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Progressive Application Corporation document sample
Progressive Application Corporation document sample
Microsoft Dynamics Customer Solution Case Study Zurich Services Corporation Improves Risk-Engineering Process with Flexible System Overview “In essence, what we have now is a knowledge base of Country or Region: Global Industry: Commercial property and risk data across industries and geographies where we casualty insurance can derive insights from relationships and patterns that Customer Profile previously were not available.” Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, John Wall, Business Technology Manager, Zurich Services Corporation Zurich Financial Services is an insurance- based financial services provider. 62,000 Zurich employees serve clients in more Zurich Financial Services boasts an impressive Risk Engineering than 120 countries. operation spanning 35 countries and employing nearly 1,000 risk Business Situation specialists in various disciplines. However, the company relied on Zurich’s Risk Engineering team needed to draw insights from its global operations disparate regional systems to collect customer data, making it but could not do so easily because of difficult to derive insights across geographies and industries. To disparate regional systems that were difficult to modify. help ensure consistent data collection and analysis, Zurich built a Global Risk Engineering Workstation (GREW) based on the xRM Solution Working with Microsoft Gold Certified application development framework in Microsoft Dynamics Partner Wipro Technologies, Zurich built CRM. The Risk Engineering team at Zurich used xRM to simplify a new, global Risk Engineering application that ensures consistent data the development process and complete a significant portion of across customers, industries, and the application without the help of outside developers. The Risk geographies. Engineering team now adds greater value to the overall Benefits organization, especially by helping the policy-underwriting Greater consistency in data collection and benchmarking group and customers better understand risk exposure and Enhanced access to data in risk identify potential solutions. selection and pricing Greater business agility Streamlined reporting process Faster and less-expensive development “We spent much more Situation decided it would not be feasible to modify Zurich Financial Services fields nearly 1,000 any of its existing local solutions to meet time actually solving real Risk Engineers and safety specialists in 35 the needs of the entire global group. countries around the world, helping Instead, Zurich examined several customer business needs, as organizations identify, assess, and minimize relationship management solutions that opposed to addressing risks to property, liability, employee safety, would provide a single store of structured and other areas. The Risk Engineering customer data and make it easier to the technical details of group combines local knowledge with respond to new business requirements. global breadth to produce thousands of how to implement a user reports each year for customers and policy Solution interface, for example.” underwriters. The Risk Engineering team at Zurich looked at a number of customer relationship John Wall, Business Technology As a corporation made up of national and management offerings, especially those Manager, Zurich Services Corporation regional entities, Risk Engineering used from Microsoft, Pega, and Siebel Systems. several custom-developed systems to run After extensive investigation, the company its risk assessment activities, including chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM because of applications based on interconnected Lotus the xRM application development Notes databases and a more progressive framework, easy-to-modify workflow application used in North America that was capabilities, ease of support by business based on the Microsoft .NET Framework. technical users, alignment with Microsoft These disparate solutions met local needs Office, and cost-effective licensing that but made it difficult for Zurich to derive accommodated the needs of Zurich’s aggregate risk insights across geographies global operations. or industries. Zurich asked Microsoft Gold Certified “One of our overall strategic goals was to Partner Wipro Technologies to build a create a common data collection and proof-of-concept solution demonstrating analysis tool,” says John Wall, Business how Microsoft Dynamics CRM could Technology Manager at Zurich Services accommodate 15 scenarios for the Risk Corporation. “This would help us Engineering process. Satisfied with the implement a more uniform risk-grading demonstration, Zurich began work on the methodology and view new types of project with development assistance from relationships and patterns. As a result, we Wipro and put the first version of the could offer customers a higher degree of system into production after nine months. accuracy and consistency.” Developing the Application In addition, Zurich wanted to simplify its Developing the new Global Risk application development process so that Engineering Workstation (GREW) the company could respond more quickly application proved much simpler than to changing business needs. “The nature of custom development processes that Zurich our business is that conditions and needs traditionally used. Typically, the business constantly change,” says Wall. “Our users document how the application should previous systems could not be adjusted fast look and function, and then a developer enough or economically enough.” implements those ideas in software code. As the Risk Engineering team considered “Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables how to achieve these goals, the group technically inclined business users like me “We spent much more time actually solving business needs, as opposed to addressing the technical details