Publicerad: 7/16/2007
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Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari Leading Insurer Boosts Productivity, Cuts Costs with Quickly Developed Mobile Solution

Leading Romanian insurer Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari needed to provide its field staff with real-time access to its enterprise applications. Without access to current customer data, the field employees could not accurately calculate premiums for offers or determine whether customers had valid claims. The company decided to give its field staff Windows Mobile® powered devices. In October 2006, it began developing a client application to connect the devices to the company’s internal systems by using the Microsoft® .NET Compact Framework. The project was completed in just one month. Today, field employees get the information they need to make accurate offers and notify claims, saving the company money and improving accuracy. Productivity has risen by 30 percent and costs have fallen 20 percent by eliminating duplicate data entry, and the company has a solution it can extend in the future.

Situation

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* With our Windows Mobile solution, we have increased our productivity by 30 percent and decreased costs by 20 percent by eliminating duplicate data entry.  *
Marius Balica
Chief Information Officer
Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari
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Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari is a privately owned insurance company headquartered in Bucharest, Romania. A market leader in Romania, the company sells both life insurance and property and casualty insurance, and it employs more than 2,000 people.

From 2002 to 2005, Allianz-Tiriac consolidated its infrastructure and rewrote its existing enterprise applications by using the Microsoft® .NET Framework. Although this change provided employees and customers with easy access to information, not everyone at the company benefited: Sales and service teams who work remotely were unable to access customer profiles and other key information from the company’s databases in real time.

“We wanted a sales force that was mobile and connected,” says Marius Balica, Chief Information Officer, Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari. “Our sales people needed up-to-date information about our customers to make correctly priced offers.”

Issues with Offers

Because insurance premiums are based on the risk that the company assumes in extending coverage, sales people needed key information to correctly assess risks and calculate premiums. They needed to know a customer’s claims history, relationship to other customers, and other risk factors. Without this data, sales people sometimes made inaccurate offers that, once accepted, were legally binding and could not be reversed. Because Allianz-Tiriac had to offer the insurance at the incorrect price, the company could potentially face large losses if claims were filed on those policies.

What’s more, each type of insurance required access to different data sets. For example, when company representatives provide a quotation for car insurance, they need to consider both the current value of a vehicle and the value of a new car. Until recently, a sales person either had to carry a 10-pound catalog that showed the prices for all the makes and models of vehicles, or the sales people had to call the local call center to get those values.

Similarly, when issuing insurance quotations for a building, sales people needed to consult a large catalog that showed the risk zones for natural catastrophes like landslides, floods, and earthquakes.

Problems with Claims

The company's claims representatives were disadvantaged, as well. Without access to customer profiles, claims inspectors often did not know if customers were paying premiums on time, if they had made recent claims, or if they were on a “black list” for insurance fraud. As a result, some claims were paid that should have been denied.

 For example, on some auto policies, Allianz-Tiriac allows policyholders who have been in accidents to get immediate repairs to their cars. But this service is supposed to be available only to policyholders who have paid their premiums on time—information that field employees often lacked. “Customers who owed us money were getting a free pass to the repair shop,” says Balica.

Other Needs

What’s more, Allianz-Tiriac needed its field personnel to carry cameras and take photos of cars and other personal property. “In Romania, insurance companies, by law, must take photos of property when it is insured,” says Balica. “The photo is included in the company’s database with other relevant information, to show the item's condition when the policy was issued.” This record helps prevent insurance fraud.

The company also wanted to streamline operations and eliminate the inevitable errors that occurred when information was reentered by data-entry operators at the home office from policies, offers, or claim notifications. Security issues were a concern, as well, because the company did not want customer or company data falling into the wrong hands.

Given all of its needs, the company began looking for a mobile solution that would work with its .NET-connected infrastructure and that would give its field personnel ready access to the company’s enterprise applications.

Solution

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* The development was two or three times faster than with any other system. The Windows Mobile productivity tools from Microsoft helped.  *
Paul Petre
.NET Developer
Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari
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From the beginning, the IT team at Allianz-Tiriac planned to use the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework to bring its field employees onto its internal network. The majority of the company’s programmers were experienced with the .NET Framework and with C#® programming environments, as well as with Windows® operating systems. Allianz-Tiriac had been among the first companies in Romania to do a .NET implementation.

“With our backgrounds, we thought it would be relatively easy to program for Windows Mobile® 5.0,” says Paul Petre, .NET Developer, Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari. “And Microsoft provides a lot of productivity tools for developers, so Windows Mobile was an obvious choice.”

“We also wanted online connectivity that would keep data in the field in sync with the data on the computers back at the main office,” says Adrian Ene, .NET IT Manager, Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari. The company specified that the devices include a camera, so the field employees would be able to take photos of insured items, as required by law.

Having reviewed all of its needs, the company purchased 470 Windows Mobile powered devices—split between E-ten M600+ and Qtek 9000 models—and in October 2006 the development team started to work on programming for the solution. The 11-person team developed a client application for the devices that uses Web services to connect with the company’s main systems over the Internet.

In November 2006, the IT team extensively tested the devices before deploying them, and now use them with Orange wireless services. “We had no problems,” says Ene. “The .NET Compact Framework worked very well for our Windows Mobile deployment. It didn’t seem to matter how many users that we added.”

Benefits

Allianz-Tiriac is already seeing many positive results from its Windows Mobile solution, which it developed and deployed in a very short time. Sales and service people in the field have ready access to all the information that they need. The company is saving money on claims, and employee productivity has increased. Customer satisfaction has increased, as well, with the accelerated offer and claims processes. Security has been enhanced, and the insurer is well positioned to extend its solution in the future.

