The RTM integrated online transaction processing (OLTP) system has been
trusted by property and casualty insurance companies for over 20 years.
Gore Mutual Insurance, one of Canada’s oldest insurance companies
and based in Cambridge, Ontario, had depended on RTM for over a decade,
but was looking around to modernize this mission critical program. The
company worked with CGI to convert the system to an updated operating
system which has boosted efficiency and saved them time and money.
The Challenge Designed specifically as
a platform from which to run applications for casualty insurance companies
in both Canada and Britain, RTM is an OLTP with an integrated database,
communication handler, application development environment and testing
environment. While it had a loyal following, the VAX platform used by RTM was outdated and Gore Mutual was ready to move to a more modern platform.
Gore Mutual tried another system on an updated platform, but found it
was not as fast. “It was going to take us longer to develop it to
get it to existing standards,” says Hal Robins, Gore Mutual IT manager.
When he discovered that CGI was working to convert RTM to a Microsoft
Windows platform, he decided to work with CGI and have the firm become
the first insurance company to convert to RTM2000 operating on Windows.
The Strategy A technical team at CGI went
through all 2.5 million lines of code in this complex software, converting
it from VAX to Windows2000. There were a considerable number of technical
challenges that were met. It took several person-years for CGI to do the
conversion in order to get the product ready for Gore Mutual to test.
Staff at Gore Mutual already knew the system and they didn’t have
to convert any data, other than batch scripts, which took about three
or four weeks. Whenever Gore Mutual encountered a situation where the
new RTM2000 didn’t behave in the same way as the old RTM, they informed
their CGI contact and immediately a team was working to solve the problem.
If it wasn’t solved the same day, a schedule was set to solve the
problem as quickly as possible.
“We were definitely pleased with CGI’s speed; they reacted
quickly and were able to help us with all the issues we saw,” says
Robins. In fact, CGI was able to make improvements to meet Gore Mutual’s
needs better, such as changing RTM so that it could better handle laser
Hardware: Runs on commodity PC servers
with Windows 2000 advanced server operating system of any size, depending
on the needs of the user on TCP/IP network.
RTM2000: Offers all the features of
RTM, including an integrated database and communications handler which
allows agents to develop a policy during a phone conversation with a
client. RTM2000 version 2.0 was released in September 2001 and offers
many enhancements to the application.
Support: Customers can select from a
support contract that is developed to meet their specific needs, as
Gore Mutual has done. However, many other companies chose to outsource
support to CGI by executing RTM2000 applications in CGI’s Mississauga
data centre, so that they have total support.
The Results Gore Mutual made the change
over from one business day to the next without any glitches. Staff training
was not even required. Only new paper templates were needed for the half-dozen
different keys. Best of all, they didn’t have to convert any data
during the transition.
While Gore Mutual used to have maintenance contracts for the VAX system,
RTM2000 runs on servers with Intel-based processors so their own staff
can handle maintenance, which further saves money.
“We’re very happy with RTM2000,” says Robins of the new
system and its implementation. “It went smoothly, working through
all our issues with CGI as a win-win relationship and partnership. We
were able to put it in on time. It’s definitely less expensive than
trying to put in a new system.
“The speed of our batch processing is much faster,” he adds.
“It speeds everything up really, but it is really only noticeable
on the batch processing. So, on average, overnights used to take 4.5 hours
to run and they take 56 minutes now.”
But what Robins is really looking forward to are the numerous enhanced
features of the latest version of RTM2000 which will allow us in the future
to write interfaces for brokers to make policy changes over the Web. These
new features will also make data more accessible to underwriters and other
end users through external data warehouses that enable users to check
information without the help of programmers. The latest version of RTM2000
is also more expandable and flexible than the earlier version because
many other tools can be integrated into it, such as Microsoft Office,
while it continues to be the core program.