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Philadelphia Insurance Companies Automates and Streamlines Budgeting, Reporting and Analysis with proCube

  • June 01 2004, 1:00am EDT

CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

REVIEWER: John Florio, AVP of Financial Reporting for Philadelphia Insurance Companies.

BACKGROUND: In operation since 1962, Philadelphia Insurance designs, markets and underwrites commercial property/casualty, personal lines and professional liability insurance products, incorporating value-added coverages and services for select industries.

PLATFORMS: proCube is running on dual Xeon 3.06GHz processor with 4G memory and 72G RAID1 storage. SQL server is running on dual Xeon 2.8GHz with 4G memory and 18G RAID1 and 230G RAID5.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Philadelphia Insurance Companies has experienced remarkable growth. With this growth came several enterprise-wide challenges: 1) create unified financial statements, corporate budgets and business plans for a partially decentralized organization by pulling data from core systems; 2) provide an efficient, standardized process for disseminating financial/operational statements to a partially decentralized team and reduce reaction time; 3) create a scalable environment with the flexibility to support organizational and operational changes; 4) provide consistent, accurate financial and operational reports in real time to drive productivity, increase client satisfaction and boost profitability; and 5) retrieve a true ROI on prior investments in core financial and operational systems through unprecedented access to accurate, real-time data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We engaged Satori Group's proCube business performance management (BPM) product to provide us with centralized access to our financial and operational data, and automate corporate budgeting and financial reporting processes. Today, we are able to monitor business activities across the enterprise and make more informed and profitable decisions with greater speed and accuracy. Satori delivered a data warehouse for centralized information storage, consolidating data from three systems. For corporate budgeting, Satori integrated an automated application with all the functionality of an Excel spreadsheet and also streamlined our ability to rapidly generate corporate budgets. Additionally, Satori enabled us to perform what-if analyses with an unlimited number of business variables. For financial reporting, Satori simplified and accelerated the generation of financial reports and based the reports on variable criteria. The solution was implemented within three months ­ half the time required by other BPM solutions.

STRENGTHS: proCube is an integrated planning, reporting and analysis solution that supports what-if scenarios and provides real-time information via a centralized source ­ placing critical information in the right hands at the right time to support profitable business decisions. It also exploits our existing Excel skills, lowering technical and end-user training costs and is a one-stop shop for our corporate budgeting and reporting needs. Corporate budgets and reports are easily generated and disseminated via the Internet/intranet. ProCube provides drill-through to a single data item, providing higher levels of accountability in today's Sarbanes-Oxley environment and rapidly delivered a true ROI on our prior investments in core financial and operation systems.

WEAKNESSES: When we purchased proCube, Satori did not have a robust Web-based solution. Satori has since launched their proCube Web Portal solution.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Representatives from management and the finance/accounting departments established the selection criteria: user-centricity (place control in the user's hands ­ not IT), rapid implementation, ease of use, flexibility to change with our environment, scalability to support our growth, centralized access to accurate real-time data and low risk. A proof-of-value demonstration with our data was critical in making the buy decision.

DELIVERABLES: With proCube, we now have a star schema-based data warehouse for centralized and automated data collection, the cubes to support the business logic, automated formulas and the views and slices of data based on our business requirements. We also received training on the use and maintenance of the BPM solution.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Satori Group has been amazing from pre- through post-implementation. The best part of working with Satori Group is that you feel as though you are working with your own people.

DOCUMENTATION: Satori's documentation is comprehensive and easy to understand. We could rely on the documentation to meet most of our needs, but working side-by-side with Satori's consultants during the implementation facilitated a rapid transfer of knowledge.

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