Got It Covered

July 27, 2009 by Heike Mittmann

Hurricane Ike caused lots of damage in the USA. In that case Münchner Rück supports the local insurances. (photo: Münchner Rück)

2005 marked a new era at Münchener Rück. The company’s decision to implement a solution based on SAP Reinsurance Management opened the door to global integration of its business processes – supported by an SAP platform that handles everything from new contracts to processing claims consistently across the board.

That said the group’s decision to go with SAP was not entirely undisputed. At the time, there was little experience of SAP Reinsurance Management within the industry. Münchener Rück was also acutely aware that the new system would have to accommodate several thousand employees around the world – not to mention its most business-critical processes. In the end, the prospect of standardizing its processes and systems on a global level won the company over.

New directions for IT support

Münchener Rück also had a new strategy for IT support. The plan was to relieve its IT departments of the burden of dealing with routine tasks – freeing up time for support staff to concentrate more on their core competencies. The group invited bids from service providers to take on the role of Global SAP Support Team (GSST) for the group. To ensure support could be provided across multiple time zones, the company’s IT managers requested the set-up of three teams across Europe, the United States, and the Far East.

Cirquent comes on board

The German IT consultancy Cirquent, headquartered in Munich, emerged victorious in the call for tenders and evaluation process. Cirquent’s consultants set about developing an end-to-end, multi-tiered system for the group.

Ticket system and language barriers

To guarantee a smooth and transparent transition between the internal and external support teams, the company opted for a standardized ITIL-compliant ticket system for all of its teams. Maximilian Maier, service manager at Münchener Rück responsible for the system, called AR Remedy, recalls some of the initial buy-in issues the company faced. “At first, many of our internal support employees struggled with the formalities of the ticket system.

On top of this, in order to safeguard continuous global support, we could only accept English entries in the system. This threw up a number of obstacles internally in the beginning. We had a lot of convincing to do, particularly as some departments were afraid of losing influence,” Maier says. In the end, the system proved its own worth in the significant improvement in the quality of service.

Global cooperation, global support

Alongside its implementation of the SAP system, Cirquent set about building up Münchener Rück’s local support centers. Nine of the consultancy’s employees are now at work in Europe, while its partner Larsen & Toubro mans the three-person team in Princeton, New Jersey.

Outlook

Münchener Rück and Cirquent are currently working on expanding their successful cooperation. As the IT partner responsible for the group’s service and support center, Cirquent will be looking to set up, acquire, and secure further global, centralized applications. The consultancy has already selected the first non-SAP application as the group’s underwriting platform – a company-specific system for risk assessment and creating quotations.

The knowledge transfer concept at Münchener Rück has stood the test of time particularly well. Support processes and work tools like the ticket system and knowledge databases are now standards within the group.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply