Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Data & Analytics

10:45 AM
Connect Directly

AXA Uses NewFrame For Data Transfer

Converts more than 300 million tables daily from back-end systems to customer-facing CRM application.

Having millions of records about a company's customers usually makes the marketing, underwriting and customer support jobs easier. However, if an insurance carrier's employees can't get to the information, it is useless.

AXA Client Solutions, a division of New York-based AXA Financial ($453 billion in assets under management), wanted to provide accounting and customer information to its core analysis team, as well as eventually allowing customers and distributors flexible access to information through the company's Internet-based customer relationship management architecture.

A Daily Mass Conversion

However, AXA had literally millions of tables of information that would have to be converted daily from the mainframes' DB2 systems to AXA's Oracle-based (Redwood Shores, CA) CRM application, says Sean Montgomery, data warehouse manager at AXA Client Solutions. "We have to move approximately 300 million rows of data a day between the systems," he says. "The DB2 tables are the back-end of the systems and they are not accessible. We had a need for people in the company to come in and access the data."

To convert the tables for the CRM application, reports Marvin Rafe, managing director, architecture and standards, at AXA Client Solutions, AXA chose NewFrame Corp.'s NewFrame Migrator. "NewFrame allows us to easily translate the data between the two environments," he reports. The data includes information for AXA's life insurance, annuity and asset management products.

NewFrame (Saddle Brook, NJ) was selected, in part, because it was the "next generation" of a BMC Software (Houston) product that AXA was already using for data conversion between DB2 and the policy administration system on the mainframe, says Rafe.

Also, the NewFrame system can quickly convert massive amounts of data, reports Montgomery. "We can convert 100 million rows in under an hour," he says. The product works so well, he says, because "it does exactly what we want it to do, simply and efficiently. There are no bells and whistles. NewFrame gets the information from point 'A' to point 'B' with the least amount of interruptions."

NewFrame Migrator also takes out a complicated step in the data translation process for users, Montgomery points out. "Previously, there were some processes that lengthened the access of data," he says. "For instance, a user would have to download data to a flat file, then reformat the data into an Oracle table, increasing the time it takes to access information."

Excellent Support

When AXA does run into trouble with file conversion, NewFrame provides "quality support," says Rafe. "The data warehouse is a critical path for client-facing activities, so having reliable and quality support is important," he says. NewFrame "can easily troubleshoot problems and they are knowledgeable about mainframe technology and EMC and Sun Microsystems Solaris technology," two of the key hardware and software components on which NewFrame runs, Rafe adds.

One of the only "major" difficulties that AXA Client Solutions has run into occurred during the initial implementation. This turned out to be a completely "Unix issue, where we had to ratchet up the resource limits on the server," so it could handle the multiple log-ons that NewFrame requires, Montgomery says. The problem stumped AXA and NewFrame for nearly two hours before they realized the resource limit problem, he recalls.

The biggest benefit of the NewFrame system, says Montgomery, is that it is self sufficient. "Although we haven't quantified any savings," he says, "users can make changes easily on a daily basis. I can tell it is running well because it runs on its own," and very rarely forces the IT team to get involved. "We are only called in when there is something that is abnormal, and that is rare."

With NewFrame powering the data access, AXA has now extended access to information, customers and distributors over the Internet and the company's intranet via AXA Online. "We are working to make data available over all channels," Rafe says. "If a customer has life insurance and other products, NewFrame can help bring the information together so customers can get a complete view of their accounts."


Case Study Closeup

COMPANY: AXA Client Solutions, a division of AXA Financial, New York, $453 billion inassets.

LINES OF BUSINESS: Life insurance, annuities and financial planning.

VENDOR/TECHNOLOGY: NewFrame Corp.'s (Saddle Brook, NJ) NewFrame Migrator.

CHALLENGE: Convert 300 million tables daily for CRM app.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters