CATEGORY: Analytic Applications

REVIEWER: Martin Pochurko, assistant vice president of financial services for Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

BACKGROUND: Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) provides community road safety programs, public education initiatives, driver and vehicle-related services and auto insurance for 2.5 million British Columbians. Established in 1973, ICBC oversees the operation of 920 Autoplan broker offices, 47 claims centers and 70 driver licensing points of service.

PLATFORMS: Balanced Scorecard analytic application, Seagate Info and Seagate Holos run on a complex, multiplatform environment, including mainframe UNIX and desktop PCs. Data sources include SAP on Oracle, a corporate data warehouse, manual entry and operational systems.

PROBLEM SOLVED: When ICBC decentralized into six operating regions to better meet the needs of a wide variety of communities, Thom Thompson, president and CEO of ICBC, along with Isabel Meharry, CFO and senior vice president of finance and administration, mandated the search for a business intelligence solution that would translate strategic corporate goals for all regions into measurable performance indicators. In order to unite long-term objectives with short-term operational plans, ICBC managers chose Seagate Software's Seagate Info, Seagate Holos and Balanced Scorecard Analytic Application as a powerful business intelligence solution that is akin to a road map. Now managers can "see" how different regions are performing in relation to ultimate destinations, or goals.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Seagate Software's tools are flexible enough to allow ICBC to modify the Balanced Scorecard methodology to reflect their key business areas with 21 measurable performance indicators. The Seagate Software solution lets them go one step further than other balanced scorecard applications to drill down to the granular level where applicable. ICBC finds that there is more information to work with, and it's better aligned with their organization's goals.

STRENGTHS: From a user's perspective, ICBC really likes the way the Balanced Scorecard links key strategies with objectives so you can see it visually. The graphical, intuitive report format makes it easy for managers to analyze important data. Now they can see where their regions are in relation to others and to the corporation as a whole. They're picking up on issues they couldn't see before, rather than merely reporting on past performance.

WEAKNESSES: The Balanced Scorecard application was not deployable over the Web without Citrix, and there were limitations to the dimensions within the application.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Because ICBC is a crown corporation, they are required to go through an open competitive process. ICBC put out a request for proposal (RFP) and looked at a lot of different solutions. Seagate Software was the vendor that best balanced the business side and the technical side.

DELIVERABLES: ICBC has experienced many positive outcomes from the Seagate Software implementation. Balanced Scorecard provides a customized business intelligence solution that unites ICBC's top-level management in a common understanding of corporate strategy. It also enables ICBC to break out $2.5 billion of annual claims into regions and gives executives easy access to accurate, timely and measurable data to drive corporate strategy. The Balanced Scorecard application also links strategic corporate objectives graphically with regional performance, provides a reporting framework that supports ICBC's decentralization and improves strategic analysis and proactive management with OLAP analytics.

VENDOR SUPPORT: In just six months, Seagate Software's consulting team used Seagate Holos' customizable development environment to create a Balanced Scorecard analytic application that dovetails with ICBC's business environment. Now the managers can access, analyze, report and share relevant, measurable data that accurately reflects the organization's lines of business and decentralized structure – supporting ICBC's ability to provide overall road and vehicle safety programs in communities across the province.

DOCUMENTATION: Seagate Software's Balanced Scorecard includes comprehensive documentation on all aspects of the product.

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