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SAP Creates Cash Flow Transparency

ICW Group Goes Live on SAP Software to Improve Operational Efficiencies and Customer Service

SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced that ICW Group Insurance Companies is now operating the SAP(R) ERP Financials solution to drive enterprise-wide efficiencies on a single, integrated system laying the foundation for financial excellence. Capitalizing on the early success of its recent SAP deployment, as well as its existing deployment of SAP(R) BusinessObjects(TM) business intelligence (BI) solutions and information management (IM) solutions, ICW Group was able to glean real-time visibility of its cash flow and reduced its general ledger accounts from 6,800 to 800. ICW Group will next implement insurance-specific solutions from SAP for claims, with 'collections and disbursements' creating an end-to-end IT infrastructure to better meet customer needs and drive competitive advantage.

"When the financial crisis hit we knew it was of utmost importance to continue our implementation of SAP to gain full cash flow transparency and create an edge over the competition," said Michael Freet , senior vice president and CFO, ICW Group. "The success we achieved immediately after going live with SAP is a true testament to the power and user-friendly attributes of the solution. We now have an integrated and flexible IT roadmap in place that allows us to remain competitive during the recession and be prepared for growth opportunities during the recovery."

As an innovative insurance company licensed in all 50 states, ICW Group offers a broad range of insurance products that include auto, workers' compensation, catastrophe, commercial property and surety. Previously, ICW Group had a number of disparate legacy systems that were not scalable. As they began to grow and diversify, ICW Group needed one trusted version of their business data that could be easily disseminated to employees, regulators and agents. The company selected SAP BusinessObjects IM and BI solutions to consolidate and cleanse data, as well as deliver actionable reports to improve visibility across the organization. ICW Group relies on SAP BusinessObjects to replace gut-feel and spreadsheets with timely and reliable data for better decisions making, including support for predictive analytics, which enables precise pricing for insurance policies.

ICW Group selected HCL AXON as its implementation partner to replace its financial management software. HCL AXON team members worked closely with ICW over a four month period, and together drove a smooth and efficient transition of the Group's systems and data, as well as supporting employee communications and training.

With advanced technology from SAP, ICW Group employees now have more time to move up the curve and focus as a true financial advisory resource for driving enterprise strategy and growth. Many manual and spreadsheet processes have been automated in SAP software, freeing valuable hours to conduct financial analysis, planning and monitoring. The new and more detailed information captured in SAP software provides both accounting and business leaders more timely access to information. In addition, each ICW Group line-of-business can also work more efficiently by accessing real-time facts and figures to enhance departmental decision- making. All of this lays the foundation for more efficient financial operations, as it allows ICW Group's CFO to focus on being a strategic advisor to the business, instead of allocating time against secondary tasks that ICW Group's previous financial systems could not support.

Last year ICW Group selected the SAP ERP Financials solution and insurance solutions for claims management and 'collections and disbursements' (see "ICW Group Turns to for Improved Claims and Billing Processes"). The deployment of SAP software has already provided ICW with early benefits:

  • Increased data granularity when compared to legacy systems. Operational data is now seamlessly integrated with the general ledger to a much greater degree of detail.
  • Elimination of database management activities by financial professionals.
  • Ability to rapidly analyze the financial and operational data.
  • Increased efficiency through access to--and analysis of--real-time financial data.

"Because of its aspirations of growth and the commitment to its customers and employees, ICW Group is an inspiration at a time of uncertainty," said Richard Daukant , senior vice president, Financial Services North America, SAP AG. "Having realized that the existence of its multiple products and applications across the claims, billing and financials areas was creating too much work based on the level of complexity of those products and applications, ICW Group knew it needed to complete deployment of an integrated and scalable system to create the financial backbone for effectively supporting its insurance needs. With the insight and tools provided by SAP, the Group can now close the gap between its business strategy and everyday execution."

Having an end-to-end platform with SAP's flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, SAP(R) ERP and SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions, ICW Group's new analytics solution is the foundation of its financial statements. ICW Group can generate its financial results fast and have the visibility needed to base business decisions on facts. Joining the SAP solutions and SAP BusinessObjects solutions on an integrated platform will allow ICW Group to use market-leading reporting, analytics and dashboards to better evaluate and manage credit, market and operational risk. Improved insight will enable the Group to plan by taking risk into account, while at the same time giving it the opportunity to monitor and remediate internal controls across all its systems.

When asked about the successful go-live at ICW Group, Ian Greenhalgh , SVP of Sales and Marketing for HCL AXON in the Americas, said, "We are delighted to be a part of ICW Group's successful financials go-live and look forward to working with them to delivering benefits as we continue to roll-out the SAP platform into key operational areas of the business."

Now that ICW Group's financials are operating on an integrated platform, it is currently implementing SAP(R) Claims Management and SAP(R) Insurance Collections and Disbursements applications, which it plans to have implemented in the third quarter. With claims software from SAP, ICW Group plans to accelerate cash flow, optimize reserves, reduce leakage and ensure efficient processing, allowing customers access to easier methods for processing their claims and quicker response times and payments. Collections and disbursements software will help ICW Group consolidate systems and manage payments, billing and receivables, improving the reconciliation process while enhancing customer service. 

About ICW Group
Privately held ICW Group represents a group of multi-line property and casualty insurance carriers providing workers' compensation, surety, commercial property, DIC and personal and business auto insurance. Its member companies consist of Insurance Company of the West, Explorer Insurance Company and Independence Casualty and Surety. Based in San Diego, Calif., ICW Group continues to transform itself into an insurance industry leader dedicated to meeting the needs of its agents and the people and companies they insure. More information is available at http://www.icwgroup.com/

About SAP
SAP is the world's leading provider of business software (*), offering applications and services that enable companies of all sizes and in more than 25 industries to become best-run businesses. With more than 82,000 customers in over 120 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges, including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE, under the symbol "SAP." For more information, visit www.sap.com.  

About HCL AXON
HCL AXON is a Business Transformation consultancy that focuses on delivering significant business value to large, complex organizations through the innovative deployment of SAP technologies. HCL AXON has over 4,500 experienced professional who leverage the implementation of SAP to deliver sustained business improvement. For more information, visit www.hcl-axon.com

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SAP News Desk trawls the world's news information sources and brings you timely updates on the world's leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and its various software product lines used to integrate back-office functions such as distribution, accounting, human resources, and manufacturing.

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