Varma wanted to improve efficiency in pensions processing with a new data warehouse system and Affecto was selected to deliver it. The new solution has increased the level of automation and cut down on processing times.
Data warehouse solution ensures uninterrupted reporting in Varma’s pension processing
Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company seeks to improve efficiency in handling employment pension applications and assessments of future pensions by automating the processes and reducing manual tasks. At the same time, Varma wants to ensure a high standard of quality and cost-effectiveness of pension processing also in the future.
Varma is taking steps to upgrade the in-house systems used in pensions processing. The existing system has reached the end of its lifecycle and no longer provides sufficient support for daily work. Additionally, the foreseen amendments to the employment pension legislation assumed to take place in 2017 will require changes to the ways of working and the data systems used in the workplace.
“It simply didn’t make sense to implement any major changes or introduce new functionalities to the existing system,” says Varma’s Pension Services Director Tommi Heinonen.
More muscle and automation
As a result of business considerations and the reasons related to the system’s lifecycle, Varma decided to start planning a new system for processing employment pensions.
Among the objectives established for the new system were to cut down on processing times, increase the level of automation and improve the integrity and quality of data. To ensure efficient business reporting, a data warehouse supporting its functionalities and future needs was required and Affecto was selected to deliver it.
“We’ve been working with Affecto for a long time in building up data stores. The positive experiences we’ve had so far made it easier to choose the supplier for the new system.”
The importance of the data warehouse solutions is highlighted in times of transition when data need to be retrieved from both the old and new pension systems. This enable smooth and disruption-free pension data processing, even during an IT project spanning several years.
“Thanks to the data warehouse, business reporting continues to run smoothly, even though we’re deploying the new system in stages.”
Also, a data warehouse solution makes it possible to measure performance in attaining the business objectives and seek more long-term benefits, primarily through improved efficiency in reporting and analytics. With advanced analytics, it is possible to drill down into the existing data masses more effectively in a variety of ways. At the same time, it is possible to identify new ways of combining data for analysis.
“For example, we can study data on the individual customer segments and analyse the course of the pension service process. This helps us improve in-house processes and customer service.”
Immediate and future benefits
The new data warehouse solution ensures the continuity of business reporting as part of the overhaul of Varma’s pension processing system. Huge volumes of data require a new and flexible data warehouse that will address future needs as well. Without a stable data warehouse, business development, the introduction of new procedures and the creation of new services are simply not possible.
Varma’s expertise in and understanding of how to make use of the potential offered by data warehouses, reporting and business analytics have been greatly enhanced during the course of the project.
“When we’re thoroughly familiar with the data warehouse and aware of its potential, we’re able to utilise it effectively for business purposes,” sums up Heinonen.
Development efforts continue
During 2014, Varma will deploy two of the largest modules of the new pension processing system: the old-age pension system in March-April and the disability and rehabilitation pension system in the autumn. Development efforts will continue in 2015 when family pensions, among others, will be incorporated into the new system.
A stable data warehouse provides a solid foundation on which future services can also be built.
As Varma is responsible for the pension security of over 870,000 people at over 70,000 workplaces, the potential for data analysis is immense.