Credence Analytics upgrade AIC India to the latest technology courtesy Funds 5.5

Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited (AIC) is an Indian public sector insurance company that offers yield-based and weather-based crop insurance programs in almost 500 districts. It covers almost 20 million farmers, making it the biggest crop insurer in the world in number of farmers served. AIC is headquartered in New Delhi and the key objective of the organization is to provide crop insurance and give financial stability to farmers in a distressing situation.

Credence Analytics is a software solution and IT services provider to Banks, Asset Management Companies, Insurance Companies, Non-Banking Finance Companies, and Corporate Finance Departments in the areas of Treasury, Investment Portfolio Management, Fund Administration, Investor Servicing, and Risk Management. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Mumbai, India, Credence has operations in South Asia, South-East Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

Project Background:

AIC of India was already sitting on Credence Analytics investment management solution V 4.3 for more than 8 years. The insurance provided needed to enhancements the features in its investment management solution, keeping in line with the changing time, technology, and business volumes.

AIC of India evaluated multiple vendors for the up-gradation project. Some of the key aspects that resulted in the company selecting Credence over other vendors were continued support, dedicated assistance for business needs, and the upgraded version (Funds 5.5 ) of the solution with rich functionalities.

The project encompassed implementation of Funds 5.5 investment management solution with Front, mid and back-office capabilities and regulatory reporting. Once the project upgrade decision was taken project’s go-live date was finalized as 30th September 2020. The go-live date was non-negotiable as due to management pressure to change technology and regulatory pressure to adhere to the latest IRDA guidelines, the go-live dates were communicated to all authorities.

Implementation:

The project kick-off was delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic hence achieving the project go-live date became a challenge given constraints of travel, team availability, and remote delivery. Both the teams from the client and supplier brainstormed to devise a different delivery approach.

In terms of infrastructure, Credence set-up and use cloud servers for training and testing. The supplier also created remote access to servers for software delivery, testing, and DR. In terms of delivery approach, the teams replaced the workshop phase with training, as well as using an unconventional step of training the users with actual data migrated on test servers. The teams increased the testing phase and shared standard test scripts along with results.

The typical practice of workshop and gap analysis was replaced with live data porting in software at the start of the project, resulting in providing comfort to the users of the parallel run and quick implementation of data migration.

With standard test scenarios and test results provided, the user team was able to test the application with only incremental test scenarios significantly reducing testing time. At the same time, with live data being present in the system, users were able to test the application parallel to the legacy system,  helping both teams to build confidence about the application. This new approach allowed the routine delivery cycle to decrease from almost 18 – 20 weeks to 11 weeks.

Program Governance:

A key element of achieving stringent timelines in technology implementation programs is a close collaboration between the client and the supplier. This was achieved in the case of this program with Credence and AIC working very closely from remote locations with the active involvement of the senior management.

There used to be a daily status report during the workshop/training phase & UAT phase with key activities planned v/s key activities carried out, which helped timely identification of any errors/slippages. In addition to that, there was a weekly meeting with all stakeholders to discuss any challenges, so that project managers could step-in with prompt actions. Steering committee meetings were held on a need basis to keep the top management well informed and have quick decisions about product state taken if needed.

Project Impact:

As a result of the new solution, AIC of India has access to the latest investment products such as TREPS, AIF’s, ETF’s, etc providing them with more investment avenues. The change in technology from client-server i.e. 2 tier architecture to web-based 3 tier architecture and service-oriented architecture of application helped AIC to manage INR 7000+ Cr AUM effectively with improved performance.

Automation of various manual processes such as report printing, auto-downloading and storing reports, daily auto status update to management, EOD activities was possible due to technology such as Job center (Node-red) embedded into the solution. Funds 5.5 was integrated with other applications/platforms such as NDS OM terminal, market data providers, GL systems increasing the efficiency of the system users.

All in all the technology enhancement from the new solution allowed AIC to benefit from service-oriented architecture, rest API based design, cloud-ready application, reducing their dependency on terminal service software like CITRIX significantly improving performance at high volumes.

KEY FACTS

Financial Institution: AIC of India
Headquarters: India
Solution partner: Credence Analytics
Solution: Funds 5.5
Timeline: 11 weeks

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