Modernisation of the Allfa business portal

The Allianz insurance company wanted to build a new central sales portal where the sales network could negotiate all products offered by the company. There were two reasons for this. The first was that the modernisation of technology would ensure the greater availability and security of systems. The second thing was efficiency, i.e. the utilisation of existing synergies between individual products. The aim was to prepare a solution that would allow sufficient flexibility to meet the dynamic needs of sales and the market.

Why StringData?

Why did the insurance company choose us to implement this project? The fact that Allianz had positive previous experience with us as a supplier certainly played a role.

However, the main reason was probably the fact that our project impressed them and that it was a high priority for the client. That’s why we were very interested in implementing the project. We attempted to demonstrate our ability to deliver the required solution in a feasibility study and subsequent presentation of our offer. We proved that the team we dedicated to project implementation had the necessary expertise and experience.

We also proposed the manner in which we would handle the challenge of required corporate standards and how we would approach any cooperation with the Allianz offshore team. After that, it was up to the client’s representatives to decide whether to place their trust in us for this important project. They did.

What problems did we address?

The client’s aim was not to change the core systems in which contracts are stored, but to streamline the negotiation component, i.e. the actual process of negotiating products. Our goal was to materialise expectations for individual applications for arranging insurance defined by the client. Part of our work was to understand both the technical aspect of implementation and actual business logic, thereby creating a link that would act as an intermediary between the insurance agent and internal core system.

Which solution did we choose?

As individual sub-projects were relatively large in scope, we considered it important to continuously validate the emerging system with the client’s product department. We approached implementation in the form of iterations. After each iteration, we presented the result and handed it over for testing. This allowed us to identify and incorporate the client’s new requirements in good time and to keep the whole development on track.

Technologically, we managed to create a well-functioning mixed team through professional cooperation, in which we solved individual technological issues. The results of the first few iterations earned the client’s trust.

How did the project go?

All products were delivered into the client’s production environment on schedule. Due to regular verification through automated tests, they were also delivered in the guaranteed level of quality.

Feedback from the sales network has been very positive. The transition from existing to new applications for arranging insurance was not difficult for most sales staff. It was possible to turn off and cease managing original applications for arranging insurance as planned, and to centralise the work of insurance agents into the newly created environment. All six products are in production. The first of these, life insurance, which is one of the most complex, has been running smoothly for more than two years now. We are delighted that the project has been so successful.

Who was involved in the project?

We understood the great importance of this project to the client, so we did not want to underestimate anything and nominated the most experienced experts to join the project team. Petr Sommer took on responsibility for the design and development of the frontend. A similar role was played by Marek Dušek at the backend. Communication with the client in the framework of project management was handled by Ondřej Kubelka.

Are you looking for a strategic partner to modernise your applications and systems? Contact us.

Robotisation of processing applications for the deferral of repayments

An urgent situation requires an urgent solution. In response to the overwhelming interest in the first wave of support for entrepreneurs, a decision was made to involve robotic power in processing the second wave of the COVID II guarantee programme. Robotisation helped staff at the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank speed up processing new applications.

The Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank joined forces with robots!

What problems did we address?

Staff at the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank were overwhelmed by the number of incoming applications for the deferral of repayments on loan products. This excessive workload led to a dramatic increase in capacity requirements for processing applications and an increased risk of processing errors.

Which solution did we choose?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or robotisation is a suitable and effective solution for automation and digitisation.

The robot processes received applications according to precisely defined rules and procedures, just like employees.

How did the project go?

Thanks to robotisation, it was possible to process a total of 6,000 applications over the course of a single day. Processing such a batch of applications (in the same amount of time) would have required the deployment of 75 employees. 6 robotic stations.

Who was involved in the project?

A StringData internal team consisting of members with expertise in business, process modelling and information systems worked on the project for the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank. We have a specialist Automation Team consisting of developers with 13 years of experience and hundreds of projects under their belts at StringData.

How long did the project take?

The whole project took us only 6 days! A high priority request came in from the client on Friday, 27 March 2020. An agile approach allowed us to start development even in the absence of detailed specifications from the client. Thanks to the high level of commitment on both sides, we were able to complete the project within a few days. We placed the robots into live operation on Thursday, 2 April 2020.

