AMERICAN FARMERS: CLOUD CORE SYSTEMS CONVERSION


American Farmers and Ranchers implemented a new cloud-based core system, with the first LOB going live in less than six months for less than $500K. Underwriting cycle times have been reduced by more than 90%.
 

Business Need

American Farmers and Ranchers (AFR)’s legacy core systems presented unacceptable limitations in functionality, speed to market, and cost of ownership. To remain competitive, the company needed to replace their legacy system.
 

Project Team

AFR’s Board of Directors appointed a new team composed of a Director of Development, six engineers, and nine testers. AFR’s team participated in training in agile software processes and community source development.
 

Phases and Timeline

AFR began with wide project targets and refined objectives and action items at two week intervals according to agile methodologies. At each review, scope was evaluated and reduced where possible. Using this technique, they brought the Dwelling line live in less than six months.
 

Tools and Technology

AFR chose BriteCore, cloud-based core systems suite, which includes policy, billing, claims, and portal components.
 

Overcoming Challenges

Adopting agile methodology for roll-out was a cultural challenge in a traditional organization that was used to waterfall development. The vendors’ experience with agile was credited with helping the company adapt.
 

Success Factors

The company credits its success to Agile processes that allowed the team to focus on incremental delivery without the pressure of a master project plan. As deliverables were completed, scope was reduced and targets were progressively refined. Second, community source development allowed AFR to extend the base platform, reducing the need for coordination between software vendor and carrier. Finally, Cloud deployment eliminated the need for costly infrastructure.
 

Metrics

The company instituted its first LOB on the new platform in six months with a total investment less than $500,000 (or 0.4% written premium) and a significant increase in underwriting efficiency, shortening the underwriting.
 

Published in Novarica's Research Council Study: Best Practices Case Study Compendium, 2016