General Background

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30 Ιουλ 2012 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 5 μήνες)

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General Background


UK Life Company result of multiple mergers late 90’s




Commercial Union



General Accident



Provident Mutual



Norwich Union


This drove a significant legacy estate


500 + systems required to support business


Business function often replic
ated across multiple systems


eg 4 Commission
management systems


Over 25% of UK Life total expense attributed to cost of operating IT and delivering
change (against industry benchmark of 15%
-

20%
-

Winchester White)


The cost of Business Change and IT o
perations increasing due to




Overly complex architecture and point
-
to
-
point integration



Multiple, proprietary development languages



Support and performance issues for several key applications



Complex and ageing applications



Each solution is a hand
-
crafted

end
-
to
-
end development. Lack of
functional re
-
use means each new channel or product we develop is as or
more complex than the last.



Increasing (organic) complexity created longer lead times for analysis,
development and testing



Support / maintenance cos
ts increase to due to divergence and
proliferation


The underpinning technical infrastructure also drove additional cost




Technology diversity and complexity



Funding model led to tactical solutions



Several single points of failure



Lack of transparency of c
osts


The available spend was being consumed increasingly by mandatory / regulatory
change and maintenance leaving little budget for business transformation


Specifically with eCommerce


in 2005


eCommerce depended upon the legacy systems with their issu
es described above


Pragmatism had driven the consolidation of all eCommerce front ends to a single
platform based upon Microsoft technology





Windows 2000 / 2003 Server



IIS



Applications built in MS VBScript



But
-

Norwich Union was (still is) a number
of years behind competitors


Lack of basic self service for both Policyholder and Distributor, for example




Limited ability to value products



Basic new business tracking for advisors



No online tools to support customers in their financial planning



Signific
ant online ‘proposition gaps’


eg no Customer Portal



Poor and variable service coverage (hours of service)


Costs for delivering a ‘revamped’ eCommerce capability were prohibitive with the
existing platforms.


The Opportunity



From 2006 thru 2008 saw a s
ignificant investment in IT simplification




Rationalisation of back office systems


eg migration of all IPP to single
platform (Unisure)



Outsourcing of administration of millions of ‘legacy’ policies to Admin Re


Resulting in the rationalisation and close
down of hundreds of back office / contract
administration systems


This leaves a somewhat simplified estate


but the underlying problems remained


driving increased development and maintenance costs


The targeted simplified estate created an opportunity
to address these concerns. We
didn’t want to organically build more complexity again


having just spent millions
removing some it


Fixing the front end


In 2006 we targeted the front end development


specifically we wanted to increase
productivity and re
duce time to market through simplification and reuse




Selected WebSphere Application Server over .Net Server
-

close call but

o

existing ESSO agreement with IBM

o

WebSphere was gaining momentum in other parts of group


Considered building our own development
framework but IBM introduced us to
Bowstreet (Portlet Factory) which promised to give us significant productivity
benefits (c30%)




Increased reuse


both out of the box and custom built builders
-

common
patterns



Configuration rather than coding



Reduction
in technical skill requirements



Services Oriented Architecture Approach


We initiated the Group wide Pioneer programme with the aim of delivering a new
innovative products using new and innovative delivery methods and technology. This
was executed in a ‘
test and learn’ approach


This was an opportunity to extend the WebSphere front end with a




Service Oriented Architecture and



Single, customer oriented view of customer holdings


To this end we chose to integrate the new WAS / Portlet Factory based front e
nd with




WebSphere Process Server



WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus



WebSphere Customer Centre


This allows us, over time, to




Address the complexity and costs of point to point integration



Drive standardisation and reuse



Increase speed to market by buildin
g applications from existing components



Reduce cost of maintenance


We have subsequently used the architecture and infrastructure delivered by Pioneer
on 7 further, significant, business applications including:




Online Income Drawdown proposition


deliver
ed end to end in record time



A significant online Corporate Pensions capability that includes an innovative
use of technology to create an engaging customer experience
(www.control
yourpension.com)



A single, consolidated view of customers policies availabl
e to advisors online
and to internal customer facing staff



A policyholder website to support the reattribution of the Inherited Estate



The Corporate Benefits programme has further extended the WebSphere
architecture to include




WebSphere Portal Server



We
bSphere Workplace Content Manager


Benefits


Reduced cost of development



30% design and build productivity in the front end realised (vs VB6 )



Reuse of enterprise services lowers development, test and maintenance
costs


early days but

o

67 Services in produ
ction a further 61 in development

o

125 instances of enterprise service reuse



Reuse of portlets across multiple deliveries



Delegation of content management to lower cost non IT resource



Portal Server allows clear separation of look and feel from functionalit
y which
has significantly reduced the cost of impending Aviva rebrand


Other less tangible benefits include




Improved employee satisfaction and morale through use of latest technology



Lower service risk as platform has been built with redundancy



Its not
been pain free?


We have faced significant hurdles


Immaturity of some of the products

o

Large numbers of PMRs raised along the way


WPS especially

o

Extended resolution times


11 months for one PMR

o

Interoperability of IBM products often complex


Upgrade pa
ths for some WebSphere products complex with many product
interdependencies (eg WPS 6.01 to 6.1)

o

We have had to forgo some functional capabilities of later versions

o

Support issues with IBM


“you need to upgrade”

o

Culminating in the need for a large (costly
) project to deliver upgrades to
latest supported versions


We assumed that buying IBM front to back would ensure easier integration but

o

Little end to end support from IBM


even when pushed hard

o

Lack of consistency from IBM about problem resolution, produ
ct roadmaps
etc

o

No experts in our configuration


we had to ‘knit together’ IBM product
expertise ourselves

o

One part of IBM would ‘sign off’ designs for another part of IBM to criticise the
design at a later stage when problems surfaced

o

Difficult to engage

with IBM and find someone who would ‘own’ our issues
this was at a technical and relationship level


We have had difficulty building stable and consistent environments due to the
complexity and almost continuous changes to apply.


We significantly underes
timated the effort required to tune all aspects of the platform
to work efficiently


We still have not managed to usefully deploy some of the supporting tools for
example Business Monitor and Business Modeller due to technical constraints

These issues were

constant and intrusive and more than once resulted in the entire
platform being questioned by Senior Executives.



However the WebSphere platform continues to be a strategic platform for
developing and deploying eCommerce applications:


We are building a
significant Advisor Portal
-

ground up


with support from Open
Logic


We have just started developing a Customer Portal for individual policyholders which
we expect to initially support 45k new registrations and 290k customer transactions a
month


Over th
e next 12
-
24 months we will

o

further extend the number of enterprise services available for reuse

o

Invest significantly in the infrastructure

o

Latest supported versions of product set

o

Standardised and consistent environments

o

Scalable in line with our eCommer
ce ambitions

o

Deliver
all
new eCommerce propositions on the WebSphere product set