The Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions (AMIS) is a non-government, non-profit organization that promotes the insurance industry by acting as representatives to industry authorities and related bodies. AMIS also acts as a mediator to ensure the processing of insurance transactions in Mexico while also consolidating the organization’s data without affecting the business operations of each association member.
Optimize Business Processes for the Insurance Industry and Streamline Database Performance
The Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions (AMIS) wanted to develop a system to streamline and harmonize the association’s disparate databases. This presented a major challenge based on the large volumes of data generated by the Mexico’s various insurers and because optimizing business processes involved modernizing many manual information systems. Another challenge AMIS faced was migrating numerous databases that were sub-divided by insurer, inclusive, and by year. This involved creating a single structure and consolidating all the information into a centralized repository.
AMIS solved these challenges by turning to Sybase. The partnership between AMIS and Sybase started through the need to create a transactional, Web-based scheme that would evolve as AMIS grew. Sybase then recommended and helped AMIS deploy Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE).
“We had to work with many databases from different vendors with different characteristics that provided information into a single repository,” says Marco Vargas, Manager of Information Technology. “Previously, we were not able to process the information efficiently, but we found the solution to this challenge in Sybase ASE. Once you administer the system, you gain stability and can perform any function, including data processing. The performance of the system is so reliable that we required no other tools from other technology providers.”
Sybase Facilitation of Insurance Information Exchange Helps Spur Industry Growth
After deploying ASE, the use of additional Sybase technology, such as Sybase InfoMaker, enabled AMIS to build expert systems that helped facilitate healthy growth in the Mexico insurance industry. As an example of the project’s success, AMIS created the Information System of Policyholders and Beneficiaries of Life Insurance. The system generated a data model for facilitating consultation between AMIS members and Condusef, an industry agency in Mexico. The AMIS project directly benefits insurers by allowing them to receive information in one place while the decentralized architecture complies with federal government statutes.
AMIS required only three internal resources to deploy Sybase ASE, and six weeks of training was sufficient for learning how to achieve optimal operation of ASE. AMIS currently has a manager who runs the database and monitors all internal and external transactional systems. The database manager stays up-to-date on the technology by attending annual training sessions provided by Sybase.
As AMIS deployed the Sybase ASE platform, the organization also sought a suite of rapid-implementation solutions that the internal IT staff could learn quickly so that AMIS could fully support the solution without relying on external resources. “Version upgrades and platform technology changes to the ASE database have proven simple to execute for our internal staff,” says Roberto Castellanos, an Engineer and the AMIS Head of Technical Support and Infrastructure. “This includes our migration from the HP UX operating system to Windows. Sybase provides a simple procedure for carrying out cross-platform technology changes.”
Problem-Free Migrations and Application Updates
Castellanos says the infrastructure used in the beginning is not the same as the one currently in use. Initially, the system ran on multiple HP 9000 servers, which ran five transactional programs and 60 databases. AMIS consolidated the distributed databases into ASE, which proved to be a more robust platform that now serves nearly 20 applications. “We never encounter problems with regard migrations and application implementations,” Vargas says. “Sybase ASE is very worthy database manager,” Vargas says.
The Sybase ASE database also allowed AMIS to improve the performance of applications and utilize server hardware resources more efficiently. “The ASE database manager has many different configuration settings we can apply, which helps us tune servers for optimal performance,” Castellanos says.
Sybase Professional Services has exceeded AMSI expectations by providing superior technical support in addition to proper documentation procedures and methodology. “Sybase has never been perceived as a vendor because of the approach they take,” Vargas says. “From the outset, the Professional Services team conducted meetings to ensure they understood what we wanted to achieve, and they then designed and deployed the necessary solution to meet those needs.”
The project with Sybase now has a structure completely in place, but Vargas adds that AMIS continues to explore Sybase tools the organization is not familiar with. “Sybase technology offers a myriad of functions we have not utilized yet,” Vargas says. “Without a doubt, we wholly recommend Sybase—so much so that we as an association performed analysis to demonstrate the advantages of using Sybase technology by inviting our members to deploy similar solutions that will give them stability as well as the advantage of years experience in the Mexico insurance market.”
Data Submission Process Now More Efficient While Reports Generations Becomes Easier
From a business investment view, AMIS achieved a return on our investment in six months. For external insurance company member users, approximately 4500 currently benefit from Sybase technology when conducting Web transactions. In addition, 35 internal AMIS personnel can now more easily consult, analyze and generate statistics since Sybase ASE enabled the organization to consolidate information on the Mexico insurance industry into a single data source for queries and reports.
ASE has also standardized the databases that internal users can access with tools users were already familiar with. “ASE also offers 24/7 database availability in contrast to our previous system where each machine containing relevant information had to be switched on individually to be accessed,” Vargas says. “For external users, the database is more than just a query tool—it also helps all insurance companies by providing more the information systems they now have access to.”
Another key benefits AMIS receives comes from Sybase Replication Server. AMIS has found the technology to be very stable and the most secure replication solution the organization came across during its research. AMIS continues to work with Sybase because of the stability of the ASE and data replication technologies as well as additional tools such as Sybase SQL Anywhere MobiLink, which enables synchronization with the databases of other providers, and Sybase InfoMaker, an easy-to-use interface that helps generate informative reports.
Sybase Helps AMIS Evolve Its Role in the Mexico Insurance Industry
“We started out as representatives of the insurance industry by acting as liaisons to industry authorities and related bodies, but we have since become a service provider to association members by helping them do what they cannot achieve on their own—efficient data processing,” Vargas says. Sybase technology has enabled us to provide this service and meet the objectives of our members as well as the association as a whole.”
The AMIS strategic growth plan calls for five percent GDP growth by 2020, and Sybase technology is expected to contribute to this mission by helping insurers organize data through a direct connection scheme of Web services and through data replication. “To claim life insurance, each company previously had to localize policies independently,” Vargas says. “But now they come to us to validate the information. Making business decisions thus becomes a necessity and an advantage in helping our members determine the best ways to attract new customers.”