Prudential Insurance Company
|The Prudential Insurance Company of America is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the world, offering a wide range of insurance, investment, healthcare, and asset management products to more than 50 million customers. Internationally recognized for achieving market strength in its primary businesses through technology leadership, Prudential partnered with R2K to obtain the business and technical skills needed to build a large-scale, distributed knowledge management system for customer service.|
Enterprise Document Management, Imaging and Workflow
Prudential needed to increase competitiveness and growth in a business climate characterized by consolidation, deregulation, and rapidly evolving technology. Their goal was to build an enterprise information technology architecture to support world class customer service across geographically distributed business applications. The key was to deploy imaging and workflow technologies to streamline high-volume, transaction-processing paper operations, while containing costs and risks associated with enterprise-wide administration of distributed architecture systems
High-priority customer service operations now provide more efficient, timely response to inquiries. A world class document management system ensures greater security, increasing customer confidence and growth. Centralized system management and reporting increases data quality and process integrity and reduces the inherent risks and support costs of enterprise system expansion. Prudential is positioned to provide electronic “information at your fingertips” anytime, anywhere.
In just one year, R2K helped Prudential implement an image and workflow customer service system, that supports over 4,000 workstations in six cities and the enterprise availability of over 100 million images.
A centralized command center employs R2K’s unique Web-based Enterprise Management Console (EMC) to provide Prudential system administrators with a live enterprise view of operations including system alerts, configuration management tools, performance counters, and report logs. This allows administrators to manage the 400 NT servers that are configured as 20 logical domains across six cities with full system backup and recovery.
The system has enterprise availability to over 100 million images stored on 13 distributed jukeboxes with room to house up to 18 terabytes of information. The system supports three Prudential Insurance Record Centers, co-located with 25 Kodak 923 scanners. These Record Centers house over 40 million customer application files and process over 12 million pieces of correspondence annually.
The “Prunet+” network infrastructure may be scaled or replicated to provide similar workflow solutions for other Prudential business units. Of the rapid implementation, Bill Devine, Vice President of Prudential Insurance says, “This was a very aggressive deployment. Our partnership with R2K demonstrates how large corporations can operate at an entrepreneurial pace when delivering enterprise solutions.”
Executing the Prudential strategy requires that customer service representatives manage complex account information and multiple products, resolve problems quickly, and respond flexibly to customers via telephone, email, fax, and mail. Prudential operates within the highly accelerated business climate in which the competitive challenges of consolidation, deregulation, and rapidly evolving technology exert constant pressure.
Like many large corporations, Prudential transitioned from the mainframe to a heterogeneous client-server environment and will continue to evolve with emerging Web-based technologies.
R2K was proactive in the design and development of Prudential’s customer service application to support high-volume transaction processing and long-term archival requirements. A daily volume of over one million pages is scanned, indexed, and quality controlled through a "common front door," and placed by workflow into electronic folders.
A bar code identifies routing, provides transaction information, and may trigger a process on the mainframe to extract customer information that is automatically added to the electronic folder. The bar code may also trigger a parallel retrieval request for additional paper documents filed in one of the Record Centers to be scanned and routed to the electronic folder.
The completed folder is placed into workflow based on user profiles or other coded data and then routed to one or more of the six processing sites during the transaction life cycle. Customer service representatives make fulfillment recommendations after viewing documents and data in the folder. The folder is then automatically routed to a completion step or for supervisory review.
The distributed nature of the operational environment required development of an administration management tool that could be operated from a centralized command center. The EMC solves the complex systems administration problems associated with distributed systems as they are deployed for increasingly larger applications such as those of Prudential.
The EMC is an intuitive and powerful tool that takes full advantage of NT security capabilities. It gives Prudential’s systems administrators a live, configurable, enterprise-wide tree view of the distributed workflow operation. The EMC provides network maps, system alerts, configuration management tools, counters, and report logs.
For Prudential, the EMC is critical to providing security and data integrity and managing the costs of its distributed image-enabled customer service system. It reduces the complexity of site support and the total cost of ownership for Prudential. The Web-based EMC received an Imaging Magazine "Best of AIIM Show Award" for its potential to manage distributed systems economically. Prudential has made a reality of this potential. By translating the experience and knowledge of R2K’s specialists into the EMC’s rule-based software, Prudential gained a true "knowledge management capability" that adds value to their business.
The enterprise imaging and workflow system has accelerated high-priority customer service operations for Prudential. By automating the workflow, transactions are processed more quickly. Electronic access to documents allows customers to receive a more timely response to inquiries. Corporate and customer records are captured, maintained, and managed by a secure document management system. This ensures customer confidence and growth.
Because the application architecture is scaleable and replicable, Prudential can leverage their investment going forward. By integrating new "information-at-your-fingertips" applications within this infrastructure, Prudential will continue to lead the industry by providing world class service to its customers.
Prudential’s mission is to assist its customers in achieving financial well being by providing them with information, advice, and products that best meet their needs. A state-of-the-art document management system, centralized system management, and instant access to information translates to true customer-centric knowledge management that contains costs and risks.
Prudential VP Bill Devine reports, "We chose R2K as our integration partner because they have the full spectrum of technology and business skills essential to delivering scaleable, manageable, and reliable knowledge management systems."