Zurich Streamlines Global Life Insurance Business
Client: Zurich Financial Services
Challenge: Deploy a common business platform to enable easier and more cost effective entry into developing markets.
Solution: CSC’s LiFE/400 insurance processing platform for standardizing and industrializing global life insurance business on a single platform, supplemented by a regional hub approach.
Results: Quicker and easier entry into emerging markets, reduced costs, increased return on investment, as well as a top-five ranking among global insurers.
Being a global leader in any industry is a huge challenge, but adopting good business practices can make it a little easier. To expand into developing markets and reduce costs, a unit of Zurich Financial Services partnered with CSC to standardize its global life insurance business on a single technology platform. Zurich can now enter new markets more quickly and more easily use its vast resources throughout the world.
CSC’s LiFE/400 insurance processing platform enabled Zurich’s Global Life unit to set up regional hubs in locations such as Dublin, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong. We designed the platform so the hubs can customize offerings for their region, share functionality and remotely process business in other hubs.
This approach using a standardized global platform is unique in the insurance business and has helped Zurich become one of the top five insurers in the world.
A unique proposition
Zurich’s corporate strategy was to engage in an operational transformation by standardizing and industrializing their business operations. The operational model was to create processing hubs on each continent that service countries on that continent.
Zurich was looking for a partner who could help them not only transform and standardize global business processes, but who also had in-depth insurance expertise in all global markets. The company also needed experience in building information systems that support business in both mature and emerging markets.
“I have to have people I can trust to implement the strategy wherever, whenever we need it,” says Zurich Global Life CIO Mark Sheridan. “That sort of culture CSC has of staying on message allied with the fact that they had packages and services that were proven that we could use, and allied with the fact that they were prepared to support us all around the globe is almost a unique proposition to us. That’s why we chose CSC.”
CSC worked closely with Zurich to design and implement 88 standard insurance processes that can be reused by the hubs globally, for the company’s Global Life platform. We built a development methodology that allows code and functionality to be moved from hub to hub, significantly reducing development costs and time to market. Because the new platform had to work with existing infrastructure, we designed an integration architecture that enables rapid deployment at the hubs.
“It’s one thing delivering a large, complex project for a single client in a single location,” says CSC delivery director Philip Burke. “It’s an entirely different piece of business when you’re taking resources from around CSC and delivering a single solution that has components that can be reused and then delivering that back as a fully tested, quality solution to the client.”
We collaborated with Zurich to develop “insurance product components” that move products easily from one country to another, and created a “channel and balance sheet agnostic” insurance processing engine that can be swiftly connected to multiple sales channels. In this way, for example, Zurich can connect the Dublin hub to a German bank’s sales channel operating in Italy.
CSC’s LiFE solution provides the means for controlling all aspects of insurance policy administration. It facilitates setting up new lines of business by providing an architecture that enables the integration of disparate systems across an IT infrastructure.
With LiFE, standardized insurance processes are reusable across the world on a single platform. Zurich’s core capabilities have been architected to allow multiple streams to concurrently develop functionality for individual countries with the ability to harvest functionality and products developed for one hub to another.
Set-up costs have long been the most significant barrier to enter markets for insurance companies. By using the reusability of the Global Life platform, Zurich is entering the Mexican and Brazilian markets, two new countries in Europe, and three new countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
CSC developed a methodology that allows code and functionality to be ported from one insurance hub to another, significantly reducing development costs and time to market. We also formulated an “incubator approach” that allows Zurich to rapidly test new products in multiple markets and target development capital at successful ones. In addition, an insurance processing engine was created that can be swiftly connected to multiple sales channels in any territory through any technology.
The Global Life platform gives Zurich a standardized dashboard view of how well their business is operating in each country, allowing them to reliably direct capital investment to the most profitable opportunities. As evidenced by a significant increase in revenues and a robust return on investment, Zurich Global Life is reaping benefits from their business strategy as well as seeing large cost reductions after implementing the worldwide platform.
CSC account executive Bob Riddler concludes, “One CSC has been my mantra throughout this project, and that is about bringing the best we have to the client in the right place at the right time with the right skill set. If we can do that, there’s nothing that the company can’t achieve.”