Sonic ESB Improves Integration, Updates for Insurance BPO
A leading provider of Business Processing Outsourcing to insurance companies, McCamish Systems, is streaming its complex and costly point-to-point B2B architecture using an ESB, and in the bargain is also improving flexibility and response time to its customers.
A leading provider of Business Processing Outsourcing to financial institutions, McCamish Systems, is streaming its complex and costly point-to-point B2B architecture using an ESB, and in the bargain is also improving flexibility and response time to its customers.
McCamish is using the Sonic ESB from Progress Software to reduce the complexity of integrating their BPO data and rules architecture with their client's corporate and end user web sites. In specific, McCamish's BPO offerings support many key functions associated with providing and managing insurance policies, including issuing new policies, billing, collection of premiums, customer account inquires and call center services, Sam Thomas, Executive McCamish's Vice President, Product Management told IDN.
"Most of our clients were moving to an SOA and web services architecture, integrating many different applications into their external Web site," Thomas said. But McCamish 's architecture wasn't taking full advantage of their services-based architecture because, as Thomas explained it, "we were actually creating little environments for every clients," and that was expensive and complicated to manage and easily update to keep pace with clients' needs.
Migrating to an ESB Architecture
In 2002, McCamish began implementing web services interfaces to move from batch to real-time connections to clients, but the BPO's overall architecture remained point-to-point between the BPO and each client," Thomas told IDN. "We found than an ESB could simplify that architecture, and give us a more flexible way to tie together multiple clients and [our] BPO services," he said.
Thomas explains the project's beginnings this way: "When we started, I really didn't know what an ESB was," he admits. "But, we knew we needed to build an infrastructure that would give us more control and flexibility over who was using what, and to always keep those connections up-to-date. One of our biggest problems used to be provisioning new and existing clients, and adding new ones."
After reviewing the problem set with several vendors, McCamish 's IT team proposed an ESB-based update to their infrastructure because it could cimply their process by providing a mediation layer between McCamish's BPO systems and the client integration points, and thereby simplify the process, Thomas said. "The services don't change must but the underlying data structure might change and more data being capabilities."
With the Sonic ESB project, McCamish now offers clients real-time access to data, and a highly configurable way to provide that data instantly to client websites for customer access. "The Sonic ESB allowed us to implement customer client business processes with zero manual effort. That is perhaps our biggest payback," Thomas added.
In fact, the project has turned out to be such a success, McCamish also launching an ESB-based project to allow its call center applications to be accessible to clients via a browser-based interface. The new project will allow call center workers to find information and answer questions quickly, which will save money and improve customer satisfaction.
McCamish also plans to work with Sonic on other client-facing integration programs, including exception handling to allow for even more granular and customized workflows between computers and human administrators.
Thanks to this current ESB project, Thomas said, "we've learned we can tap into even more improvements with orchestration and complex event processing, and provide our clients and our own company a lot more upside opportunities"