• Omnis desktop solution •
Omnis helps insurance services provider
to maintain market-leading position and protect £billions worth of assets for its clients.
Peter Richardson is a project manager for Xchanging and, with his small team, is responsible for software which allows the smooth running of billions of pounds worth of reinsurance transactions carried out by the London insurance markets, predominantly for Lloyd’s Syndicates and large corporations.
Peter says: “Our clients tend to deal in the bigger insurance risks, diverse examples being oil rigs, marine ports, huge container ships and worldwide airlines along with vast property portfolios along with liability coverage, such as varying financial indemnities of key companies. The world is a changing place and large-scale insurance claims can happen at any time and we’ve had a lot of hurricanes and flooding in recent years.”
The scale of most reinsurance calculations is staggering. Peter gives the example of a hypothetical airliner with Western passengers on board which, if were tragically to crash, would account for a combined claims liability of well over $150m.
In this marketplace, Xchanging needs to consistently offer its client syndicates and businesses the right level of capacity and resilience 24-hours, 365-days a year.
Because of the dynamics of the global reinsurance market, there are particularly crucial periods of time where Peter and his team need to combine support and problem-solving with lightning speed.
“At periodic times, all the reinsurance revenue is calculated and collected as the claims are applied against each relevant reinsurance policy. This is where our software – Elgar – is key to this process as the specialist teams use Elgar to calculate all the sums due and send out cash requests to the Brokers,” Peter explains.
“If there are any problems, the support team need to investigate and fix what is a key financial system for the Syndicates and other operators.”
During those pinch points, Peter needs to deliver coding solutions within an hour at most of the problem being identified.
Failure to do so could lead to losses running into tens of millions of pounds on the balance sheet and affect the cash-flow of a company.
To meet this challenge, since 1995, Xchanging has been developing and constantly upgrading Elgar, which has been enhanced using a range of Omnis applications over that time.
As Peter outlines: “Elgar is essentially a complex engine that calculates and manages the cash collections on major reinsurance policies for large scale clients. With the volume, the calculations take minutes whereas manually they would take days and bring a level of human error into the mix.”
Elgar is made up of three modules: Calculation, Credit Control and the Lloyds Onwards Reinsurance Scheme cash messaging (or LORS). The well-established Credit Control module dovetails with the LORS cash messaging allowing for up-to-the-minute cash positions for claims received and premiums paid out, all coupled with an extensive reporting suite.
Unlike its competitors, and thanks to the flexibility and speed of application development afforded by Omnis Studio, Elgar can be adapted rapidly to individual client needs by deploying bespoke versions within hours and not waiting for periodic releases, often to the detriment to the client.
Peter is sure that this speed of code writing has contributed to Elgar being a market leader in reinsurance systems and services.
“Essentially, it’s a generic application that has bespoke functionality for each client, including bespoke paperwork outputs: they all want their own reporting fields in their own custom design lay-out and of course, their own company logo fitting in with their company standards. Elgar easily provides different styles of output for every client. That makes us unique.”
Because of the speed at which new Omnis code can be written into Elgar, Peter and his staff are incredibly well positioned to react swiftly to issues during those quarterly pinch points in the reinsurance calendar.
“Omnis means you can rapidly change that app for any client – usually within the hour which is something we’re quite famous for doing!
“We mainly manage that in-house, although whenever we’ve asked for help from Omnis themselves, their response has always been brilliant.
“This is one of the great advantages of Omnis: the rapid application development is key: it’s the ease of the programming and the speed of the programming.”
Xchanging is a business process and technology services provider and integrator, owned by DXC Technology. It provides technology-enabled business services to the commercial insurance industry. In outsourcing, Xchanging will typically take over a customer’s business process, or back office function, and incorporate them into an existing platform, such as Omnis, which provides improved and cheaper handling of administrative tasks.
Xchanging employs over 7,000 people worldwide.
In order to retain its market leading status, Peter knows that Elgar must stay current and be enriched with new features and market demands: a task constantly being met by Omnis.
“Whilst the drivers for change in the old days were the business users, today the IT teams are the ones pushing for upgrades, with the use of current technology for a variety of key reasons.
Peter finds the Omnis Studio debugger of particular use during critical work periods, as it significantly reduces the time for testing problems and new code.
“Thanks to Omnis, we’ve got all the baseline code here and we can debug very, very quickly. If we can get the client’s data, we can load that into a comparable environment, load in their software version and run it as they see it. We can then go back and assist the client in either correcting their input or by quickly providing a patched software version, usually within the same hour to keep their business deadlines on track.
“Omnis Studio is modern, versatile and the new debugger is certainly one of its greatest advantages in troubleshooting.”
Whilst Peter mainly relies on his in-house teams to develop Elgar and meet client requirements, whenever he has needed Omnis’s direct assistance, he has been impressed with the response.
“When we’ve needed extra guidance or support, Omnis has always been there for us. I really believe that our market leading success is down to Omnis software’s excellent products and excellent customer service.”