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Claims Processing System - New Methodologies

 

Problem:
Wanting to reduce costs and maintain their competitive price advantage, a nationally known auto insurance company decided to replace its legacy mainframe claims processing system. Their in-house IT department planned to build a claims processing system that would integrate with COTS applications to extract data from medical bills and review them using a rules-based software package. This company wanted to use the newest technologies but had very little experience working with Object Oriented Analysis and Design methodologies, the UML, or the Unified Process.

 

Solution:
Members of the Beacon team were brought in to establish the project analysis and architectural framework. They also mentored the client's staff in UML-based modeling techniques, helping them transition from the traditional "waterfall" development approach to an incremental and iterative approach using the Unified Process. By keeping the internal customers highly involved throughout the life of the project, they ensured the software provided the desired functionality ... without surprises along the way.

 

The new application has been rolled out nationwide, to enthusiastic customer response - and higher ratings than previous in-house projects. Moreover, the iterative approach to software development allowed the team to deliver the most critical functionality to the client much earlier than traditional processes would have allowed. The client's staff has now gained the skills necessary to bring this same success to future projects.

 

 

Business Systems - Architecture Redesign

 

Problem:
A long-distance telecommunications provider had recently begun offering local phone service and was experiencing severe problems with their new systems. A lack of resources and business processes, in combination with a rush to market, had resulted in inferior software. Late service, billing problems and inaccurate information was costing the company their largest business customers and their ability to compete.

 

Solution:
A member of Beacon Consulting was brought in to work with a core team of people to evaluate the client's current business workflows and business systems architecture. Through extensive analysis and business workflow re-engineering, the team developed recommendations for both the system's architecture and business processes that resulted in a turnaround. This company is successfully competing in the local phone service business today.

 

 

OSS Environment - Aggressive Schedule

 

Problem:
An emerging telecommunications company wanted to establish its Operational Support Systems (OSS) environment, so it could start offering its services to the public. A system would need to go live in nine months, integrating four best-of-breed products - a customer service representative (CSR) system, billing system, service-level agreement (SLA) monitoring system and a Network Management System (NMS). Moreover, the system would need to be designed for easy integration of future COTS products. The CSR system was targeted as the data entry system; the integration solution would need to broadcast the input to the other systems and report back statuses.

 

Solution:
A member of Beacon Consulting was brought in to lead the architecture and design of the integration project. The specialist designed a robust system that enabled middleware from Lingateq with CORBA and DCOM capabilities so it could interface with the various systems. He also ensured that the architecture allowed quick attachment of "connectors" to allow data and events flow and broadcasting, and led the team that implemented those connectors.

 

The integrated system was ready on time, despite the aggressive schedule. Moreover, when the company later decided to use the billing system for data entry instead of the CSR system, the Beacon consultant was able to effect this radical change in just a few weeks - thanks to the flexibility and generic, adaptable qualities of the architecture he had designed.