Intelligent Interface for Product Tables - Whitepaper


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An interface build-up of automated processes to create and maintain Product Tables for every insurance product.

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Intelligent Interface for Product Tables - Whitepaper

  1. 1. Intelligent Interface An interface build-up of automated processes to create and maintain Product Tables for every insurance product. Sheilza Gupta NIIT Technologies White Paper
  2. 2. CONTENTS Introduction 3 Commission Product Tables 3 Conventional Process - Doing it ‘Manually’ 3 Challenges Associated with Conventional Approach 4 Need of an Intelligent Interface 4 How does NIIT Technologies Solution Work 4 Advantages of using Automated Approach 5 Challenges Associated with the Automation 5 Comparison of Manual Vs Automated Process 5 Conclusion 6
  3. 3. INVESTMENT FINANCE CAPITAL BANKING INVESTMENT WEALTH FINAANCE MARKET INVESTMENT FINANCE CARGO CAPITAL ECONOMICS FINANCE REVENUE REVENUE MATKET INVESTMENT CAPITAL CAPITAL ECONOMICS MARKET FINANCE Introduction In this challenging economic environment, financial service providers are under constant pressure to achieve their targets by selling their products to their customers via the producers (also termed as ‘agents’). The growing market of insurance has compelled these financial biggies to not only satisfy their customers by giving them good Realizing the fact that an intense mix of the products are launched in the market today, there has come a need to simplify and accelerate the process of creation and maintenance of various product related tables - which define and explain every aspect of any new product launched in the market from an agent’s perspective. To support this business need, the underlying IT landscape needs to have a rapid transformation. service and pocket saving products, but also to entertain their agent sales force by giving them good compensation, bonuses on meeting thresh holds, special rewards etc. This white paper aims at helping the financial organizations with an Intelligent Interface, which is comprised of various automated tools and will be capable to cater the ever changing requirements in the These agents may be hooked up with the company either directly (by being an employee) or indirectly (may be doing business via a lifetime of financial products and also help in streamlining the product build process and take it on a fast track. broker- dealer). But trust me, maintaining this huge force of agents requires a lot of tasks for the underlying IT landscape to do in order to maintain, manipulate and implement very huge logs of data. This Commission Product Tables data may contain the commission rates provided to these agents at Commission product tables are generally stored in form of relational several points during the lifetime of the product, or may contain the database and contain various commission patterns for agents who bonuses that some agents will be rewarded with when they meet sell insurance products for any organization. their sales targets. This data may also contain the rules that will apply to the agents and their compensations, if there is a lapse, These tables are referenced by the commission engine to calculate cancellation or termination happening to any product. the amount of compensation (which includes the commission, any bonuses etc.) that should be generated for a given agent at any time Whenever a new product is launched into the market, there are during the lifecycle of a product. several details associated with that product that need to be coded in the background in form of product tables, so that the IT teams are able to cater the product throughout its life. These background tasks include creation of Compensation Rate tables, Asset-based tables, Bonus tables, general Product Rule tables etc. Now, since we are talking about the finance industry, therefore, Compensation Rate tables tend to be one of the most crucial ones out of these, because, the agents are to be paid off using the rates present in Conventional Process of Creating and Maintaining the Product Tables – Doing it ‘Manually’ When doing it manually, the whole process of build of the product tables can be broken down into the following phases: these tables. 3
  4. 4. Data Acquisition: The data required for theproduct tables is This interface should also hit the missing point in the conventional acquired from the product build team which involves: process. It should conduct a detailed validation of the soft data — Actuaries - who actually design the product and evaluate the with the hard data and then implement this data into production various costs associated with the product. with minimal manual intervention. — Compliance team - which makes sure that the product, satisfies every legal obligation. Data Mapping: The business teamprepares ‘Master Grids’ with all the information they have for the product. Data Implementation: This ‘Master Grid’is manually coded into production environment by a member of the IT Team. How does NIIT Technologies Solution Work? Following steps outline the functionality of the interface: Data Acquisition: As earlier, the data willbe received from the product build team. Data Mapping: Challenges Associated with the Current Manual Process Reduced Productivity: Since the quantityof the data involved in these tables is very huge, manually putting them into production is too big of a task to be completed in a short time. It may take several weeks for dedicated SME resource to get completed with the updates and put them all into production. Reduced Accuracy: Since theimplementation task is conducted manually, the person has to flip between various screens in order to put the data into production tables. Therefore, the team is always at a risk to put in incorrect information in the tables. Also, there is no automatic validation process in place which ensures data accuracy. Increased probability of overhead tasks: In case there is a mistake in any of thetables and it is not caught in time (which is most probable to happen), lots of overhead tasks will pop up in the picture which would include calculation of the excess or deficit amounts of compensation paid, manual adjustments, chargebacks etc. — This data will be converted into a Master Grid by the Business Team. — The commission product build team puts the Master Grid in the form of various templates in MS Excel format. These