CNP Assurances is a member of the Caisse des Dépôts Group. It is the leading personal insurer in France and the 6th in Europe. CNP Assurances covers 14 million policyholders with life, savings and pension insurance, and 27 million with personal risk and protection policies. CNP Assurances employs 4,800 people worldwide. For 160 years, CNP Assurances has offered a full range of savings, pensions and personal risk insurance accommodating the needs of individuals and constant market changes. Its products are marketed through long-standing partnerships, in particular in France with Caisse d'Épargne and La Banque Postale.
The CNP Assurances Innovation and IS Impact Assessments team was created in 2011 to come under its Programmes and IS Department.The extremely flexible team of four is responsible for responding to the many and various demands of the different business units as well as from the Programmes and IS Department. In order to do so successfully, the team has created, developed or integrated only open-source solutions which are recognized, flexible, efficient and scalable. During a project's lifecycle, the team communicates with its internal "customers" by suggesting tailored, flexible project management practices. However, it also welcomes customer feedback.
It is with this background that CNP Assurances chose Liferay in 2009. A number of projects were considered, including one on the CNP Assurances products and processes knowledge-base.
The "Knowledge Base" project presented a number of challenges. First of all, the existing base would have to be remodelled and its content, which had become difficult to manage, reorganized in order to direct the service to policyholders. This base contains approximately 350 insurance "products", 450 management procedures (with combined appendices totalling 14,000) and 5,000 attached files. All of this adds up to just over 15GB of data.
In total, there are 1,500 users who access the base daily and 2,000 occasional users. The second challenge lays in opening up access to CNP Assurances to external players so that they would be able to partially access information in the repository depending on their access rights.
There was also another challenge for the Innovation team: finding an innovative solution that met their flexibility and business efficiency requirements that also had a good cost to deadline ratio.
There were several reasons CNP Assurances chose Liferay.
The product's flexibility was one. "Business teams experience the project first-hand with us", said Ludovic Andrieux, Project Manager for Innovation and IS Impact Assessments at CNP Assurances. "It was essential that the project was guided by our customers right from the start. They became "active participants" in the project. Using the web portal, they were able to keep up with their changing needs, make improvements during the development phase, and customize the tool. For our part, we were able to support them thanks to practices that were flexible (cyclical development thanks to a feedback chain) and targeted", stated Ludovic Andrieux.
We built the graphic interface easily, and the simple operational administration meant users could quickly get to grips with it. It was also easy to tackle other "Design Thinking" projects using the Liferay Portal.
"As for the Innovation team, they found that, using Liferay, they could use their expertise to ensure accurate and appropriate encryption for customers. This confirmed its credibility with the Innovation team and with the Programmes and IS Department", noted Françoise Hoyek, Innovation team manager.
Lastly, Liferay's compliance with standards meant it could integrate more effectively with the existing information system in a secure environment.
Implementing the Solution
Liferay Portal allows for subtle management of content depending on the different products of the user groups.
Each product has its own dedicated environment that authorized users can access to find all of the relevant information.
The Innovation team developed a specific function based on Liferay's application platform which allows each user to see who is in charge of a CNP Assurances contract for a given product, area or customer.
Furthermore, there is a forum where users can communicate. It can be accessed in just one click from the different elements of the page consulted on contract components, products or management procedures.
"We haven't encountered any problems in the implementation phase", Ludovic Andrieux pointed out.
Business Value Added
It boiled down to two key elements: ease of access and efficiency.
Business users were able to access more easily the information they were looking for. They liked the uncomplicated availability of content. As for the administrators, they were happy with the way content could be shared and with the fact that they found little disparity between their interfaces and those of business users.
"We are satisfied with Liferay Portal solution", affirmed Ludovic Andrieux. "It allows us to quickly respond to our customers and we know we're sure to respond to their functional concerns in the time limits we've set for ourselves. This means we've been able to focus our development efforts on offering user-friendly online services and ensuring user acceptance. In addition, we are completely sold on the benefits open source brings to CNP Assurances. The extensive Liferay community allows us to develop products very quickly, which means that we can develop quickly too. We also like being able to share best practices. Furthermore, we rely on a collection of reusable components. Liferay is extremely scalable and can be adapted to projects of any size. Liferay Portal has completed the technological range we offer our customers.
"In the future we would like to focus on opening up the knowledge base to other internal or external players using Liferay's secure functions. We are also considering going mobile with our 6.2 version, which is out already, and offering mobility solutions as they are now becoming indispensable for future projects", concluded Ludovic Andrieux.