Robotisation of mortgage loan administration

Robotisation at Wüstenrot has led to a significant increase in the efficiency of processing extraordinary repayments and repaid mortgage loans. At the same time, the need for the recruitment of new employees and short-term overloads of staff has been eliminated. 

The Wüstenrot Group consists of a building society and a mortgage bank. Loan administration staff had to deal with a large number of items and occasionally a very high volume of work when processing client requests for regular and extraordinary loan repayments.

The Automation Team at StringData proposed a solution for both areas using the UltimateRPA tool. Robotisation has made processing mortgage repayments more efficient, increased the user-friendliness of work processes and significantly saved human resources.

What problems did we address?

Robotisation improves work efficiency and saves human resources

Wüstenrot wanted to increase the efficiency of processing various types of mortgage repayments. The solution was to include processes to minimise the risk of not processing extraordinary loan repayments and to reduce the error rate in processing repayments. Speeding up processing extraordinary repayments was to lead to an improvement in the quality of services for the company’s clients.

The company also wanted to address the potential overload of its staff. Following previous experience, the aim was to alleviate work-related stress in the loan administration department. Last but not least, an increase in human resources in the loan administration department was considered.

Which solution did we choose?

The robotic process automation tool can handle any situation

We suggested that the client use automation to process all types of mortgage repayments. Software robotisation in the form of the UltimateRPA tool is used for this purpose. The robot is set up to perform the same processes as a human. The difference mainly lies in the fact that the robot is faster and does not make mistakes.

It might seem that a tool like this can only handle simple processes. In fact, the robot can process a variety of input information and assign it the correct action. If it identifies something significantly out of the ordinary, it will know exactly how to proceed. The robot’s performance is set to allow it to handle the largest possible volume of required activities. Saved human resources and a reduction in the time needed to produce outputs can be seen almost immediately.

It was important for the client to be able to easily connect the solution to its existing corporate IT infrastructure. One of the advantages of robotic process automation with UltimateRPA is its low operating requirements. A regular workstation, such as a laptop, or space on a physical or virtual server is usually enough to get it up and running.

How did the project go?

Robotisation surpassed human limits

The pilot project instilled confidence in robotic process automation. Significant savings in human resources were evident from the outset. Expectations for streamlining processes and reducing errors were also confirmed.

The Automation Team focused on three areas:

Human processing entailed a certain degree of error, including the risk of not posting extraordinary payments to accounts. Errors like this had a direct impact on the satisfaction of Wüstenrot clients.

Following the deployment of StringData’s robotic process automation, each extraordinary payment is automatically registered. The saving is in the range of 0.7 FTE. Human processing 1,122 items, which took an employee 95 hours, takes the robot only 152 minutes.

The capacity of the loan administration department meant that it was able to process a maximum of 190 accounts per month. Unfortunately, this was not enough. Occasional increases in workload required the ad hoc involvement of staff from other departments.

Robotisation resolved capacity issues and has led to an improvement in the quality of service. The frequency of processing client requests has changed from monthly to daily. The robot’s capacity is not limited. The solution resulted in savings in the range of 0.2 FTE. It took a person 30 hours to process 1,350 items. The robot can do it in just 220 minutes.

The European Union directive known as the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD for short) has resulted in an increase in workload.

All administrative operations relating to the MCD are now handled by the robot. At the same time, duplicity has been eliminated in the administration of extraordinary mortgage repayments. The UltimateRPA tool saved the company human resources in the scope of 0.2 FTE. Processing 1,042 items, which took a human 30 hours, takes the robot only 34 minutes.

Who was involved in the project?

A StringData internal team consisting of members with expertise in business, process modelling and information systems worked on the project for Wüstenrot.

We have a specialist Automation Team consisting of developers with 13 years of experience and hundreds of projects under their belts at StringData.

How long did the project take?

This project comprising 3 processes took 16 weeks, i.e. 4 months. We began work in September 2016, then launched a pilot version for a month of testing in January 2017. We switched to standard operation in February without babysitting. We have successfully deployed 16 processes in the framework of this project to date.

