insurance and Administration System with existing systems using IBM's Websphere middleware and IBM hardware. The four and a half year program includes an initial analysis phase followed by an implementation phase for each of the pension schemes managed by ATP.
IBM will be working with its business partner Edlund to deliver the core insurance application which - apart from the basic functionalities to manage agreements - contains calculation module that enables computation of life insurance provisions at base form level in traditional models with a constant basic rate of interest, and in generalised models with a variable structure for the market interest rate.
The core system can be directly employed as an underlying calculation core for policy projections, and for runs for recurring (eg. monthly) portfolio calculations of life insurance provisions and expected payment intensities at market value in accordance with the new accounting regulations.