of how to implement a user interface, for example,” he says. Meeting Local and Global Requirements The GREW application is hosted on a central server in Zurich, Switzerland. Risk engineers throughout the world access the application through a virtual private network and use it to enter in details from their visits to customer sites. GREW accounts for different disciplines and variations in local safety codes and regulations. Most importantly for Zurich, the application ensures that risk engineers enter data consistently, which enables benchmarking against other assessments. To account for all the nuances of its Risk Engineering practice, Zurich pushed the boundaries of what is possible with the Figure 1. Business users can to create functionality and modify the user xRM application development framework. create sophisticated forms interface,” says Wall. “In fact, the business The company created numerous custom without needing development group was able to build a significant entities to account for different aspects of expertise. portion of the application and only Risk Engineering assessment and analysis. depended on the expert developers at Wipro was instrumental in assisting Zurich Wipro to help in special cases.” with the development of the custom entities, providing best-practice guidance Figure 1 shows a portion of the Risk and creating custom ASPX pages. Engineering form that Zurich created, displaying a variety of attribute styles “Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultants that including text areas, pick lists, and we’ve spoken to tell us that our solution is checkboxes. one of the most sophisticated Extended CRM applications they’ve seen,” says Wall. The workflow capabilities built into “We’ve created over 200 custom entities to Microsoft Dynamics CRM set the product accommodate the complexities and apart from competitors, which lets business diversity of our Risk Engineering users in the Risk Engineering team create operations.” and modify workflows themselves. These workflows help to streamline the process of Producing Data, Not Just Documents finalizing reports. The GREW system introduces a shift from traditional “report” documents to Work Wall says that empowering the business Products, which could be a collection of group to build the application themselves information including a document, several freed them from having to write lengthy spreadsheets, and even photos. Zurich uses documentation on business requirements. data gathered in GREW to analyze and then populate Work Products for the company’s reports can choose which modules to customers and insurance policy display, which currency to use for values, underwriters. “The new application changes and one of eight languages included as the process of producing reports part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. significantly,” says Wall. “We now produce data, not just static documents. Previously, The Risk Engineering team at Zurich also we spent a lot of time writing and exposes their data as a web service for formatting reports that people had to wade other groups in Zurich to consume. For through. Now, we can more easily create example, one policy underwriting group detailed and nice-looking reports in local within Zurich pulls data from GREW into its languages by using built-in features in pricing tools, which helps the underwriter Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft provide customers with competitive SQL Server.” insurance quotes. Zurich also sees targeted marketing opportunities in the new trove of Zurich uses SQL Server Reporting Services customer information. “We will be able to and functionality created by Wipro to build send relevant Risk Engineering information customized reports, shown in Figure 2 , for to customers, such as that related to the Figure 2. Risk Engineers can customers and underwriters based on the natural catastrophes, industry findings and easily generate customized data gathered from the field and entered alerts, or information about customer reports. into GREW. Risk Engineers creating the education seminars led by Zurich staff,” says Wall. Next year, Zurich plans to create a portal where customers can log on to view their risk assessment Work Products and Risk Improvement Actions (recommendations). “By storing information from GREW in SQL Server, we can use Reporting Services and Microsoft SharePoint Server to dynamically display that information. Our goal is to let customers browse and interact with their risk assessment information much like consumers use online banking today.” Benefits By using the xRM application development framework, Zurich replaced regional Risk Engineering systems with a single, global Risk Engineering application that provides greater insight, business agility, and improved productivity. “Having one global grading methodology gives Risk Engineering the ability to be more efficient in the way we grade risks and provides enhanced capability in benchmarking and Book of Business management,” says Armand Fernandez, Chief Risk Engineering Officer for North America at Zurich Services Greater Business Agility Corporation. “In addition, it promotes Zurich’s Risk Engineering business can now consistent global service delivery and adapt to new business changes on a technical excellence and enables frequent and predictable schedule. “GREW development of risk insights for our has qualities, like a powerful metadata customers.” structure and configurable workflows, that enable us to accommodate design changes “The GREW program at Zurich required a quickly—sometimes in just hours,” says robust global solution to manage insurance Wall. “We used to have to go through a risk-engineering processes. Zurich chose long, formal design and development Microsoft Dynamics CRM to address the process that was measured in weeks or complexities of business processes. Wipro months, but now that burden is enabled transformation by deploying a significantly reduced.” global