Robotisation of administrative operations relating to Efficiency Reports at Teleflex

TELEFLEX is a multinational supplier of medical technologies to the largest Czech hospitals. It specialises in innovations that benefit patients and healthcare providers. The company’s portfolio is very diverse and includes solutions for vascular and interventional access, surgery, anaesthesia, cardiology, urology, emergency medicine and respiratory care. A large volume of clients goes hand in hand with an increased administrative burden on employees. One possible solution is robotisation - the implementation of software robots to automate routine and manual processes at the company.

What problems did we address?

Arrow International CR, a.s. (hereinafter Arrow), a member of the TELEFLEX group, identified and proposed a suitable process for robotisation. This primarily involved work with MS Excel, Outlook and the SAP system. Specifically, the process of Efficiency Reports for two independent plants, which the robot should run up to 3 times a day on weekdays at a predefined time. Routine activities currently put a strain on skilled workers. Arrow’s goal was to implement robotisation to free up staff capacity to focus on activities with a higher added value and at the same time resolve the issue of substitutability. Previously, employees performed the whole process manually and were required to be present in the early hours of the morning with minimal substitution.

Which solution did we choose?

After familiarising itself with the whole process, the StringData Automation Team proposed the robotisation of administrative operations relating to Efficiency Reports in the form of software robotisation. In the same way as a human, the robot downloads the report from the SAP system, updates all tables and saves the report to a dedicated repository. The robot performs all the steps necessary to generate an Efficiency Report, a copy of which is then attached to a notification email sent to the responsible person.

We deployed the UltimateRPA robot to cover all administrative operations relating to the generation of Efficiency Reports. The robot autonomously logs into the SAP system, retrieves the updated data and stores it in a shared directory. It then generates an Efficiency Report and emails it to a designated group of people. 

The duration of the robotic process is dependent on the responses of the application portfolio being served. This means that it is equal to the sum of all responses. The robot waits in cases where a human must wait too. Once the screen is loaded, it writes data with zero delay.

How did the project go?

Thanks to robotisation, routine activities in the Controlling Department were largely eliminated. Other major positive aspects are the creation of reports 7 days a week, the resolution of employee substitutability and increasing their comfort.

Robotisation meant time savings for qualified employees at Arrow International CR, increased the level of service provided to internal customers and took over routine, time-consuming administrative activities.

Thanks to robotisation, all administrative operations associated with the generation of Efficiency Reports are now automated. The whole project was a success and Arrow successfully entered the world of RPA robotisation with StringData.

Who was involved in the project?

The StringData Automation Team worked on the project in close cooperation with representatives of the Arrow Controlling and IT Department.

Duration of the project

The first phase of the project involved data collection, which took approximately 3 days. The subsequent solution, including all processes relating to preparation, testing and implementation, took a total of 13 working days.

Robots process 11,000 applications for entry in the land register a year at Modrá pyramida

Modrá Pyramida Building Society is a 100% Czech-owned company that has been operating on the market since 1993. It currently operates a network of more than 200 advisory centres in the Czech Republic. It employs 300 people and more than 700 advisors. Over the course of its existence, MPBS has lent over CZK 180 billion to more than 400,000 clients. A larger volume of loans goes hand in hand with an increased administrative burden on employees. One possible solution is the implementation of software robots. Robotisation helps automate the processes associated with processing loans.

What problems did we address?

The manual entry of applications for registration in the land register is time-consuming and causes errors that accompany manual processing, which represents a considerable financial burden. This is why the Modrá Pyramida Building Society contacted us with a request for the robotisation of the whole process.

The Modrá Pyramida Building Society is a financial institution that specialises in financial products to finance housing. The most frequently chosen products include: building savings, building society loans, bridging loans or mortgage loans. Once a contract has been signed, employees must manually enter all the details from the loan contract into the land register.

In the past, employees manually entered all data and submitted a manual application for entry in the land register for each individual case. The whole process was time-consuming and there were inherent human errors, resulting in wasted money charged to MPBS for incorrectly filed applications for entry in the land register.

