Cincom Smalltalk™ has also been used extensively in several leading Insurance applications. Below are a few examples:
Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is one of the largest and most successful insurance companies in Canada. Through its subsidiaries, DGIG delivers car and home insurance products directly to consumers, small businesses and partner groups. As part of a $1.4 billion organization, DGIG has been in business for over sixty years and has over four thousand employees serving 1.6 million customers in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. They have one of the highest customer-service ratings in the industry, so naturally they wanted to ensure their competitive edge. Desjardins has been using Smalltalk since 1998. When their Claims Application needed an upgrade, they called Cincom Professional Services.
Headquartered in the United States, Cincom Systems is an international organization with offices around the world including Canada. According to Jacques Maltais, Desjardins Director of Development and Implementation for Claims and Enterprises, “Cincom’s expertise and knowledge of the system were the most important elements of why we contacted Cincom Professional Services to do the upgrade.”
“The conversion was better—much quicker—than we anticipated.” – Charles Brochu, Desjardins Technical Project Leader
Combining Desjardins’ knowledge of the claims application with Cincom’s knowledge of VisualWorks, the upgrade team was able to quickly and efficiently analyze the upgrade, move the code to the version control system and get the application running correctly on the new version of VisualWorks. Team communication was accomplished by telephone, e-mail and regularly scheduled meetings. According to Charles Brochu, Desjardins Technical Project Leader, “Telephone calls were efficient and pleasant, and any variances were quickly corrected by the Cincom consultant.”
After the upgrade was complete, Cincom trained Desjardins’ developers on the new version of VisualWorks. “The Cincom consultant was rigorous and efficient in responding to questions, and the training material was well presented,” said Brochu.
By relying on the service-process expertise of Cincom Professional Services, Desjardins was able to focus on the daily tasks of running their business for their customers. Not only did Desjardins amplify their ROI from the investment in their application suite and gain new functionality, they were able to make this change invisibly to their users. According to Maltais, “By allowing us to keep our current claims application as opposed to purchasing or building a new one ourselves, Cincom saved us at least $10 million.”
“The quality of the work performed was excellent, and the entire experience was great. We would certainly recommend Cincom Professional Services.” – Rosemarie Mercier, Desjardins Project Leader
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Founded in 1828, MMA is a French mutual insurance group with a client base of more than 3 million individuals, professionals,businesses, communities and associations. Because of its dedicationto provide the very best service to its clients, in the 1990’s, MMA sought to develop two systems for handling sales and claims thatcould be easily upgraded as needed with new or improved functions.
In order to do so, MMA required a development platform thatallowed them to incorporate system parameterisation and an easy-to-use GUI. The previous system used a rules-based engine, but it didnot perform well, nor did it allow for the construction of a complexindustry model.
After studying Uniface, NS-DK/2 and PAQ CS, MMA chose a solution to be built with Cincom Smalltalk. Jérôme Bruneau, Head of Architecture and Technologies for MMA, was responsible for developing the concept of the new technology. He explained that the most important criteria in the search was that the chosen environment be a stable platform well-established in the market. He felt that Smalltalk was an equally mature and flexible development environment that allowed them to attain their key goals. Smalltalk also appealed to Jérôme Bruneau because of its abstraction level and its ability to build a meta model that permits the construction of a complex industry model. Compared to other technologies, Smalltalk was also more accessible allowing developers new to the language to get a quick start. The reuse of objects plus the ease andcomfort the developers felt when using Smalltalk were very beneficial. In tests, Smalltalk also proved to be the best-performing development environment.
SIGMMA and PAVS currently handle MMA’s over 3 millioncustomers and 690 products that are all parameterised inthe Smalltalk systems. All different interfaces – includingto varied MMA-internal groups and external agencies –are parameterised, too. Over 11,300 users from aroundthe world are supported simultaneously on any given day,accessing more than 120 different applications. Forexample, one of the monthly batch processes treats120,000 contracts per hour.Applications developed are constantly being updated.System modifications have allowed for increased speed,and a special tool was developed to quickly implementnew products.
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