Case Study: Allianz Global Risks

Basics
Fortune 500 international corporate insurer, Allianz Global Risks (AGR) redirected its strategic focus toward customer service, but soon found that Customer Relationship Managment Systems (CRMs) were cost-prohibitive, and not the best fit for their corporate needs. So, they chose to build a customized Web system over their current ERP package.

Challenge
Allianz' corporate wanted a viable custom customer service interface to be done by December 2003, but projections on using their current methods, Lotus Notes, did not have them finishing until August 2004.

Solution
Allianz contacted mrc's UK division, and began using the mrc-Productivity Series to rapidly create their new customer service system, over their own customized packaged software, Genius, in two months time with just two developers, meeting the corporate deadline.


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mrc Case Study: Allianz Global Risks

Basics

Allianz Global Risks is one of the largest corporate insurers in the world, providing cover for almost half of the Fortune 500 companies. So, when they made the strategic decision to become more client focused, customer service became a mission-critical IT project.

"Our first instinct was to bring in a CRM solution," explains Katja Laitila, "However, these solutions were found to be cost-prohibitive, and despite the power in CRMs and their vast functionality, they were unable to provide exactly what we were looking for. We therefore looked at ways to develop a database application around our current system, Genius".

Challenge

Genius is Allianz's iSeries-based ERP/MRP system, running on an iSeries model 820 with V5R2, and customized and developed over time through third-parties and in-house RPG skills.

The team decided their best bet was to create a GUI (Graphical User Interface) over their in-house Genius system. Their senior staff wanted it as soon as possible, and was looking for a December 2003 deadline, but it was not looking promising. AGR's corporate HQ in Munich had already had some success developing GUIs over Genius with Lotus Notes, but using that method, they couldn't project a completion until August 2004, a full 8 months later than they were shooting for.

Solution

It was at this stage that AGR began to look elsewhere, and met with mrc (UK) Ltd to see their mrc-Productivity Series development platform suite. "Initially AGR was interested in giving easier access to iSeries data for their Client Management team," states Adam Hales, Marketing Officer with mrc (UK) Ltd. "Information was green screen based at the time, but AGR hadn't been impressed with GUI front-end solutions they'd seen to that point. We arranged to demonstrate our software - showing the speed of development using our template-based architecture."

The key requirement meant a database application would need to be developed around the Genius software package, with mechanisms to analyze and manipulate data in real time. The solution would also require security to ensure that each employee only had access to data relevant to them. In addition AGR needed the solution to be browser based whilst complying with corporate web standards, including views and layouts.

"We challenged mrc to prove their solution could deliver on these requirements" Laitila recalls. And, in just two months, a two-man team completed the project. "...Not only was the solution complete, but we were trained in the use of mrc and the skills needed to continue development in other areas. But this was just the beginning."

Value

With the database applications and browser access complete, Laitila and her team now have time to explore the full potential available to them.

"We are now looking to use mrc for further browser front-end development and GUI systems, using its ability to easily allow you to change the look and feel to your satisfaction. The mrc-Productivity Series can deliver so much beyond the scope of our initial requirements," comments Laitila. "Development in traditional RPG that would take 3-4 days can now be done in a matter of hours, helping to cut costs and improve productivity. More long term uses as well as day-to-day benefits become apparent all the time."

This article was written and contributed by Adam Hales, mrc (UK) office.

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