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Cost-Effectively Delivering a Mission-Critical Application into a Live IT Environment

July 21, 2020

Industry
  • Insurance (Marine)
Information
  • HQ: Luxembourg
  • 51-200 employees
Use case
  • Full spectrum of testing (functional, automation and performance)
  • All types of migration (data, policies, trading certificates, )
  • Management information (MI) reports and dashboards
Challenge
  • Testing mission-critical application
  • Migrating vital data, existing policies and trading certificates
Adrosonic Services
  • Digital Assurance (full spectrum of testing and quality assurance)
  • Strategic Consulting
Results
  • Substantially reduced unit costs for application testing and quality assurance
  • Recommended and implemented ETL solution (Talend)
  • Developed MI reports and dashboards

The Shipowners’ Club (the Club) is a mutual marine liability insurer, providing protection and indemnity insurance for small and specialist vessels since 1855. The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs and works with more than 600 brokers globally to insure over 32,000 vessels across a range of operating sectors and geographical areas. The Club is one of 13 P&I clubs that make up the International Group, insuring over 90 percent of the world’s tonnage.

As   one   of   the   oldest    P&I    clubs, Shipowners’ understands what vessel owners need most from their liability insurance—stable premiums, tailored coverage and a swift, sympathetic response to claims. The Club works closely with their brokers and members  to provide tailor-made insurance packages for each operator.

Finding an adaptable, responsive consultant

In  2014,  the   Club   embarked   on   a   project   to modernize its applications, and in  particular,  its policy administration system—the IT foundation for the company’s business.  To  ensure the rewritten application would be delivered to the organization as smoothly as possible, the Club needed to test it extensively.

Because it’s  a  large  program,  automation  of test cases  was  a  key  requirement  to  ensure  the regression cycle  could  be  automated  and run overnight,   thereby   saving   manual    work. In addition, performance testing of the  application would be important to ensure end users would not encounter performance-related issues   while  using     the     application.     To meet these requirements, the Club needed to augment their testing resources.

“Previously, we were not getting the consistent results we wanted when we went live with IT changes,” says Mark Hamblin, Head of IT, The Shipowners’ Club, “and that was eating away at the organization’s confidence in our IT systems. We also felt we were taking up too much of our end-users’ time doing detail testing. We needed  to find a way to cost-effectively deliver into our live environment changes that met our users’ requirements and made systems work as expected.”

Regarding their search for a consulting organization to augment their resources, Hamblin says, “We wanted to find a consultant who would adapt to our needs, be responsive, be able to handle a full range of testing types, and make the effort to understand our business so they could add value beyond the immediate assignment. Adrosonic demonstrated those qualities from the beginning.”

Managing the entire testing process

 Adrosonic’s first assignment from the Club was therefore for  additional  testing.  Adrosonic examined the Club’s new policy administration system and recommended approaches  for functional testing, automation testing and performance testing. Also, based on the Club’s user requirements, system scale, number of users, and other factors, Adrosonic recommended tools for  test management, defect tracking, automation and performance. Adrosonic successfully delivered  on the requirement for automation of testing by delivering a reusable and  scalable  hybrid automation framework.

“We realized a significant unit cost benefit along with high-quality assurance by working with Adrosonic resources,” says Hamblin. “I’d estimate the savings in the cost of delivering comparable functions was on the order of 30 or 35 percent.”

Hamblin adds that although cost savings is an important reason for the decision to partner with an offshore firm, other factors matter as well. “The quality of the work must be as good or better than onshore quality, and the commitment  to  listen, adapt and deliver must be there. Adrosonic has shown themselves willing to do those things throughout the engagement.”

Adrosonic now does more than 85 percent of the testing for the Club and manages all aspects of the test process, including system testing, integration testing, database testing, and management information (MI) application testing. Says Hamblin, “Partly because of the testing work they’ve done, everyone in the organization is now much more confident that the changes we introduce will work as expected.”

From offshore partner to strategic partner

 During four  years  of  working  together,  the  Club’s requirements have  changed  and Adrosonic’s  capabilities   have   evolved,   leading to a stronger and more extensive relationship

—Adrosonic has  evolved  from  an  offshore partner to a strategic partner.

In that role, they researched the challenge of migrating insurance policy information, trading certificates and vital data from the legacy policy administration system to the new one, and proposed using an ETL tool as the best approach. Adrosonic also vetted ETL providers and recommended Talend as the best fit. Once the  Club adopted that recommendation, Adrosonic proceeded to manage all phases of the Talend deployment, including planning,  architecture design and development.

Other assignments Adrosonic has successfully completed include developing a Web-based MI application for the Club’s senior management, and the Club has now engaged them to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which will be integrated with the back-end underwriting application. Adrosonic will also be developing custom portals for insurance brokers in the near future, which will become a strategic application and competitive differentiator for the Club.

Making sure IT is a success factor

 “Technology is playing a much bigger role in the insurance industry,” says Hamblin, “and it’s the source of much disruption. We’re focused on how to use technology to automate, reduce costs and deliver services via new channels. Clearly, leveraging technology is vital to any insurer’s continuing success, and we’ll be looking to Adrosonic to help us to deliver important applications and changes, hopefully long into the future.”

“Summing up the overall relationship, Hamblin says,

“We’re very satisfied with Adrosonic and the work they do for us. The real measure of satisfaction with a consultant is this: If you call them with an issue, can you be confident they’ll find a solution quickly? With Adrosonic, we have that confidence.”

 

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