Insurance: Europe’s first Guidewire version 8 ClaimCenter upgrade
Europe’s first ClaimCenter v8 upgrade delivered.
StarStone, the global speciality insurer, adopted ClaimCenter in 2011 to replace multiple legacy platforms. The technology was implemented to support its entire product suite, standardising claims handling processes to deliver enhanced claims efficiency and improve speed and accuracy of claims payments for StarStone customers worldwide.
Almost four years after the original implementation the success of the platform has been felt across the organisation, helping foster new initiatives and driving better practices. With first-hand knowledge of how systems can support strategy and growth, StarStone knew the advanced functionality in ClaimCenter v8 would enable rather than limit emerging business requirements.
What was involved in the ClaimCenter upgrade?
Business Agility implemented StarStone’s original system, which went live in November 2011, so StarStone approached the Guidewire experts again to handle the 20-week upgrade project. The Upgrade Team, which was made up of Business Agility and StarStone, began with a two week mini-inception project and a small proof of concept to prove how the financials (in particular multi-currency) would upgrade from ClaimCenter v6 to v8. This was followed by three development sprints and two test sprints (which contained multiple test cycles).
Business Agility’s approach included the identification of any customised configuration or code in the original version and updating it where necessary to fit the new ClaimCenter v8 configuration. Guidewire provides a tool to automate this process, however, on average a large amount of the configuration needs to be ‘upgraded’ manually. This often means examining each individual configuration file, fixing errors that may have occurred as part of the automated upgrade process, or in some cases, rewriting the configuration code from scratch. There are also some instances where customised code becomes obsolete due to new functionality in the upgraded product. In these cases, the customised code is rebuilt to leverage new functionality.
Issues overcome and benefits realised
StarStone has a philosophy of trying to stick as closely to Out of the Box functionality as possible. It will only configure where absolutely necessary, enabling it to scale and mitigate risk. StarStone approached the upgrade piece with this mind-set.
Configuration: For StarStone, there was a combination of challenges to ensure the upgrade piece went smoothly. Some configuration had to be rebuilt and a significant number of configuration files had to be amended to reflect the new requirements of the ClaimCenter v8 product.
Regression and testing: The Team also needed to ensure the upgrade process did not regress any of the original implementation’s functionality, therefore it ensured a solid testing strategy was in place in order to maintain quality assurance during the development process. This was supplemented by UAT/SIT test phases towards the end of the project.
Existing integration: With various changes to how the product works the Upgrade Team needed to apply some effort in ensuring existing integrations were maintained. Eg, browser compatibility between ClaimCenter v8 and Internet Explorer 10.
Maintaining support: To avoid the prospect of discontinued support for earlier versions of ClaimCenter, StarStone was keen to upgrade to maintain a supported product.
Multi-currency: ClaimCenter v8’s ‘multi-currency reserving’ function has improved significantly. This function enables the easy handling of claims that include financials in multiple currencies and manages the fluctuation in exchange rates as a claim progresses.
The previous version of ClaimCenter (v6) required some effort around multi-currency, as it wasn’t as sophisticated as it is now. The original implementation required configuration and some workarounds to ensure the function worked, but this compromised other functionality. Moving to the next iteration allowed StarStone move closer to its preferred Out of the Box environment. This, in turn, allowed StarStone to take advantage of wider financial functionality within ClaimCenter.
In order to give StarStone better visibility of this multi-currency feature, the Upgrade Team built a ‘Proof of Concept’ model to demonstrate the advantages of ClaimCenter v8 (and to prove the multi-currency feature would work).
StarStone also wanted to maximise the business value that ClaimCenter v8’s other features could deliver. It wanted to use the latest platform on which to build future functionality, rather than starting its new projects on an outdated version and risking a more complicated and potentially expensive upgrade later.
Look and feel: The upgraded system gave users more control over the view of their screens. Users are able to choose their screen layout preference and personalise their own view.
What the client said
“The upgrade to the latest version of ClaimCenter supports our possible further expansion of the application across the group. The upgrade enabled StarStone to remove bespoke configuration and leverage a greater proportion of the Out Of The Box (OOTB) functionality. This resulted in providing an improved user experience, greater flexibility in the handling of multi-currency transactions and will help drive down our future maintenance and upgrade costs.
Appointing Business Agility to deliver this upgrade allowed us to collectively draw upon the experience of the original implementation team, resulting in a project delivering on time and within budget.”
Matt Shelton, Senior Business Analyst, StarStone
Upgrade projects can range from the complex to the complicated. It is important that any platform upgrades are properly planned prior to inception, delivered according to Guidewire’s best practices and tested throughout the project lifecycle.
By adopting the latest version of ClaimCenter, StarStone takes advantage of richer functionality and removes barriers to new innovations and new business requirements.
To understand what a Guidewire ClaimCenter upgrade might involve for you, please contact us to discuss the many options available.