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* The .NET Compact Framework worked very well for our Windows Mobile deployment. It didn’t seem to matter how many users that we added.  *
Adrian Ene
.NET IT Manager
Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari
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Gained Quick Access to Information

Today, everyone at Allianz-Tiriac has ready access to corporate applications and key customer data whenever they need it—even the people in the field. “Now, sales people can make appropriately priced offers to customers, because they have all the information they need to correctly calculate risks,” says Balica. What’s more, the employees can get this information instantly without having to pack along a 10-pound catalog.

Saving on Non-Valid Claims

Claims inspectors have benefited from the ready access to information, too. Allianz-Tiriac is already experiencing savings in this area. “The customers who have paid their premiums can still go directly to a garage for repairs,” says Balica. “But now, because the claims people can check a customer’s profile in real time, we are only paying legitimate claims.”

Increasing Productivity and Decreasing Costs

Allianz–Tiriac gained another huge advantage from its mobile solution: the data collected in the field is entered only once. “With our Windows Mobile solution, we have increased our productivity by 30 percent and decreased costs by 20 percent by eliminating duplicate data entry,” says Balica. The company has also eliminated the time required to attach photos to policy offers, as well as the mistakes introduced by manual processes.

Accelerated Development by Two-to-Three Times

One important reason that the IT team at Allianz-Tiriac chose the Windows Mobile solution was that it only took about a month to develop. “The development was two or three times faster than with any other system,” says Petre. “The Windows Mobile productivity tools from Microsoft helped.” Petre specifically cited the Mobile Client Software Factory, Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 development system, Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 Mobile Edition database software, and the integrated Windows Mobile 5.0 in Visual Studio 2005, which made the task much easier throughout the application design, development, and testing cycles.

Eliminating Delays and Improving Accuracy

The speed with which the company can process offers and claims has also increased. Customers can sign an offer or claims notification on the touch screen of the mobile device, where it can be immediately sent to the company. Claims inspectors can also collect information, pictures of the damaged insured items, and the signatures, and send it all in an instant to the core system. The customers then receive an instant confirmation by e-mail message—which also acts as a double-check that the data was entered correctly. As a result of these new processes, customer satisfaction has risen.

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* In the beginning, we thought that we knew all the good outcomes from our Windows Mobile solution. But every day we are discovering more.  *
Marius Balica
Chief Information Officer
Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari
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In addition, by using mobile devices that include a camera, the sales and claim force only need to carry one device. And because the photos are attached to the relevant information from the beginning, the company no longer has to deal with late, incorrect, or misleading photos.

Providing a High Level of Security

In addition to the security features built into Windows Mobile 5.0, Allianz-Tiriac finds its mobile devices help it keep client and company data secure. “All of the client and core business information is stored in our back-end databases, not on the devices,” says Ene. “If a device is stolen, we only have to disable it from a list of permitted equipment. And by not deploying the business applications on the devices, we save money while providing our employees with the latest versions.”

Putting a System in Place for the Future

The Windows Mobile solution that Allianz-Tiriac put in place will help the company not only in the near-term, but also in the future. The company plans to move soon from IBM Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and the Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 messaging and collaboration client for its e-mail message system. “That should help everyone in the company, including the people who are using the mobile devices,” says Ene.

In addition, the insurer is working on a project to extend the value of its mobile solution with the global positioning system (GPS) feature embedded in its devices. The company plans to collect and map its policyholders’ locations at the time of risk assessment. Among other things, this mapping could help the company alert policyholders by e-mail or text messages in the event of a pending disaster. It could also help it pay claims and assess potential losses faster. Proactively, the system could aid in advising customers of potential risks or in targeting the marketing of specific products.

With the anticipated mapping project, Allianz-Tiriac predicts that more opportunities are yet to come. “In the beginning we thought that we knew all the good outcomes from our Windows Mobile solution,” says Balica. “But every day we are discovering more.”

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
 www.microsoft.com

For more information about Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari products and services, call +40 2082 300 or +40 742 22 54 22, or visit the Web site at:
www.allianztiriac.ro

Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile brings the power of the Windows® operating system to mobile devices, helping businesses and their mobile employees stay connected while on the go. Windows Mobile runs mobile versions of Microsoft programs, including Microsoft Office Outlook® Mobile, Internet Explorer® Mobile, Pocket MSN®, Windows Media® Player Mobile, and Microsoft Office Word Mobile, PowerPoint® Mobile, and Excel® Mobile. With Windows Mobile, information workers get powerful software combined with the familiarity of Windows. Combined with available service plans and connectivity options, Windows Mobile–based devices, available from 42 device makers and 68 mobile operators in 48 countries, can be used to make calls, send e-mail and instant messages, surf the Web, and access critical business information even when users are away from the office.

More information about Windows Mobile can be found at:
www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published July 2007
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Företagsstorlek
450 anställda

Företagsinformation

Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari, part of the Allianz Group of companies, established in 1994, is a leading life and property and casualty insurer in Romania, with more than 2,000 employees.


Utgångsläge

The insurance company needed a way to provide real-time information about customers to its sales force and claims service teams while they were working in the field.


Lösning

Allianz-Tiriac deployed devices powered by Windows Mobile® 5.0, which provides its sales and claims teams with easy access to the company’s enterprise applications, including customer profiles.


Fördelar
  • Gained quick access to information from the field
  • Increased productivity by 30 percent
  • Decreased costs by 20 percent
  • Accelerated development by two to three times

Hardware
  • Eten M600+, Qtek 9000 mobile devices
  • P590 IBM database server
  • IBM X Series servers

Program & tjänster
  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
  • Microsoft .NET Compact Framework

Industri(er)
Insurance

Land
Romania

Språk
English