Needed to give business partners access to OpenVMS-based insurance application.
Used Verastream to encapsulate host data and logic for online self-service solution.
- Reduced contact center agent response time for better partner/customer service.
- Cut incoming calls.
- Decreased operating expenses.
- Maintained competitive advantage and strengthened Tenet brand.
Founded in 1957, Tenet Insurance Company Ltd [formerly The Hartford Insurance Company (Singapore) Ltd] is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hwa Hong Corporation, a publicly listed company on the Singapore Stock Exchange. It offers a broad spectrum of services, including personal insurance and business insurance for small- and medium-size companies.
To give its partners an online self-service option, Tenet had to somehow integrate a critical back-end legacy application with a new front-end web application. It turned out that Attachmate® Verastream® was just the cost-cutting tool they needed.
Frustration on Both Ends of the Phone
Instant access to information has become an imperative for all players in the ever-shifting financial services and insurance industries. In fact, competitive advantage cannot be maintained without it. Here are some reasons:
- To provide accurate quotations, agents need customer claim histories, driving records, and account data.
- To determine fiscal reserves, actuaries need up-to-date information from the field.
- To process claims efficiently, agents need to get information to customers and service providers in a timely manner.
But as Tenet found out, providing real-time information could be a technological challenge. In the meantime, “the switchboard was constantly jammed up with callers,” said Mr. Lim Koon Chai, Tenet’s chief information officer. “Our contact center agents and underwriters could not possibly keep up with the unrelenting demands being made on them.”
Partners weren’t happy with the situation either. First they had to wait for their calls to be answered. Then they had to wait for a contact center agent or underwriter to retrieve the requested information—a frustrating experience from start to finish.
Blending Old and New
Given positive growth projections, Tenet executives knew they had to improve both service to their partners and internal working conditions. The challenge was doing so without increasing headcount or operational costs.
A web self-service system was the obvious answer. What wasn’t so obvious was how to give partners access to Tenet’s 12-year-old OpenVMS-based insurance application for accounting, ledgers, policy, and claims management. (Tenet staff had been accessing the host application via terminals and terminal-emulation software.) Without the wealth of information on this older back-end system, a new front-end application would be useless.
Then Mr. Lim discovered Verastream Host Integrator, a solution that encapsulates mainframe data and logic via the screen interface to participate in today’s service-oriented architectures. Verastream-generated services can be mixed, matched, and reused to extend legacy funtionality to new users or new applications. With Verastream, Mr. Lim was able to leave all business logic and data on the OpenVMS system, while reusing it to support the new web self-service application.
From Quotations to Policy Insurance
Today Verastream integrates the new web application with Tenet’s back-end insurance application. An outsourced payment gateway even provides the convenience of online credit-card payment. The result is a straight-through processing system that handles everything from quotations to policy insurance.
In building the web site, Tenet’s IT experts were able to sidestep the sequential flow of logic mandated by the OpenVMS application and create a more intuitive search process. They were also able to program underwriting rules directly into the web application. This allows partners, as well as Tenet contact center agents and underwriters, to quickly and easily accomplish these tasks:
- Get quotations for insurance policies.
- Generate proposals.
- Submit policies.
- Print policy schedules.
- Search for policies.
- Search for claims.
“Now partners can submit policies and download forms, account statements, and production reports right from their PCs,” said Mr. Lim. “That means they can complete their standard case business in record time, without ever picking up the phone. It also means that contact center agents and underwriters can focus on other priorities.”
The new site has dramatically improved partner service while decreasing the administrative load on Tenet contact center agents and underwriters. Incoming calls and operating expenses are down, too. “Verastream has become an important part of our corporate infrastructure,” Mr. Lim said, adding that the pressure to hire more employees to accommodate new business has disappeared.
According to Mr. Lim, the greatest benefit of the new system is the competitive advantage it brings. “Our ability to provide an efficient channel has raised Tenet’s profile as a service-oriented company,” he said. “That strengthens our bottom line as well as our brand equity.”
Whether your applications run on an IBM Mainframe (System z, S/390), IBM iSeries (AS/400), UNIX, HP e3000, or OpenVMS system, Verastream Host Integrator can help modernize them. It works by exposing business processes as web services, XML, Java, and .NET components that can be reused to build composite applications with a new look and feel. No changes to legacy-application code are required, so you can avoid risk while speeding up application integration, application development, and workflow enhancement.
Verastream Host Integrator is part of the Attachmate suite of legacy integration products that accelerate the reuse of legacy applications in service-oriented architectures. Verastream solutions provide a complete range of mainframe and web modernization—from basic rejuvenation to customized presentation and sophisticated high-performance integration.