Amica Mutual Insurance Company is the oldest mutual insurer of automobiles in the nation. The company, with assets totaling more than $2.9 billion at year-end 2001, offers automobile, home, life, marine and personal excess liability insurance.

One aspect of Amica's mission is the aggressive pursuit of efficient operations. Amica uses IBM Query Management Facility (QMF) for Windows throughout the company to increase the efficiency of operations by gathering timely business intelligence (BI).

Amica is a big user of QMF on the mainframe. Our programming staff formulates and runs queries to obtain BI on behalf of several hundred people in our actuarial, claims and underwriting departments. The tool is also employed by our end users who develop their own queries and reports.

Because QMF is such a valuable tool for us, it was natural for us to look into QMF for Windows to increase productivity. The user-friendly GUI of QMF for Windows allows our business end users to run and modify their own prompted queries. The data is pulled directly from our IBM DB2 databases into desktop applications such as Microsoft Excel and Access. Our business end users are comfortable with these desktop applications, and they can now create the required reports for their departments in a timely manner.

We found that QMF for Windows would support almost all of our existing business end-user QMF host queries, forms and procedures right out of the box. The product cannot do Rexx calculations in forms or Rexx logic in procedures. In order to keep this functionality, IBM has recommended installing IBM's Object REXX for Windows on each user's computer. Even so, QMF for Windows has saved our programming staff a respectable amount of time. The product cannot completely duplicate the functionality of QMF on the mainframe without the purchase of IBM's Object REXX. This is not clearly documented.

The actuaries use QMF for Windows to get the data for loss ratio analysis by underwriter, by group, by branch office, by accounts, by the broker doing the business, etc. They can analyze losses, premiums, policies, etc. and look for potential exposures.

QMF for Windows makes it easy to run stored queries that directly access and summarize the important data. The Windows-style tree control gives our business end users more intuitive navigation and lets them easily locate QMF objects.

Amica's claims department uses QMF for Windows to look at how long claims are open and consuming company resources so they can develop benchmarks. QMF for Windows helps us increase efficiency and conserve operating expense, making us more competitive.

With point-and-click, drag-and-drop functionality including aggregations, summaries and formatting right in the query results, QMF for Windows is also a powerful query development tool for our application programming staff.

Our data warehouse developers are using QMF for Windows to reach heterogeneous data sources with IBM's DB2 federated capability for very broad access to data. They are accessing data not only on IBM OS/390 systems, but also on UNIX and Windows NT platforms.

Developers use it as a quality assurance tool to verify data integrity when working on a program or loading an application. Business people also use it to check data integrity. The human resource department uses it to generate reports on employee performance, and our branch offices to generate follow-up reports on prospects. Additionally, QMF for Windows gives our outside consultants access to data on the mainframe with the same security as if they were accessing the mainframe through TSO.

I use QMF for Windows to automate many data management functions, and it serves as an auditing tool ­ to query the DB2 catalog to see authorizations, check user access frequency, look at statistics, etc.

An insurance company's bottom line depends on how well it manages loss prevention. BI is key ­ it has to be accurate and available on demand from multiple sources. QMF for Windows gives our actuarial, claims and underwriting departments the fast, reliable access to business intelligence they need to serve top management.

QMF for Windows by IBM brings responsive answers to the people who drive every aspect of business operations, and in formats they most easily understand. Designed as the strongest and broadest foundation for business intelligence, QMF for Windows delivers the power of enterprise databases, even for those who don't understand database technology ­ quickly, easily and affordably.

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