Amica Mutual Insurance Company Case Study IBM Software Group

decorumgroveInternet and Web Development

Aug 7, 2012 (5 years and 3 months ago)

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®


IBM Software Group

© 2006 IBM Corporation

Amica Mutual Insurance Company

Case Study

IBM Software Group

2

Business Challenge


Amica Mutual Insurance Company


Established in 1907 with headquarters located in Lincoln, RI


Oldest mutual insurer of automobiles in US, providing homeowners, marine and personal umbrella
insurance coverage nationwide


Employs over 3,000 employees in over 40 office locations and numerous regional offices across the
country



Core application dated and difficult to use


Primary application: Underwriting Data Entry


CICS 3270 based application is over 20 years old and difficult to use


Required extensive training for new personnel


Customer service representatives required to memorize many codes to navigate the system, often
resulting in slow service times



Goal to improve the user interface for core underwriting application



Ease training of new employees


Position IT architecture to move to a more Service Oriented Architecture approach


IBM Software Group

3

Previous Solution


Workstations connected to OS/390 via emulators


RUMBA® emulator installed on each workstation




OS/390


R2.10

CICS Transaction Server V1.3.0

DB2 V7.1.0

CL/SUPERSESSION V1.4.7

IBM Mainframe

Windows® 2000 Server

Microsoft® Terminal Services


Windows® XP Professional

RUMBA® V7.1

Workstations

HP ProLiant Server

IBM Software Group

4

Technical Challenges


Problems with previous solution from technical perspective



Difficult to meet changing business requirements with existing interface


Inability to add drop
-
downs


Inability to limit data entry options


Inability to create new process flows through the application such as fast
-
paths and “wizards” for
new employees



Existing technology interface did not position Amica well for potential legacy
modernization effort


Interim step required while researching the modernization of entire underwriting systems


Initial step should not be a complete throw away


Initial step can not take too long to develop



IBM Software Group

5

Alternatives Considered


Due to very aggressive timeframes to deliver, Amica settled quickly on IBM Host
Integration Solution



Internal experience with IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer used to develop for Host
Publisher solution


Internal experience with IBM WebSphere Application Server


Host applications are IBM CICS based


Amica’s solid relationship with IBM and support groups


Internal experience with Java to extend the Host Publisher JSP interfaces


Host Publisher solution fit well with the Amica Web Framework

IBM Software Group

6

New Solution


Transformation from green screen to web application occurred in two phases


Phase 1 deployed IBM WebSphere Host Publisher


Phase 2 deployed IBM WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services


WebSphere Host Publisher solution development


Used WebSphere Host Publisher Studio and WebSphere Studio Application Developer to transform
3270 Underwriting Data Entry application to web interface


All screen customization handled using WebSphere Host Publisher Integration Objects (IOs)


Used WSAD to develop code which dynamically generated unrecognized pages


New browser
-
based interface provided pull
-
downs instead of manually entering in appropriate codes


WebSphere Host Publisher solution deployment


Used WebSphere Host Publisher Server running on WebSphere Application Server


Microsoft
®

Internet Information Services used to authenticate users on the Amica network


Authorization controlled by an internal solution implemented in the 3270/CICS environment


Host Publisher application deployed into production for automobile line of business


Approximately 200+ screens converted


Project duration


1 year involving approximately 15 Amica IT staff members and services of IBM Business Partner,
Doug Piner now at Sirius Computer Solutions.

IBM Software Group

7

New Solution


WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services solution development


Migrated from Host Publisher solution to HATS V5


Fully deployed to all users


1500 users with 800 concurrent at peak


Leveraging both Host Publisher Integration Objects and HATS transformation functionality within the
HATS V5 product set


Application uses HATS Forward to URL feature to share the connection between Integration Objects
and screen transformations


Took advantage of HATS Function Key component


Removed the pre
-
HATS custom code and now use out of the box HATS functionality for non
-
converted screens


Completed the remaining lines of business


homeowners, personal excess liability and ocean marine



WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services solution deployment


Deployed HATS application to clustered WebSphere Application Servers


Microsoft
®

Internet Information Services used to authenticate users on the Amica network


Authorization controlled by an internal solution implemented in the 3270/CICS environment


Project duration


6 months involving approximately 15 Amica IT staff members.