Which solution did we choose?

The software robot is designed to automate all routine activities - it autonomously logs in to the land register using assigned login credentials, makes the entry and generates a document with an application for entry, which is then uploaded to the core system.

After familiarising itself with the whole process, the Automation Team at StringData proposed robotisation of the process of submitting applications for entry in the land register, which includes logging into the land register portal, creating a new entry, filling in all the necessary details and then saving the completed application.

We deployed UltimateRPA robots at key stages of the process. The robot finds the necessary title deed, reads the data and enters it in the land register. The generated document with the application for entry is then imported back into the core system.

The software robot is designed to autonomously log into the land register using login credentials. After successful login, the robot clicks on the New application button and selects Create application for entry. It then enters all data obtained from the agreement on the establishment of a lien on the property and the loan contract in the application. The application for entry in the land register must include information about the property, the parties to the contract, ownership and other rights, as well as supplementary information and a summary at the end.

Watch a demonstration of how the software robot works in our short video.

How did the project go?

Thanks to robotisation, the entire process has sped up significantly. StringData software robots work 24/7 and don’t make mistakes, whereby Modrá Pyramida Building Society saves more than CZK 500,000 per annum.

Robotisation has saved Modrá Pyramida Building Society a lot of time, reduced errors and has taken over the performance of routine, time-consuming administrative activities.

Thanks to robotisation, the whole process of submitting an application for entry in the land register is now automated. The robot finds the required data from the agreement on the establishment of a lien on the property and the loan contract, reads the required data and information and enters everything in the land register.

Who was involved in the project?

The project was handled by the StringData Automation Team, which worked closely with representatives of the Modrá Pyramida Building Society’s IT department, business analysts and expert process guarantors.

Duration of the project

The first phase of the project involved data collection, which took approximately 1 month. The subsequent solution, including all processes relating to preparation, testing and implementation, took 4 months from final deployment to live operation.

Recalculation of contracts for ALD Automotive

ALD Automotive is a leading global provider of operational leasing for passenger and commercial vehicles and is part of the strong Société Générale Financial Group. It has been operating in the Czech Republic since 2002 and is one of the three largest companies on the market. ALD Automotive specialises in leasing products for corporate customers, regardless of the number of vehicles in their fleet. It offers various vehicle financing options, financial services and fleet management. ALD Automotive Czech Republic, together with ALD Automotive Slovakia, looks after more than 31,000 cars and the size of the fleet goes hand in hand with the administrative burden placed on employees when performing various adjustments to contracts. The most common is the recalculation of contractual parameters. One possible solution was to robotise the process of adjusting the parameters of existing contracts and recalculating new contracts.

What problems did we address?

ALD Automotive offers the long-term lease of vehicles, including optional services associated with their operation. Depending on your requirements, you can choose the term of the contract, permitted mileage and additional services. The most commonly chosen options include: full servicing of the vehicle during the term of the contract, tyre service including the purchase and storage of tyres, or assistance services with the provision of a courtesy car. After concluding the contract, you can change the parameters of the contract and request a recalculation of the contract at any time.

Due to the time-consuming nature of the recalculation process, ALD Automotive approached us with a request to robotise this process.

In the past, ALD Automotive employees changed all parameters and performed individual recalculations manually in each case, then they created a draft of the new contract to send to the client. The whole process was time-consuming, especially in the case of large companies with hundreds of vehicles with contracts that needed to be recalculated manually.

Which solution did we choose?

After familiarising ourselves with all variations of the parameters for recalculating new contracts, we proposed robotisation to automate the entire process, from retrieving the parameters of the old contract, through recalculation, to sending the draft amendment of the contract to the client and implementing it after the client has confirmed the draft in writing.

We deployed UltimateRPA robots at key stages of the process. The robot finds the contract in the ServiceDesk tool itself, reads the input data and runs a check. The robot then creates a new proposal for the recalculation of the contract.

