- 74% reduction in monthly financial close process
- Projected savings of 100 man-days per year
- Documented and automated all IT process knowledge
Genworth, a division of Genworth Financial, is a leading provider of Lifestyle Protection and Mortgage insurance across Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. They have annual revenue of nearly €800 million and partner with 120 clients in 25 countries serving over 9 million customers.
Financial services companies offer Genworth insurance products at the point where a consumer is making a financial commitment – taking out a car loan or mortgage, or securing a credit card. These credit linked products protect customers when they can’t meet payments on specific financial commitments due to illness, accident, unemployment, disability, or death.
Manual Intervention Presented Significant Risks
In order to deliver high quality customer service, Genworth needed to replace its iSeries based, in-house developed insurance applications. The company decided to implement an Oracle database solution that would run on a UNIX platform. While the iSeries included some automation capabilities, switching to UNIX left Genworth having to use scripts and basic operating system tools to manage its IT workload.
Genworth sought a workload automation solution that would eliminate the manual intervention required in the new UNIX environment. In particular, they wanted to streamline the month-end close process that consisted of over 1300 tasks and required a series of manual interventions. This workload had been broken down into four enormous shell scripts that a DBA would submit and monitor, introducing significant potential for errors and delays. After investigating several alternatives, Genworth chose Automic’s ONE Automation to automate these processes.
ONE Automation Helps Drive Fundamental Change
ONE Automation provided Genworth with intuitive design tools and reusable objects as well as the ability to manage complex dependencies. IT Ops no longer waits for the production run to discover systems failures. Automated alerting ensures problems are rapidly identified and resolved. A daily “pre-flight” check queries ONE Automation to identify, test, and alert issues with core components. Auditing ensures the tracking and reporting of all processing activity.
Solving the month end close problem was just the beginning of a fundamental transformation in the way Genworth approached IT challenges. Automic has been used to empower support teams with self-service tools that allow them to build and manage their process flows. Integrated security and reusable objects simplifies admin while ensuring separation of duties. The success helped establish IT’s credibility with business users and drove thinking into how they could get more out of Automic.
“It was central that we changed everyone’s thinking about how we operated,” said Paul Ryan, IT Production Operations Manager at Genworth. “Historically we thought manually but we had to begin relying more on automation.Working with Automic helped make that change. ONE Automation has become an enabling technology that we’ve applied across our business. Instead of being focused on infrastructure issues, we now get invited by our Finance group and other users to help them use automation to address their business challenges. As a team, we’ve gone from being invisible to highly visible within the company.”
Genworth also leveraged ONE Automation to consolidate the knowledge needed to support its IT processes. “Instead of relying on information that key individuals carry around in their heads, we’ve been able to capture and document how our systems work and what to do when things go wrong” said Ryan.
From having zero visibility, Genworth has used Automic to gain valuable insights across its IT landscape. Details from over 900 disparate objects are automatically extracted and transformed into XML structures before being used to populate the enterprise CMDB. This information is continually refreshed, ensuring Genworth benefits from access to a complete inventory of its IT assets that is up-to-date and accurate. Mapping the relationships between servers, networks, applications and other IT resources has proven vital when planning configuration changes or investigating issues.
Genworth Reaps Benefits
“With One Automation we’ve managed to reduce operational risk and strengthen our compliance profile by removing avoidable risk caused by manual intervention in our processes,” said Ryan. “We’ve been able to realise significant, measurable business value by automating finance and accounting.”
“As a result of the ONE Automation implementation, we’ve achieved a 74% reduction in our monthly financial close process and a projected savings of 100 man-days per year,” said Ryan. “Month end processing starts at 5:30 pm on Friday and must be completed by Monday morning. When we first implemented Automic, it finished on early Monday morning. By using Automic execution data IT Operations were able to optimize the process by 50%, identifying job dependencies to restructure the flow, reduce idle time and risks to the overall process. Additionally the developers were able to make improvements to long running steps in the process, which prior to ONE Automation, we had little visibility of. Now we’re done by early Saturday morning.”
ONE Automation continues to support Genworth’s evolving business needs. “Automic made it simple for us to upgrade from Oracle 9i to Oracle 11g,” said Ryan. “Thanks to ONE Automation’s structure, it was simply a matter of shutting down old agents and starting new ones.” “True success is achieved through people,” Ryan summed up. “They want to be able to drive innovation. With ONE
Automation we were able to document and automate the thought processes of our best minds allowing them to have a much greater impact on our future business success.”