and scalable risk-grading platform, bringing together the expanses of With data stored in SQL Server, Zurich can “We used to have to go industries and geographies. The end result easily make it available through web through a long formal was a solution which was faster to market and brought about significant services so that other groups can more easily take advantage of that information. design and development improvements for the end customer,” says Says Wall, “The shift from publishing static C.S. Swaminathan, Group Head for CRM reports to producing flexible data is process that was and SCM at Wipro Technologies. tremendous and enables us to add even measured in weeks or Reduced and Managed Risk greater value to the organization.” months, but now that Equipped with a single data resource Streamlined Reporting Process populated with consistent Risk Engineering Before developing GREW, the Risk burden is significantly data, Zurich and its customers can help Engineering operation at Zurich spent a reduced.” identify opportunities to reduce risks that can have a direct impact on bottom-line significant amount of effort preparing reports for publication and distribution. John Wall, Business Technology profitability. In addition, the analysis of a Now, with Risk Engineering assessment Manager, Zurich Services Corporation large set of consistent Risk Engineering data available through SQL Server data will help Zurich develop new solutions Reporting Services, the company can shift for specific high-risk areas of business. employees’ responsibilities from traditional word-processing functions to more “In essence, what we have now is a sophisticated data analysis and customer knowledge base of risk data across support activities. In addition, Zurich laid industries and geographies where we can the foundation needed to offer its derive insights from relationships and customers greater value through online patterns that previously were not available,” reporting with drill-down functionality. says Wall. “These capabilities will enhance our predictive-modeling programs and “The value of what we do lies in the data, help us achieve a higher degree of not a formatted Microsoft Word accuracy. We are early in our deployment, document,” explains Wall. “What we’ve but we anticipate being able to measure done with GREW is unlock that value.” fewer losses for customers that use Risk Engineering services compared to those Faster and Less-Expensive Development who don’t.” Application development is a much-less- daunting proposition for Zurich with the xRM application development framework. The accessibility of Microsoft products and “The highly configurable design of our technologies is more than convenience— solution lets technically inclined business without the xRM application development users make adjustments to nearly every framework in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, aspect of the system without needing the Wall believes the GREW project likely would help of expert developers and the related not have gotten off the ground. “What we requirements specification and funding,” have done was very ambitious,” he explains. enthuses Wall. “Without xRM, this project likely wouldn’t have been funded and we would have Wall also points out that working with pursued modifying our existing systems. Microsoft products and technologies makes I’m glad we chose this route because it has his organization much-less reliant on yielded significant benefits.” specialized skills and knowledge. “There are an abundance of people who are proficient Additional Resources in working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 on MSDN: and others who can acquire the necessary http://msdn.microsoft.com/en- skills very quickly, especially considering us/library/ee914389.aspx how it works with the rest of the Microsoft stack,” says Wall. “In addition, the community surrounding Microsoft Dynamics CRM is terrific and we can find answers to a number of our questions simply by going online and reading about what others have done.” For More Information Microsoft Dynamics For more information about Microsoft Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, products and services, call the Microsoft adaptable business management solutions Sales Information Center at (800) 426- that enables you and your people to make 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft business decisions with greater confidence. Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar 2495. Customers in the United States and Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing which means less of a learning curve for can reach Microsoft text telephone your people, so they can get up and (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. running quickly and focus on what’s most Outside the 50 United States and important. And because it is from Canada, please contact your local Microsoft, it easily works with the Microsoft subsidiary. To access systems that your company already has information using the World Wide Web, implemented. By automating and go to: streamlining financial, customer www.microsoft.com relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together For more information about Zurich people, processes, and technologies, Services Corporation products and increasing the productivity and services, visit the website at: effectiveness of your business, and helping www.zurichservices.com you drive business success. For more information about Wipro For more information about Microsoft Technologies products and services, call Dynamics, go to: 91 (80) 28 44 00 11 or visit the website at: www.microsoft.com/dynamics www.wipro.com Software and Services Partners Microsoft Dynamics Wipro Technologies − Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft SharePoint Server − Microsoft SQL Server This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published December 2010.
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