Accelerating Business Value
MassMutual partners with Oracle to achieve better ROI on its IT investments.
by Tony Kontzer, May 2008
In the hypercompetitive financial services industry, business intelligence solutions must offer rich insight that can lead to lower costs, better business results, and valuable brand differentiation. Executives at MassMutual Financial Group—a financial protection, accumulation, and income management company headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts—realized this when the company deployed Oracle's Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Siebel Business Analytics alongside Oracle Business Intelligence. They knew that the project's success depended on a clearly defined approach to business transformation, not simply the implementation of great technology. Governance, strategy, user adoption, and process are all critical to achieve successful business transformation. But to accomplish all this, they needed a partner that could guide their efforts and align the technology with business priorities.
Gaining Maximum Value
Scott Reed, corporate vice president of MassMutual Retirement Services, decided early on that the best path to maximizing his company's investment was to turn to Oracle Support's Advanced Customer Services. His plan was to leverage the group's Oracle Applications expertise to help MassMutual achieve true business value from its Siebel CRM and Oracle Business Intelligence deployments. Oracle Advanced Customer Services offered MassMutual customized advisory services based on industry best practices and provided both business and technical expertise tailored to MassMutual's needs.
Reed will put the technology that supports his customer outreach up against the competition any day. For example, while MassMutual's competitors run general enrollment campaigns across the entire base of potential participants, an approach that results in high costs for each new account they acquire, MassMutual is able to create laser-targeted campaigns that are specific to particular clients or objectives. This capability translates into much more efficient use of marketing dollars. "We've been able to run more campaigns and have better client satisfaction for a smaller amount of money than we were before our implementation," Reed says. "The targeting also gives us two to three times the success rate of prior enrollment campaigns."
If you look under MassMutual's IT hood to see what's powering such dynamic use of information, you'll find that the company boasts a tightly integrated Siebel CRM environment, boosted by the analytical capabilities of Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition. But Reed is the first to point out that it took much more than technology to get MassMutual where it is today. It took expert project guidance. It took the application of best practices. It took knowledge sharing. Most of all, it took an understanding of how to best match application functionality with MassMutual's business needs.
The results speak for themselves. MassMutual's engagement with Oracle Advanced Customer Services has helped it become dramatically more innovative, achieve seamless integration with legacy IT systems, reduce costs and risks associated with deployment, and enjoy the full range of benefits from its Oracle applications more quickly than it could have by marshalling internal resources or working with a third-party consultant.
"It's worth paying a little premium for expert services if it's going to help you get to the end game faster and realize the return on your investment quicker," says Reed. "We were able to get resources in here that could hit the ground running."
With Oracle's Advanced Customer Services team behind him, Reed has been able to take advantage of years of experience working with Oracle technology, experience that ranges from knowledge of the applications themselves to familiarity with the best practices that have helped other Oracle customers achieve powerful results. Combine that with the Advanced Customer Services team's growing knowledge of MassMutual's technology, and Reed knows that his efforts are backed by experts who know not only how to get the most from his applications but also how those applications could best integrate into MassMutual's existing IT assets.
Also, MassMutual has been working with the same principal technical account manager, Stephen Blanchard, for more than three years. This continuity has been invaluable, says Reed. "Oracle's expert understanding of our technology footprint has helped us and will continue to help us plan future upgrades."
Having such a close working relationship with Oracle's Advanced Customer Services team has made the difference between MassMutual simply having great technology in place and realizing the full value of that technology. "It's been a great partnership, and we really have moved their usage along, as well as their understanding of the product," says Blanchard.