It inserts all the necessary data it read in the previous step into the new draft and performs a recalculation using the supplied algorithms. Using the input data, it can update, for example, the lease period and/or the expected mileage. The robot changes the parameters and performs a recalculation. The robot then runs a check and if everything is in order, the robot sends the proposal for recalculation to a customer service employee to check. If the robot discovers an error during the check, it sends the whole case to an ALD employee for manual checking, who will adjust the recalculation manually, if necessary. After a check and any manual adjustments that may be necessary, the ALD employee instructs the robot to send the draft amendment to the lessee.

Thanks to robotisation, we saved companies that have dozens or even hundreds of cars in their fleet lots of time on mass calculations.

As ALD Automotive uses our SyDesk monitoring tool, ALD employees have an overview of the current status of the recalculation process. During processing, data on the success of batch processing, batch processing time and number of processed records is sent to the SyDesk system. The client can see the progress of the request in the myALD Portal application.

How did the project go?

Thanks to robotisation, the client can now enter a request for recalculation in the MyALD Portal application, which is directly connected to the ServiceDesk tool (or the client agrees on this with the customer service line operator), or send an e-mail connected to the ServiceDesk tool. The robot prepares the recalculation, prepares a draft of the new contract and sends it to the client. Robotisation has saved ALD Automotive a great deal of time, reduced errors and taken over the performance of routine time-consuming administrative activities.

Thanks to robotisation, the process of recalculating contracts has been automated. 

Who was involved in the project?

The StringData Automation Team worked on the project in close cooperation with representatives of the ALD Automotive customer service and IT department.

A total of three months elapsed between the commencement of implementation and the first automatically performed recalculation.

Digitisation at MONETA Money Bank reduced the labour intensity of processing financial statements by 75%

MONETA Money Bank has a clear vision - to be the most innovative organisation providing financial services in the Czech Republic. As a digital bank, MONETA Money Bank is constantly improving its services, while looking for new solutions in the framework of digitisation. Thanks to this, it can offer its clients solutions to their financial needs conveniently and securely online, anywhere and anytime. MONETA Money Bank was the first bank in the Czech Republic to allow clients to open a current account completely online using just a smartphone and to start using it right away.

StringData was approached by MONETA Money Bank with a request for the automation and digitisation of defined types of input documents - financial statements, with the possibility of future extension to include other types of documents such as payment orders, invoices, ID cards, etc.

The whole project brought excellent results and reduced the labour intensity of processing incoming documents to 25%. The DocumentAnts solution automates processing more than 1,500 individual cases per month. Documents are no longer manually processed one by one in the back office like before. Thanks to automation, parallel processing occurs for each incoming case. Digitisation also represents a very effective solution, for example, for financial analytics. There, data such as the company’s ID number or period for which the statement is submitted needs to be checked. A secondary benefit is the immediate response clients get. In this way, they know the documents they sent are in order in the space of 1 minute.

What problems did we address?

It was necessary to automate processing financial documents, which come from clients in various forms and structures and which took a lot of time to process manually by the MONETA Money Bank back office..

MONETA Money Bank required the automation and digitisation of defined types of input documents - financial statements. We had to automate the processing of approximately 1,500 cases per month. In this context, the bank received various types of financial statements from clients in different forms and structures - namely Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Statements and Tax Returns for natural persons and corporate entities. A large team of people was essential to manually process these documents. Information and data from these documents is manually transcribed into the core system. This leads to an assessment of creditworthiness in case of new clients or financial monitoring in case of existing clients.

The aim was to reduce the labour intensity of processing financial statements, together with the option of clients submitting financial statements directly to the bank. This would give the client immediate feedback about the status of processing the documents they have submitted.

Which solution did we choose?

We chose the DocumentAnts solution - a tool for the automatic extraction of data from financial statements, which saves significant time and eliminates errors through digitisation.

DocumentAnts by StringData has modules for the detection and extraction of machine-readable files such as Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Statements and Tax Returns for natural persons and corporate entities.

DocumentAnts can contextually search documents and perform selected business checks across individual documents thanks to its connection to the bank’s existing internal systems. The ability to contextually search documents resolved the problem of the highly variable design and layout of submitted financial statements.

