Four Steps to Successful Migration of Insurance CCM Applications
Gautam Jit Kanwar | September 16, 2020
Many companies today want to shift from legacy systems to a modern customer communications management (CCM) platform to take advantage of the benefits these systems deliver, such as improved efficiency, speed of digital transformation, reduced maintenance cost and, most importantly, the ability to offer a better customer experience. However, the prospect of migrating your customer communications assets to a new system can be overwhelming.
Why? Many companies are still using homegrown and legacy document composition solutions to produce their varied customer communications; and these systems, developed over years, are not easily maintainable. It requires a tremendous amount of time to update templates when policy changes are required. Additionally, too often the person who developed and supported the in-house software has left for another position or retired. Hence, the decision to replace the company’s current system with a modern, comprehensive CCM platform can put stress on any IT department.
Migrating from a legacy system that housed years of existing documents to a new software platform is challenging, but it is strategically important in today’s world to better communicate with customers. Whether your organization needs to modernize a legacy solution or perform a complete technology shift to a new platform, following this four-phase implementation strategy that includes programming, complex logic and design, testing the assumptions for accuracy against produced output, and working with the client to ensure all required functionality is functioning as expected will make the migration more manageable.
1. Have a clear understanding of the current system or systems working together
When migrating to a single software platform, it is important to investigate how all components are being utilized today. Then, create a roadmap of the new desired state and workflow. During this discovery phase,identify where assets are kept and in what format. More often than not, th. Meet with the stakeholders that will eventually access the system in different capacities to gain a better understanding of the overarching goals. From there, create and review a list of requirements from the information gathered, then go back and review it with all stakeholders and primary users to ensure everyone agrees with the plan.
2. Design the system architecture
Once you have assessed the current state and the desired results, step two is to begin to design the solution architecture. This will be your blueprint for navigating the multiple phases of the migration. During this step, the team reviews and tests the assumptions on the new system for functionality. While it may seem more expedient, it is not enough to simply lift and shift assets. Instead, this is the perfect opportunity to determine how you want to update processes, add new functionality, clean up inventory and streamline the workflow. This may include assessing how to rationalize common data formats, reuse common modules, consolidate similar forms, identify redundant templates, outline seamless multichannel support and add self-service portals for change management and approvals.
3. Enter the development phase
In the development phase, you will move from the concept to the actual creation of the new CCM system based on the methodology (agile, waterfall, etc.) with which your team is comfortable. Here QA and testing need to be paired up with development milestones to deliver a related set of documents. It is important to create test cases that include multiple scenarios, including items that could cause errors in the system. To be successful, migrations involve parallel testing of the output from the old and new systems. Note that every change requires a new round of testing and it might be wise to invest in automated regression testing. Be sure to look carefully for the smallest of changes, font, position, page count and reporting so that the new technology you are deploying executes all the functionality of the old. At the delivery of each milestone, the quality assurance and testing team should create a testing plan for final review to prove all requirements have been met.
4. Delivery, deployment and documentation
There is more to a successful delivery than just an error-free deployment. The goal of a successful migration is to keep the length of the deployment phase to a minimum. In other words, work to be on time, be on budget and be well-documented. In the final phase, the project programming has been completed, thoroughly tested (not only from the output perspective, but also from integration with other systems) and is ready for live production. Documentation of any changes that have been made will serve as a roadmap. This map will need to be updated as changes and modifications occur.
Achieving a better outcome
Most IT teams view migrations as a “necessary evil” spurred by the need to modernize current technology or upgrade and replace systems. Having a solid migration plan that follows a methodology for bringing all of the pieces together will take the frustration out of the process and allow you to approach your migration in a straightforward way that ensures a successful outcome.
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