Société de portefeuille du Groupe Desjardins, assurances
CGI facilities help springboard growth for general insurer
To many customers, one general insurance company looks just like another.
So how can an insurer set itself apart from the crowd? One way is by doing
what SPGDAG does—offer exceptional service to its customers. By supporting
the key IT systems that manage this insurer’s sales and claims network,
CGI helps it build a loyal client base that just keeps on growing.
The Challenge SPGDAG (Société
de portefeuille du Groupe Desjardins, assurances générales)
is one of Quebec’s leading property and casualty insurers. Despite
the intense competition in Quebec’s insurance market, SPGDAG has
achieved a 37% market share.
This success has been no accident. One big factor has been the insurer’s
decision to equip its agents with technology that lets them respond to
customers’ quote requests and claims within minutes. This technology
depends on instant communications between these agents and the mainframe
computer that handles SPGDAG’s sales and claims data. Which means
that 24/7 mainframe reliability is critical to the company’s strategic
Recognizing this strategic imperative, the insurer decided to outsource
the hosting of its mainframe applications to an IT specialist. SPGDAG
needed a firm that could not only guarantee unequalled system availability,
but also expand the computing infrastructure dedicated to SPGDAG in pace
with the company’s ambitious growth plans.
that our mission-critical applications be accessible at all times. That’s
why we needed an IT partner we could rely on, and why we decided to do
business with CGI,” says Roger Drouin, Desjardins Senior Vice President
of Information Technology.
From its data center in Montreal, CGI hosts and maintains the mainframe
systems that support SPGDAG’s sales and claims division. CGI provides
the hardware, software, and telecommunications that let over 1,500 insurance
agents across Canada do business with their customers in real time.
Managing this complex environment is no easy task. But CGI maintains
100% system availability through its data center’s team of IT experts,
500 strong. Leveraging their experience with numerous similar systems
that this center hosts, they monitor and maintain SPGDAG’s OS/390
mainframes around the clock.
Their performance has been impressive to say the least. Since April 1999,
the average amount of SPGDAG system downtime attributable to CGI has been
measured in seconds per month.
But maintaining a reliable system is only one half of the job. Keeping
up with SPGDAG’s growing client base is the other. “With the
acquisitions that we’re planning,” says Drouin, “we expect
our business volume to double within a few years. And we’re counting
on CGI to handle it all without a hitch.”
One of the insurer’s most important recent expansions occurred in
August 2000, when SPGDAG acquired two companies with a strong client base
in Ontario and Alberta, thus extending its largely Quebec-based operations
all the way to western Canada.
Once this purchase went through, SPGDAG leveraged the dependable service
it was already receiving from CGI by transferring the new companies’
data operations from Toronto to CGI’s data center in Montreal. With
a few enhancements to their storage capacity, CGI’s powerful mainframes
absorbed the new volume without missing a beat.
Outsourcing services provided: batch
and on-line processing, mainframe management, WAN maintenance, operations
planning, performance optimization
System availability: 24 hours per day,
7 days per week, with 2-hour IPL period weekly.
Time-sharing option availability: 100%
Batch performance: 98%
The Results SPGDAG gives significant credit
for its enviable growth to the solid technology foundation provided by
CGI. The insurer’s CGI-hosted system delivers rock-solid availability
to an ever-expanding base of agents and customers throughout the country.
And the two firms are now investigating new technologies that will let
the insurer’s telecommunications network handle even more customers
with the same top performance that SPGDAG has come to count on from CGI.