DocumentAnts performs certain business checks to verify the accuracy of submitted financial documents based on extracted figures and acquired metadata. MONETA Money Bank and the StringData team defined a total of 25 business checks for the solution. These checks are used to evaluate the manner in which each incoming case is handled. Depending on the combination of checks, three processing methods can occur: automatic processing, manual processing by the MONETA Money Bank back office or the tool will return the case to the client who submitted the documents because they are incorrect in some way. 

In the context of the scalability, we can extend the use of the DocumentAnts tool to include other administrative operations at the bank and add other types of documents, e.g. processing payment orders, invoices, ID cards and other documents.

How did the project go?

The project brought excellent results. The solution currently processes 72% of cases automatically, without the need for human intervention; original staffing requirements for the back office department, which processes financial statements and documents, dropped to one quarter.

The digitisation of processing financial statements reduced the number of staff needed to handle these administrative operations by 75%. Another major benefit is the immediate feedback clients receive after uploading documents to the system. If there is insufficient information for automatic processing, DocumentAnts returns the specific case to the client for correction, depending on the type of discrepancy. Alternatively, the tool forwards the case to the back office for a manual check. The chosen solution has been fully integrated into MONETA Money Bank’s internal systems and they are considering extending the use of DocumentAnts to include other types of documents in the future.

Who was involved in the project?

The DocumentAnts team at StringData worked on the project in close cooperation with representatives from Moneta Money Bank’s IT and business departments.

Duration of the project

We began implementing the solution virtually as soon as the order was placed and cooperation was provided. The implementation of the project took place in three stages and we put the solution into operation within 4 months. The next 4 months were spent improving extraction algorithms.

Daňovka streamlines internal processes at KIWI.com

Employee income tax returns are prepared once a year. In practice, this means a short but challenging period, which places much greater demands on accountants and employees and increases error rates. Many payroll accountants dream of introducing automation for processing administrative operations relating to taxes. We tried to make one of these dreams come true with our Daňovka application in cooperation with Kiwi.com. Kiwi.com is one of the fastest growing companies in the world, making travel easier for millions of customers.

What problems did we address?

Signing a taxpayer’s declaration, better known as the income tax return or “pink form”, determines how the employee is taxed by the employer.

This short, but specific time of the year brings many complications.

Kiwi.com works with the external outsourcing company, Contract Administration, for processing payroll operations, which includes the delivery of documents. These administrative operations pose many problems relating to the inconclusive delivery of documents, lengthy tracking of paper declarations and other related documents on the part of the provider and the client.

Kiwi.com employs 1,000 people. Administrative operations processing annual accounts take place during one period of the year, which runs parallel to other day-to-day work. Unfortunately, there’s no room at the company to keep detailed records of submitted documents, so problems relating to this began to grow.

Which solution did we choose?

The payroll provider had the opportunity to see StringData’s presentation. They liked it so much that they introduced their colleagues at Kiwi.com to Daňovka and it didn’t take long for a request for its implementation to be made.

The deployment of Daňovka was quick and relatively easy. 

Kiwi.com now uses all the functionalities offered by Daňovka, including bulk emailing and step locking.

How did the project go?

The client employs around 1,000 end-users of Daňovka for whom the company processes annual accounts. Half of these are foreigners who require a higher level of support.  The option of help in Daňovka has reduced the time spent by the client advising its employees by up to half.

In addition to saving time, Daňovka offered another major advantage in the form of the option of remote processing, without the need for employees to be physically present at the workplace. 

The financial savings were not that impressive. However, the invaluable benefit lies in the improved quality and efficiency of the process. It has significantly improved transparency and simplified processes for employees who are not physically located in the Czech Republic. In the past, this took a lot of time and required cooperation between a number of people.

Now, only one person is required to perform these administrative operations full time. Previously, the payroll provider would come to the company for 10 days. Two people were present on the client’s premises for ten days taking part in meetings, receiving documents and providing consultation.

Kiwi.com and StringData continue to work together on the implementation of the client’s individual requirements, such as division into Tax Returns and Annual Accounts.

Who was involved in the project?

The StringData One Team worked on the project in close cooperation with representatives of the Kiwi.com payroll department.

