"Clients tell us changes they can now do in 10 minutes would have cost $50,000 ormore with their previous solution." — Martin Stewart, Director of Strategy
This case study illustrates how one of Australia’s premier insurance solutions providers experienced significant and measurable time and cost savings after switching from an inflexible and complicated open source document generation solution to a more powerful, cost-effective docgen component.
Award-winning Australian insurance solutions provider Axe Group develops and sells the Axelerator Insurance Platform, an Adaptive Straight-Through Processing (STP) system for automation of new business, claims and lifecycle services. Axelerator provides a rules-driven environment for one-touch and personalized process execution, with smart handling of exceptions.
Document generation is an integral part of Axe Group’s Axelerator platform. Axelerator relies on its docgen component to generate sessionspecific documents, such as quotations, letters and applications. Prior to using Windward Studios, Axelerator used the iText scripting language for creating document templates—but the software was less than ideal. A major drawback was the time-consuming document creation and revision process. Developers would change the code, see how the template looked, go in and change the code again, review the template again, and so on, until they finalized the template. Even so, the final result was not perfect. Martin Stewart, Axe Group’s Director of Strategy, termed the scripting tool “fiddly” because it was difficult to get the layouts of the documents right. In addition, the software extended project cycle times, required intensive IT support, and was expensive to maintain.
Axe Group assigned someone internally to investigate options and came up with a short list of three programs, which the company downloaded and evaluated on a trial basis. Selection criteria included functionality, usability and pricing.
Axe Group chose the Windward reporting and document generation solution. This solution is composed of Windward AutoTag and the Windward Engine, which work together as a cohesive docgen platform. AutoTag is a Microsoft® Office add-in that automates datasource mapping, database connection and report design. The Engine, available for Java and .NET, delivers data as fast as any enterprise system can handle.
Axe Group selected the Windward solution for five primary reasons:
Because Axe Group incorporates Windward into Axelerator, the company does not pass additional license fees on to clients. Plus, Windward exists on multiple work stations and test sites without separate licenses.
Along with the time savings that translate directly to cost savings, Axe Group has seen other impacts on its own and its customers’ bottom lines. “Clients tell us changes they can now do in 10 minutes would have cost $50K or more with their previous solution,” Stewart said.S
Axe Group can now set up the initial templates and then enable clients to perform any layout tweaks. This takes what Stewart called “a major headache” out of the projects and substantially reduces both costs for Axe Group clients and last minute changes for Axe Group project teams to cope with
Windward has helped Axe Group attract new customers and keep them happy. For instance, a major customer decided to build a correspondence engine based around Windward, replacing a previously outsourced setup.
“Windward saved us and the client a fortune as there were a lot of changes to all the documents after the initial templates were signed off,” Stewart said. “We never would have met the time constraints—and we would have blown the budgets—had we used the previous tools."