Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. Speeds Time-to-Market for New Products and Channels with Service-Oriented Architecture
 
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Farmers Insurance Group, Inc. Speeds Time-to-Market for New Products and Channels with Service-Oriented Architecture

Farmers Insurance Group is a leading U.S. insurer of automobiles, homes, and small businesses. It also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. A wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, Farmers Insurance serves more than 10 million households with more than 15 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of more than 30,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.

Farmers wanted to manage its operations more efficiently, and support company growth and expansion into new markets. To meets its goals, Farmers implemented Oracle Enterprise Repository to provide 360-degree visibility into all enterprise IT assets for service-oriented-architecture (SOA) ―improving IT governance and support for business objectives. The company also used Oracle Service Bus to standardize data provisioning and facilitate an SOA approach to accelerate the introduction of new products and entry into new markets. Farmers reduced the time required to build IT services by two-thirds—accelerating time to market and enabling the company to build nearly 100 new services since deployment.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Farmers Insurance Group, Inc.

  • “Oracle Enterprise Repository is an indispensible part of our SOA and IT governance strategies, and it improves the support for our business objectives. In addition, it provides the single source of truth for our SOA assets and their dependencies.” – Goutham Nellutla, Head of Technology Solutions, Personal Lines, Farmers Insurance Group, Inc.

  • Accelerate time to market for new services and reduce operational costs to maintain a competitive edge in the insurance sector
  • Adopt an SOA approach to enable the reuse of services to maximize cost efficiencies, reduce application development timelines, and advance standardization
  • Increase data visibility across multiple lines of business, including auto, fire, and commercial claims, to ensure that IT investments align with business strategies
  • Optimize and extend the company's existing IT investment
  • Facilitate regulatory compliance and provide the agility to enter new insurance markets by easily dropping new components into the company's existing IT infrastructure

Solutions

  • Implemented Oracle Enterprise Repository to provide 360-degree visibility into all enterprise IT assets for SOA—improving IT governance and support for business objectives
  • Used Oracle Service Bus to standardize data provisioning and facilitate an SOA approach to accelerate the introduction of new products and entry into new insurance markets
  • Reduced the time required to build new IT services by two-thirds—enabling Farmers to build nearly 100 services since deployment and accelerate time to market for new insurance products and services
  • Gained the agility to horizontally and vertically scale new IT environments—eliminating the need for time and financial resources to build previously siloed infrastructure components for new lines of business
  • Enabled the company to quickly integrate 21st Century into Farmer’s billing platform following its acquisition, using Oracle Service Bus―reducing integration efforts (time and labor) by 60% and costs by 50% over traditional integration methods
  • Expanded services portfolio 10-fold since the early days of Farmers’ SOA initiative without exponentially increasing personnel for support, thanks to Oracle’s ease of use
  • Reduced the time required to meet regulatory requirements for entering new markets—enabling Farmers to onboard new business channels in just four-to-six weeks
  • Minimized customized configurations to easily integrate components for strategic initiatives, including billing, claims, policy administration, and customer management components from various vendors
  • Used an SOA approach to facilitate and accelerate the electronic signature process, which is very time sensitive in some states―improving the ease of doing business with the company as well as facilitating compliance
  • Deployed Oracle SOA Management Pack Enterprise Edition to gain real-time information on the number of service calls and length of response times, enabling IT to ensure 99.999% availability and a two-second response time for every service―as specified in internal IT service level agreements
  • Ensured that Farmers can respond to growing business demands, and quickly and efficiently process 3 million daily transactions via Oracle Service Bus
  • Gained the ability to support increasingly mobile end users, including agents and customers, thanks to Oracle SOA Suite and the ability to reuse back-end services, which has, for example, enabled the company to rapidly develop mobile applications for agent look-up, billing, and claims filing
  • Improved manageability of service features by providing visibility into Farmers’ security reference architecture
  • Established an SOA foundation to ensure application scalability to support the company’s 10-year roadmap for business and IT

Why Oracle

“We chose Oracle as our SOA platform because, across all of the technology areas we wanted to improve, it had the greatest breadth and depth of solutions. Oracle delivered ease of doing business, configurability, and scalability to meet the demands of distributed global environments like ours. It is a superb match,” said Goutham Nellutla, head of technology solutions, personal lines, Farmers Insurance Group, Inc.

Implementation Process

Farmers spent significant time and resources on its SOA strategy phase, as well as in developing its governance and reference architecture and service delivery roadmap―all of which are essential for a successful initiative. Since rolling out SOA, Farmers has built nearly 100 services, many of which it has re-used to accelerate deployment of other initiatives.

Partner

Farmers has worked with two partners through the course of its SOA lifecycle. It collaborated with CSC and Wipro to outline the company’s initial SOA strategy. The company continues to work with Wipro, using an onshore/offshore model, for development, design, and maintenance services.