The implementation of Daňovka took a total of 7 days.

Online application for arranging property insurance for Allianz

In 2017, Allianz chose StringData as its strategic partner for the creation of a new insurance portal. The aim was to modernise technology and at the same time increase the availability and security of the system.

In the context of the newly created platform, we implemented five applications for arranging insurance products (including life insurance and property insurance) and several supporting applications in parallel, such as re-implementing the system for the management of the insurance agent network. This highly successful project was near completion at the end of 2020. Feedback from Allianz and end users, who were hitherto employees of the internal sales network and cooperating agents, has been very positive. At the end of 2020, there were more than 13,000 active users and approximately 1,000 contracts concluded per day.

In early 2021, the company’s regional management presented another challenge in the form of a request for the implementation of newly designed, centrally integrated negotiation flows for arranging insurance. Eight countries in the region participated in this centrally managed project. The first product to be addressed in the context of this project was a web-based application for arranging property insurance for end clients.

The modernisation project was very successful and the client is very happy with the result. The online application for arranging insurance is available on Allianz website.

Why StringData?

When choosing a supplier, Allianz turned to StringData for several reasons. Based on our previous cooperation, Allianz had positive experience with StringData and, at the same time, it needed to align newly developed applications for arranging insurance with currently completed ones so they could run in parallel on the same backend layer.

The new modernisation project was a major challenge for StringData. We were given the opportunity to create a B2C product - an online application for arranging property insurance for end clients, which is crucial to the client’s core business activities.

What problems did we address?

Thanks to previous implementations and nearly four years of cooperation, it was clear how we would proceed in terms of technology, processes and communication. However, new challenges arose that needed to be confronted and resolved. The first was deadlines - after receiving project specifications, we had approximately two months to deliver a complete solution for UAT.

Another task was to meet the requirements for the new process, its visual design and method of operation. This was managed, monitored and validated on a regional level. The last, but no less important feature of the new solution was to maintain parallel operation. Both for the original and new solution with the option to process existing contracts in both these solutions. Another task was to enable the end client to complete an unfinished contract. The original solution offered a wider range of product configuration in this respect.

A very important step was the planned shutdown of the original application for arranging insurance. We planned to do this when we had developed a version of the application for arranging property insurance for the internal team and cooperating agents.

Which solution did we choose?

Thanks to our previous experience, knowledge of the product as such, functional communication with the client and a proven iterative solution method, we managed to meet set deadlines. Where necessary, we worked with representatives of business owners to operatively address the scope of the solution and possible simplifications to maintain business objectives.

Perhaps the biggest challenge was to meet centrally delivered process and visual requirements. These were often changed and supplemented over the course of development. Consultation with the internal team helped us here. They had previous experience with this cooperation and were able to arrange exceptions to regional requirements, where necessary, in cases which would have meant significant delays.

We were wholly responsible for ensuring compatibility, so we were least worried about this task. We decided to retain the original model. We extended this slightly and defined a set of transformation rules that would reflect the centrally designed process flow, thereby ensuring backward and forward compatibility.

How did the project go?

The whole project was a great success. Regional comments on the process and its visual design were successfully incorporated and data transformation was verified not only on the basis of automated tests, but also in the UAT phase. After 2.5 months of intensive development, we received permission to deploy from the client, although permission from the region was also required at this stage. Apart from StringData, only one other country in the region managed to complete the whole project in the timeframe planned by regional management.

We are pleased that the project was successful and that the client was happy with the result. StringData passed muster, or rather passed with distinction in international comparison. You can take a look at the result of our work on the Allianz website.

The modernisation of the agents’ version according to regional requirements is currently nearing completion and the original version of the application for arranging property insurance is planned to be switched off by the end of 2021.

Who was involved in the project?

Based on previous positive experience, the same StringData internal team behind the successful implementation of the Allfa platform worked on the project. And this with the same offshore team on the part of Allianz.

Modernisation of internal systems for the management of the insurance agent network at Allianz

The project for the reimplementation of applications for arranging insurance, which we began in 2017 after winning the tender, was finalised at the beginning of 2020. We received very positive feedback about this project, which is why we started looking at new areas with our client Allianz, and it wasn’t long before we focused on the modernisation of the company’s internal systems.

