TIMETOACT implements integrated insurance software

for the VOV D&O Insurance Association

Cologne –  Less than one year from project start to system implementation: TIMETOACT developed the integrated, browser-based insurance software "HERMES" for the VOV D&O insurance association. The cross-departmental individual software completely covers all core processes of the insurance company. Users particularly appreciate the intuitive user interface and the high performance of HERMES.

New IT infrastructure sought

VOV previously used the technical basis of one of the affiliated insurers. Due to restructuring, a completely new IT infrastructure had to be introduced within one year. In the search for suitable software, both the tight time frame and the estimated budget played a major role. Since VOV does not have its own IT department, the IT service provider also had to be permanently available as a contact partner in case of problems and take over the maintenance of the software.

Standard software did not meet the requirements

Usable across system and Microsoft-based – these were VOV's requirements for its new software. With its high data volume and complex data relations, it also placed high demands on a software solution. Despite extensive research, VOV was unable to find anyone among the well-known providers of insurance software who could meet its requirements with standard software. In addition to the licenses for the standard software, high additional costs would have been incurred for its customization, which meant that individual software developed specifically for VOV turned out to be more favorable in comparison.

"The cooperation with TIMETOACT worked well. Despite the tight schedule, our custom solution was ready for use on time and completely covers our core processes."

Diederik SutoriusCEOVOV GmbH

Individual software, cost-effective and 100% flexible

With the decision for a custom software the basis had to be defined first: A customized Microsoft SharePoint installation or Microsoft ASP.NET? In order to be able to map all processes in the best possible way, VOV finally decided in cooperation with TIMETOACT to use ASP.NET as a basis. The individually tailored software is complemented by a Microsoft SQL server and the Microsoft Internet Information Service (Microsoft IIS). This means that all of VOV's special requirements can be implemented without having to fear conflicts with future updates.

Development and programming of HERMES management software

The developers of TIMETOACT inspired the responsible persons of VOV with their constructive suggestions and the short reaction times. In order to take full advantage of the tight development time of less than a year, the project team began implementing the VOV software immediately after signing the contract in February 2012. Based on the Microsoft ASP.NET framework, a modern MVC architecture was created, with which future requirements can also be easily integrated. VOV employees access HERMES comfortably via their browser. The JavaScript-based frontend (ExtJS) is not only user-friendly and intuitive, but also ensures cross-browser compatibility of HERMES.

To secure the stored customer data against hackers and data theft, all components of HERMES are operated in-house on a VOV server.

Close cooperation in the development of the specialist modules

The project phase began with data modeling. Subsequently, the individual subject areas of the software were developed step by step. In the process, developers and VOV employees worked hand in hand: While the programmers were still fine-tuning additional modules, VOV already began testing the existing components. Due to this intensive cooperation, the limited time was used effectively, as necessary adjustments could be identified directly and passed on to the developers immediately.

  • Comprehensive rights management & query validation
    Comprehensive partner, contract and product management with integrated billing module and claims management now form the core of HERMES. The user and rights management maps the internal structures so that necessary approvals can be requested with one click. At the same time, the query validation ensures that all necessary information is already recorded during data entry.
     
  • Consistent support of work processes
    HERMES supports users by centrally linking all integrated modules. When a contract is created, for example, the insured person's personal details are automatically added, so there is no need to fill them in manually. If data is entered manually, the automatic input completion facilitates data entry. Commissions or even discount scales are automatically taken into account within the offer creation process on the basis of defined keys. The versioning of the data also gives users the security of being able to clearly track changes to the data records. This high level of automation reduces sources of error, while at the same time improving data quality.
     
  • Fast correspondence with text modules and Word interface
    The integrated insurance software not only includes all insurance-related modules, but also directly accesses connected software. Users can thus create documents from HERMES in Word, Excel or PDF format, for example. Predefined text modules or contract components are enriched with data such as address etc.. An individual adaptation of the text modules takes place directly in the document. HERMES thus offers needs-based options for creating and managing contract documents or correspondence quickly and easily.
     
  • Business Intelligence Interface
    In addition to the basic insurance technology, HERMES also serves as a business intelligence interface. With the interfaces to Cognos TM1 and Excel, complex business processes can be analyzed efficiently with one click.
     
  • Data interface to financial accounting
    HERMES is also equipped with an interface to Datev Rechnungswesen pro financial accounting, facilitating data exchange.
     
  • Partner communication
    VOV works closely with its affiliated insurance companies. To simplify the data exchange, HERMES is equipped with a data interface.
     
  • Real-time indexing of data
    The integrated search function further improves the user value: The 175,000 data records stored in HERMES so far are fully text-indexed, which allows searching for various attributes within all areas. The search engine "Apache Lucene" indexes entered data in real time, so that search results are output in real time.

Individual software HERMES meets all requirements

With HERMES, VOV has an insurance software that is completely tailored to its needs. The individual solution integrates all business areas and directly controls software such as Word or Excel via interfaces, so that all relevant work steps can be carried out from HERMES. Whereas the old, purely text-based system still required a lengthy training period, the new, graphical user interface can be operated intuitively. At the same time, the entire solution was completely customized using proven technologies. If adaptations become necessary in the future, they can be integrated quickly and easily at any time. The flexible data model allows for extensions and is designed to enable complex applications. With its multi-language module, HERMES is already equipped for use outside Germany.

The insurance-related software HERMES replaced the previous IT system in time for the reporting date on January 01, 2013, and within less than a year a solution was implemented that meets VOV's requirements to a high degree. Due to the intensive cooperation between developers and users, only a short additional introduction phase for HERMES was necessary, so that the changeover could take place promptly after completion of the software.

Used technologies:

VOV D&O Versicherungsgemeinschaft is authorized by an association of 6 renowned insurers to insure managers and decision-makers in the field of "Directors and Officers" (D&O). The risk carriers of VOV are AachenMünchener Versicherungs AG, Generali Versicherungs AG, HDI-Gerling Verzekeringen N. V., Continentale Sachversicherung AG, Nürnberger Allgemeine Versicherungs-AG and INTER Allgemeine Versicherung AG. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Cologne's Mediapark, the company is one of the leading providers of D&O insurance in Germany.

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Hermann Ballé
TIMETOACT GROUPKontakt