templates can be created using various macros defined on the Master Grid. Data Transformation: The exceltemplates will automatically be transformed into production-ready form. The tools in the interface will convert the templates into machine readable form and then upload the templates into the system in a similar format as that of the existing production Product Tables. Since this process will now be automated using the tools, so it be just a matter of few minutes to transform numerous templates having thousands of data rows in them into production ready format. Data Validation: The validation will beconducted through a process similar to the QTP (Quick Test Professional) process. The tools in the interface will take care of the validation process and ensure that the production-ready form of data is in compliance with what has been coded in the Master Grids. Data Implementation: The data will beimplemented into production automatically. Need of an Intelligent Interface A look at the disadvantages of the manual approach to create and maintain these tables necessitates the requirement of an interface which is intelligent enough to accept the ‘Master Grids’ built by the product area, and automatically transform them into a production ready form. 4
  5. 5. Advantages of using Automated Approach Following are the advantages of using the automated approach: Reduced Operational Cost: Since thewhole process will now be automated, the total operational cost in developing and maintaining the product tables will be cut down considerably. Increased Productivity: Reducedmanual intervention will help Ease of deployment: The automatedapproach will enable us to implement any new data or any changes to the existing data much more quickly and easily. User Friendly: The automated tools thatform a part of this intelligent interface are easy to use by even a naive user. enhance the productivity of the resources. Professionals will no Challenges Associated with the Automation longer be spending hours to put the data into production manually. The business team for the product area needs to be well equipped with the methodologies to create the templates. Increased Accuracy: The introductionof QTP validation will ensure that the data is 100% accurate and not prone to any The tools in the interface will need to be updated in case there is mistakes. The data will be compared with the Master Grids, any update in the information that would be required to be coded which will make sure that there is absolutely no chance of as compared to the conventional information. However, NIIT making any error in any of the tables created during the Technologies makes this simple by maintaining the interface and complete process. also take appropriate steps to enable the client to do it. Conventional Process Data Mapping • New product's data taken from the product build team. Data Acquisition • Business Team - Builds the Master Grids. • These Grids have all the attributes which were set by the product Build Team. • A person (usually an IT SME) finishes entering the data present in the Master Grids into production using manual approach. Data Implementation 5
  6. 6. Automated Process that Runs using the NIIT Technologies’ Interface Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Data Mapping • New product's data taken from the product build team. Data Acquisition • Master Grid is built. • Master Grid converted to Templates. Day 5 Data Data Validation • Automatic creation of production ready files. Data Transformation • Automatic validation of Production ready tables with Master Grid. • Automatic implementation of the tables to production. Implementation Conclusion Moreover, companies that can automate and improve the time The time has come to leave behind the conventional approach and consuming process of implementing product tables will get their take a step ahead on the path that leads to much easier, simpler products to market faster and stay ahead of their competition. and quicker method of creating and maintaining the product tables using the automated method. 6
  7. 7. About the Author Sheilza Gupta is an IT Technical Specialist in NIIT Technologies and has 10 years of experience in insurance domain which includes more than 7 years of experience in the Distributed Commissions System. She holds a Gold medal in her post-graduation in Masters of Computer Application. About NIIT Technologies NIIT Technologies is a leading IT solutions organization, servicing customers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It offers services in Application Development and Maintenance, Enterprise Solutions including Managed Services and Business Process Outsourcing to organisations in the Financial Services, Travel & Transportation, Manufacturing/Distribution, and Government sectors. With employees over 8,000 professionals, NIIT Technologies follows global standards of software development processes. Over the years the Company has forged extremely rewarding relationships with global majors, a testimony to mutual commitment and its ability to retain marquee clients, drawing repeat India NIIT Technologies Ltd. Corporate Heights (Tapasya) Plot No. 5, EFGH, Sector 126 Noida-Greater Noida Expressway Noida – 201301, U.P., India Ph: + 91 120 7119100 Fax: + 91 120 7119150 Americas NIIT Technologies Inc., 1050 Crown Pointe Parkway 5th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30338, USA Ph: +1 770 551 9494 Toll Free: +1 888 454 NIIT Fax: +1 770 551 9229 business from them. NIIT Technologies has been able to scale its interactions with marquee clients in the BFSI sector, the Travel Transport & Logistics and Manufacturing & Distribution, into extremely meaningful, multi-year "collaborations. NIIT Technologies follows global standards of development, which include ISO 9001:2000 Certification, assessment at Level 5 for SEI-CMMi version 1.2 and ISO 27001 information security management certification. Its data centre operations are assessed at the international ISO 20000 IT management standards. Europe NIIT Technologies Limited 2nd Floor, 47 Mark Lane London - EC3R 7QQ, U.K. Ph: +44 20 70020700 Fax: +44 20 70020701 Singapore NIIT Technologies Pte. Limited 31 Kaki Bukit Road 3 #05-13 Techlink Singapore 417818 Ph: +65 68488300 Fax: +65 68488322 Write to us at D_42_031013 A leading IT solutions organization | 21 locations and 16 countries | 8000 professionals | Level 5 of SEI-CMMi, ver1.2 ISO 27001 certified | Level 5 of People CMM Framework