We have been working with the client’s representatives on their strategic modernisation plan for some time. This meant getting rid of a few applications. These were historically developed on platforms that are no longer supported today. However, these platforms represented key areas in terms of business operations. Due to requirements for the security and sustainability of further development, we had to replace these applications with new ones.

We replaced applications for the management of the insurance agent network and related administrative operations. For example, the management of offices, amendments to contracts, etc.

Why StringData?

The reason why the client chose our company for the implementation of this project was its many years of positive experience from previous cooperation. We managed to deliver all iterations on schedule and in the required scope in the framework of this relatively large project. And above all, without the need to increase the planned budget.

At the same time, administrative operations in the newly created solution were linked to the previous project. As the supplier, this gave us some insight into the business issues being addressed.

What problems did we address?

The first difference from previous, successfully implemented projects was the lack of an analysis of the required target state. In previous cases, this had always been prepared by representatives of the analytical team from the client’s product department. The only known specifications for the new project were to preserve the functionality of the applications being replaced.

Aside from identifying and describing essential user functions, it was necessary to decide where to incorporate these functions. Whether in a newly prepared application or to extend existing client-side systems to include these functions.

The last, equally critical area was the transition from existing applications to the newly created solution, both in terms of switching and redirecting users to the new application and migrating data to the new solution.

In contrast, we didn’t have to address the issue of chosen technology or our approach to development and project management in this case. Based on discussion with the client’s representatives, we agreed to proceed in the same manner in this area as the implementation of applications for arranging individual products. We also agreed that we would go by way of iterations validated by selected representatives of the client’s IT and business departments.

Which solution did we choose?

As there were no clear and detailed specifications, we first needed to identify all areas of modernisation during analysis, together with individual functionalities in these areas that needed to be retained from the applications being replaced. We then assigned owners to act on behalf of the client to these areas. We then conducted a number of workshops with them to discuss and analyse specific functionalities. The availability of source codes for the original applications helped us with specific proposals. A frustrating obstacle to these workshops was the inability to conduct them physically and manage discussions or explain things better in person.

An important approach that we opted for with the client was to focus on migrating existing functionalities only, with minimum enhancements compared to the solutions being replaced. A key innovation was to version all data in the system, thanks to which, for example, we defined changes from a specific date in the future and thus addressed, for example, the promotion of agents. Thanks to wireframes for the new application, which we created during analysis, we were able to give the client’s representatives a fairly accurate idea of what the target application would look like and how the application would work from the user’s perspective. This meant that we had a tool that we used to debug operation for the most part before commencing implementation.

A key task in the framework of analysis was to divide the required functionalities between the newly created solution and the client’s existing systems and applications. The transition to the newly created solution required two key things - to maintain the functionality of existing interfaces to surrounding systems and to simultaneously migrate data to the new solution. To ensure that data migration went well, we created a tool that enabled the whole process of migration to be performed repeatedly and to compare the performance of defined interfaces from the new system with the performance of interfaces from replaced systems. The identified differences were subsequently addressed with the client’s representatives. In this way, we iteratively fine-tuned correct data migration and the performance of defined interfaces.

How did the project go?

As planned, modernisation took place in two phases - the first two-week phase involved “shadow operation”, when users performed the same operations twice - in the solution to be replaced, which was still live, and in the new solution. This was relatively time-consuming from the client’s perspective, but it allowed us to refine data details. The second phase was pilot operation of the solution with above-standard support, followed by regular live operation.

We are glad that almost six months after deployment, we can now say that the project was a success and the client is very happy with the final solution and the process of replacing previous systems. Evidence of this is the fact that we have not dealt with any critical priority incidents that have caused the client problems or limited its business since the system went live. Expansion of the system and other administrative operations is currently underway.

Who was involved in the project?

The project involved the same StringData team that worked on the successful project for the redesign of applications for arranging insurance at Allianz; our partners on the client’s side were both business representatives and administrators of the original solutions being replaced and representatives managing integrated systems.