LifeInsure: Choosing a Product Administration System to Manage Their Product Lifecycle

Muma Case Review  •  Volume 2  •  2017  •  pp. 001-025
Joseph Bromer, Head of IT Solutions Delivery at LifeInsure Emerging Markets, deliberated on a challenge that he had just been given. TIBCO, a vendor supporting ObjectStar, notified LifeInsure that support for the application would cease at the end of 2017. ObjectStar was the Product Administration System (PAS) system used by LifeInsure. The ObjectStar platform was called Alpha and was used in over 200 applications. There were a number of risks, which added more pressure including the scarcity of skills and an aging workforce, but the key risk related to this was the lack of ongoing support.

LifeInsure PLC was a leading insurance company in South Africa. Long-term insurers formed a big part of the financial sector in the economy of the country. Most insurance companies like LifeInsure were dependent on the global economic growth which influenced the growth of their organizations. South Africa’s economy showed decline at the end of 2015. This impacted LifeInsure’s performance. An aging PAS contributed to slowing down product delivery and increased risk. Alpha was business critical to the organization. The Alpha platform was divided into Alpha 1, 2 and 3. Alpha 3 was the main PAS system which was used for their main product range within Retail Affluent South Africa. These platforms execute various functions and integrate with various systems internally and externally.

TIBCO formally proposed an option of migrating ObjectStar to their Business Works suite, including an automated coding port into Java. While TIBCO proposed migration as an option, noting that Java was trendy, LifeInsure had to make a very important decision. Should LifeInsure go with the solution of automatically porting, or should they explore other options, particularly for the core business applications? Whatever decision they made, it had to be future-fit for the organisation. Looking at these challenges, how should Joseph Bromer respond to this? In order to make an informed decision, it was clear that Joseph Bromer had to initiate an investigation into the PAS system that had been used by the business and the processes that underpinned this technology. It was important that the decision moved towards supporting the revised business strategy. The revised strategy was to move towards a center of excellence operating model. The product innovation department was working on a refreshed product strategy for the 3–core product ranges, which were: the protection range, savings range and the income range. Elements of these demanded that the right solution be sourced. These elements would allow for efficiencies enablement, giving rise to simpler product maintenance processes, service processes, sales processing, etc.
information technology, life insurance, product administration system, South Africa
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