International SAP Conference for Financial Services: Insurance Track Recap
Guest posting by Anton Tomic, Global Head of Strategy – Insurance, at SAP
The recent International SAP Conference for Financial Services in London, England brought together some of the world’s leading financial institutions to share the experience and knowledge. As one of the track owners, here is my recap of the insurance track highlights.
Dimitri van Dyck, Director Strategy, Governance and IT presented the transformation of the largest Dutch insurance company, Achmea, into an integrated and industrialized digital insurance company. Optimizing its processes based on LEAN principles and developing an end-to-end strategy, Achmea deployed HANA, Core Insurance, and SAP ERP. Further, in the spirit of co-innovation, Achmea and SAP launched an Insurance Industry Value Network in May at SAP’s Advisory Council to develop best practices for processes and architecture in the insurance world, and launched Solvency II and IFRS Solution Insurance Analyzer and Fraud Management in this year. With these initiatives, Achmea is expected to reduce over 2,000 IT systems significantly and IT costs by 30%.
Marc Inderfurth, Head of Investment Operations at Allianz Managed Operations & Services (AMOS), presented the Investment Management and Accounting (IMA) and Shared Reporting Program (SHARP) program. This program is based on SAP’s Finance and Performance Management solutions. Allianz has successfully deployed IMA and SHARP in many countries with plans to roll them out globally to streamline, standardize, and rationalize processes and IT systems. The key benefits are easier fulfillment of regulatory requirements and better Solvency II and group reporting/closing capabilities.
Allianz also rolled out a global reporting template and general ledger. The company runs SAP for the back office operations within finance, procurement, real estate management and human resources. Furthermore, Allianz currently is rolling out SAP’s cloud solution Success Factors globally to support streamlined and efficient talent management processes.
Roman Stein, Head of Global Finance Transformation and member of the extended Finance Executive Team @ Zurich Insurance, discussed their deployment of the business planning and performance management. He is supported by Patrick Broer who is the Senior Manager at Bearing Point and supporting Zurich Insurance with the deployment of the BPC roll out.
Zurich Insurance deployed an operational and management planning process, reporting system, and standard accounting platform for general ledger and accounting purposes to the regions and countries around the world. Zurich achieved standardized, harmonized and time and cost efficient processes starting with streamlined accounting processes, efficient cost allocations and performance management dashboard ensured by SAP’s Finance platform and Enterprise Information Management capabilities.
Boston Consulting Group
Dr. Stephan Heydorn, Senior Partner/Managing Director, is responsible for Global Insurance IT and Operations at Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Heydorn presented what digital means in the insurance industry and how new technology is being disruptive. Insurers will need to become more forward-looking, customer centric, automated, and integrated. The pressure to drive innovation to stay competitive is constant where anywhere, anytime and on the go access to services is the common standard. He showed how customers can build a digital transformation agenda based on best practices in the insurance industry and use cases. Achmea, Boston Consulting Group, and SAP developed a Digital Fitness Model where companies can assess their digital capabilities and define transformation initiatives; in doing so, they can define a digital strategy. He also introduced especially a couple of big data business cases and has shown how this can disrupt areas of the insurance business.
ING Nationale Nederlanden
Global player ING with its Dutch insurance company Nationale Nederlanden (NN) was one of the first movers in the adoption of SAP’s insurance solutions over a decade ago. Aart van der Vlist, CIO of Nationale Nederlanden, presented the implementation of SAP. Using an agile approach, it recently implemented the solution to its retail lines of business. Time to market for launching new insurance products in the life and pensions areas has improved from 6 weeks to days/a few weeks and IT and business efficiencies increased. On top of that, Nationale Nederlanden is implementing its Solvency II processes based on SAP’s Business Warehouse. SAP supports the transformation of ING Nationale Nederlanden especially in the core insurance and enterprise information management area.
Excellence in Finance and Risk
Luc van Velzen, Program Manager for Finance and Risk and Volker Mohr, Solution Manager for CFO and CRO solutions in the insurance space, discussed the launch of Insurance Analyzer, jointly developed by Achmea and SAP. Achmea is implementing the Insurance Analyzer as part of the reorganization of their processes and IT landscape in the Finance area. The Insurance Analyzer is embedded into the SAP Accounting for Financial Instruments architecture and allows insurers to run Solvency II and apply IFRS regulation on one single platform directly integrated with their General Ledger.