Under pressure to replace their aging policy administration system and seeking better operational agility, cost optimization and enhanced security in their core IT and business processes, Portage Mutual Insurance asked us to help them implement Guidewire ClaimCenter.

Claims administration upgrades

Portage Mutual Insurance is a Canadian-owned company offering insurance agent and broker services in eight provinces. They faced maintenance, technology and security risks relating to their 25+ year old legacy policy administration system. Under increasing pressure from evolving regulations, changing customer expectations, and rising processing costs, as well as cost pressures from larger competitors, Portage needed better systems and improved operational efficiency.

Portage chose Guidewire ClaimCenter as a commercial off-the-shelf solution that could integrate with their existing core systems, and selected us, a trusted 25+ year partner, to establish a transformation roadmap and help with modernization, migration, and implementation of the new system. Although Portage was willing to change their business processes to align with what the product offered, our work with Portage in understanding their vision and priorities helped establish a transformation roadmap that reflected their needs.

Following the Portage strategy, “Essential for Portage,” we proposed that Portage adopt a self-managed Cloud platform that would be less expensive and easier to maintain. As Guidewire is proven on the AWS platform, there was no need to do any further due diligence regarding other Cloud platforms such as Azure or Google.

Implementing Guidewire ClaimCenter on AWS

We delivered a fully-managed Guidewire ClaimCenter solution, including Systems Integration, Managed Cloud services on AWS, and Lead Program Management. In addition to following Guidewire’s “short path” implementation processes, we employed our own accelerators to help in the development lifecycle. Using the “shift left” concept, we started testing up front, and performed quarterly demonstrations of functionality as part of our Agile delivery mechanism. We also created a pre-production environment for Portage so they could conduct tests, and we asked that they perform surprise checks on the system throughout the implementation process. This collaboration helped with early identification of possible defects.

An important part of the work we did for Portage was transitioning from the CGI-supported legacy system into a new application platform with a new way of working. To support this transition, we did extensive pre-work, developing solutions and mapping out the product rationalization. We also worked with Portage to integrate ClaimCenter with the insurer’s other core systems. Our knowledge of the company’s existing business processes and systems, combined with our knowledge of and expertise with the Guidewire system and the transformation roadmap that we designed, were essential in creating a smooth implementation process for Portage.

We also integrated ClaimCenter with Portage’s other existing legacy applications. We helped Portage resolve the initial issues that emerged once the system went live, and by the end of the first quarter, those challenges had been overcome.

Scaling for rapid growth

As a result of Portage’s initiative in transforming to this modern claims processing platform, they have been able to scale up to a broader user base and increase the efficiency of Portage’s claims process.

The Guidewire ClaimCenter implementation at Portage has made the claims handling process easier, and with the ClaimCenter dashboards, users have greater access to up-to-date information. We continue to manage the support for this product as part of our ongoing relationship with Portage.

This was our first Canadian implementation of Guidewire ClaimCenter as a lead Systems Integrator, and our focus on out of the box functionality and our ability to adapt the “Essential for Portage” strategy, combined with our strong governance and program management abilities, ensured that the delivery was successful. The project was completed on time and on budget, and was subsequently selected for an ISO external audit, generating comments that it was a “very effectively managed Agile Project,” and that it could be considered as a benchmark for other project teams. “CGI is a long-term key business partner delivering our enterprise technology initiatives,” said John Mitchell, President and CEO, Portage Mutual Insurance. “Their reliable systems let us focus on expanding our products and services and building our reputation as one of the most responsive property and casualty insurers in Canada.”