IBM Software Group

8

New Solution Architecture

z/OS


V1.4

CICS Transaction Server


V2.2

DB2


V7.1.0

CL/SUPERSESSION V1.4.7

TN3270E

IBM Mainframe

Windows® 2003 Server

WebSphere Host Access Transformation
Services


V5

WebSphere Application Server cluster


V5.1.1

Microsoft® Internet Information Services


V6.0

Amica Web Framework

Windows® XP Professional

Microsoft® Internet Explorer
-

V6.0

RUMBA®
-

V7.3

4 HP ProLiant Servers

Workstations

Windows® 2000 Server

Resonate Central Dispatch
TM

4.0h

IP Persistence

HP ProLiant Server

List of Values (LOV) database contains the strings for populating the drop
-
down lists

IBM Software Group

9

Key Technical Benefits


Technical aspects of HATS solution


Leveraging modern IDE to develop new interface to mission critical business application


Ability to enhance application interface with drop
-
downs with restricted lists to minimize
data entry errors


Scalable solution to meet full deployment requirements


Added three application servers to support full deployment for both load balancing capacity and
failover scenarios


Move to HATS and z/OS eliminated screen settling issues with phase 1 solution


Host Publisher and OS/390 did not support RFC2355 for contention resolution


Screen settling issues required timers which impacted performance



Key Components

Software



IBM WebSphere Host Access Transformation Services



WebSphere Application Server

Servers



HP ProLiant DL380G



IBM zSeries 2064 Model 105

IBM Software Group

10

Key Business Benefits


Improved user interface


Browser based versus “green screen”



Drop
-
down support


Reduces the application training cycle for new hires


words instead of codes


Enabled improved call center and cross
-
region handling of underwriting calls through the exploitation
of state specific drop
-
down lists



Dynamic screen rendering of supporting applications


Users are able to stay in the browser session without jumping back and forth to green screen for
supporting application functions



Application training for core system has been reduced


Instead of shrinking the training duration, Amica uses the time gained to enhance training for other
supporting applications such as their CRM system



IBM Software Group

11

HATS in Action


Screen Shot
-

Before


IBM Software Group

12

HATS in Action


Screen Shot
-

Transformed

IBM Software Group

13

Deployment Experience


The Good


Business sponsorship


This was critical to the success of our project


We had full,
visible

support from senior management.



Solid team work


Project involved many parts of the IT organization, business users and external consultants all
working together to design the new look and feel of this mission critical application



Leveraged existing skills in Java development


Very important since we had aggressive timeframes


Utilized our Amica Web Framework and development processes to jump start the project



External resources brought in for specific tool expertise


Ensured we would not stumble with learning the Host Publisher tool set


External partner had direct contacts with IBM if issues arose

IBM Software Group

14

Deployment Experience


The Bad


What problems did you have with deployment?


Higher level of “resistance” of experienced, extremely productive business users to switch to the new
interface


High proficiency with existing green screen application interface through code memorization initially made them less
productive in the new browser based interface


IT support costs increased to maintain both the green screen and web applications


Needed to be considered along with overall benefit of application modernization and savings gained elsewhere


How could problem have been alleviated?



Improved “PR” during the early deployments


sell the system benefits


Shift staff workloads to afford users additional time to get comfortable with the new application


How was it fixed once discovered?


Developed tips and techniques to ease the transition


Publish and communicate short cut navigation techniques


Issued a mandated full deployment timeline


Users were given additional opportunities to try out the system


Eventually removed access to green screen application


Any recommendations for what you would recommend others do differently?


Do not underestimate the resistance to change within your organization


Be prepared to shift workloads if necessary to ease the transition

IBM Software Group

15

A Success Story


A major North American insurance company
enables better customer service and simplified
training for new employees when its uses IBM
WebSphere Host Access Transformation
Services (HATS) V5.0 middleware to migrate its
legacy application to a Web
-
based interface.



Enabled improved call center and cross
-
region
handling of underwriting calls through the
exploitation of state specific drop
-
down lists.



Future application enhancements include
expanding our use of custom fast
-
path flows
such as the “New Business Auto” flow driving
the user through a defined set of pages to assist
with our new employee training processes.



"We are very happy with our
selection of the HATS solution.
The revitalization of our
mission
-
critical underwriting
legacy system was
accomplished in record time,
delivering a quick return on
investment. As always, IBM's
product support groups were
key to the successful
deployment of our Host
Publisher
-
based system."


--

Peter Moreau,

Assistant Vice President, Amica