Helvetia Group is a European insurance company specializing in life, property and casualty insurance as well as reinsurance. With its almost 5,200 employees, Helvetia has annual premium income of CHF 7.5 billion.
In a tightly regulated environment, Helvetia must constantly adapt to changing requirements, including new laws concerning freedom of information.
The company sought to establish tighter control of access to sensitive customer information, for improved compliance with international standards. The goal was to increase security without adding to staff administration costs.
On the back of recent profit growth of 9.2 percent, the company wanted to modernize its customer management and improve its online service offerings, facilitating further growth in the future. Helvetia aimed to use customer interaction more efficiently to leverage cross-selling opportunities.
To streamline staff administration, Helvetia engaged Micro Focus Consulting. The team implemented Identity Manager on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and connected 30 internal applications to the new central user repository. The team deployed various standard and customized connectors, including ones for LDAP, Active Directory, Lotus Notes, SAP, SOAP and RACF for its mainframes, to allow for smooth provisioning processes across the entire application landscape.
Helvetia simplified user provisioning processes considerably for about 5,000 staff identities by integrating identity management with its SAP ERP Human Capital Management application and combining it with a workflow engine that triggers approvals and tracks permission changes reliably.
Alexander Kessinger, Head of Corporate Middleware, IAM & Security at Helvetia, said, “We constantly add features and connect new systems. Today, Identity Manager is our single point of control for user management across all business applications. Comprehensive permission reporting helps us to satisfy even the strictest compliance and auditing requirements.”
The customized permission monitoring covers the modeling layer, the central identity management system and also the target systems. Regular checks across all three layers ensure that users have access only to the systems they need.
To provide innovative online services, Helvetia is launching a new portal where customers can access personal information and get a quick and simple overview of their insurance contracts and policies. This new customer portal takes advantage of Identity Manager to provide 50,000 customers with secure and standardized access to their data.
Helvetia simplified its IT system architecture by implementing a central identity management solution with a standardized interface, replacing many decentralized solutions to provide better control and improved reliability of user provisioning across all applications.
This improvement has substantially changed administration processes, for example when a new employee joins the company. In the past, Helvetia had a team of eight people creating users and managing user permissions in 30 applications. Setting up one new employee required approximately four hours of manual work.
“With Identity Manager, we have automated the onboarding process for a new employee,” said Kessinger. “After the human resources department has added the new employee, the manager gets an email notification to select what needs to be ordered or provisioned for this new employee. Once the employee record is approved by the manager, the IT team adds the phone and the office number to the master data, and the solution creates user accounts in all relevant systems in the background. Adding a new user only takes about three minutes – that is an enormous saving of 98 percent per user.” Instead of eight people executing repetitive tasks, the new team comprises five highly skilled employees who model identity management processes to improve efficiency further.
“Thanks to Identity Manager, we have established a single process to manage and monitor internal and external users,” said Kessinger. “We already benefit from substantial savings and will continue to expand the process automation to improve productivity and provide more innovative services to staff and customers.”