AGRICA Group faced significant expectations in the areas of regulatory compliance, digitalization, and fraud-detection, all while being pressured to improve productivity. To address these challenges, Agrica launched a strategic initiative for an Enterprise Data Hub with Semarchy, starting with the management of their insured person and organization data.
AGRICA Group is a key provider of pension and retirement plans, and insurance services for French agricultural businesses and workers. AGRICA Group protects and guarantees the continuity of income to its many members through its activities. This includes more than 170,000 companies, 1.5 million agricultural workers, 700,000 pensioners, plus managing a turnover of 2.6 billion euros and 6.7 billion euros of assets. Driven by its core values, AGRICA has been engaged in a corporate social responsibility program to better prepare for the future since 2006. Faced with complex expectations across regulatory compliance, digitalization, fraud, and improving productivity, AGRICA Group launched a strategic initiative for an Enterprise Data Hub, starting with the management of the insured party data.
A challenge : knowing populations
“The primary objective that led to this project launch was to have control over the inbound data flows, and above all a good knowledge of our member population. This was the main topic that motivated this implementation,” explains Dominique Goldstein, the project’s Business Lead.
The population managed by AGRICA Group is divided into three branches: CCPMA (Caisse Centrale de Prévoyance Mutuelle Agricole) for employees of professional organizations, CPCEA (Caisse de Prévoyance des Cadres des Exploitations Agricoles) for agricultural production executives, and AGRI Prévoyance for agricultural production non-executives. In addition, AGRICA collaborates with several partners who perform delegated management. Historically, these population’s data was split into application silos corresponding to the three branches. "The IT tools collect information from the three institutions independently," added Goldstein, "All the data was in silos."
The business case justified the investment in several ways. “Regulatory constraints: we had to meet regulatory obligations such as the Solvency Directive 2, the Eckert law, etc. The regulations include taking into account data quality management. They mandate that we have a real knowledge and control of our populations, mainly to report to the control bodies,” explained Goldstein. In this context, the Group is aware of the importance of the regulations topic. “We took into account the regulations quite early, and got into working order quickly. We are not late.”
From the start, the AGRICA board supported the project. "A joint decision was taken by the executive committee, accompanied by the Life and Health Insurance business and the IT departments. Managers have joined forces to meet this need, ” said Goldstein.
The project managers started the project on solid foundations. “We started with a cross-section survey of the company, conducting interviews, to discover each other's needs in terms of MDM (Master Data Management = management of reference data). Based on these elements, the process of finding a tool and an integrator began, with specifications and calls for tenders." said Goldstein.
AGRICA chose Semarchy xDM, which stood out from among the competitors being evaluated. “We were impressed by the tool because of its presentation, both in terms of functionality and interface," said Goldstein. This preference was confirmed by a Proof of Concept (POC) exercise. “Responsiveness was a decisive factor. We asked Semarchy to carry out a POC on our own flows. We were convinced after seeing the final result.”
An Evolving Project
The project was launched with the support of the Semarchy team. “We are very satisfied. The Semarchy team is very responsive, available, and open. Our discussions are frank, direct, and we appreciate this collaboration, ”said Goldstein.
The first iteration was completed in just two months, making it possible to lay a technical foundation in which the data, but also the interfaces, which were readily available. A second iteration was completed three months later, to include screens, navigation and data management rules modifications. "We are working in an agile methodology, and with this tool, the needs are quickly satisfied," assured Benoit Bénard, Functional Architect at the IT department.
The project continues to evolve with the goal of making flows more reliable in order to certify them, by implementing more formal rejections management. The team will also integrate all aspects related to corporate data governance and recurring data flows.
The Data Hub project was initially focused on analytics, but “the objective is to propagate the hub data to our entire information system, so that it is consumed, for example, by front office building blocks or customer portals. The goal is to disseminate the data from Semarchy, ”said Benard. "We want the Data Hub to be the point of truth and reference for the company and for all data."
"The AGRICA information system will have to come and seek information on this point of truth. We are fully reviewing the definition of governance. For the moment, we have a pragmatic approach, and it is evolving towards more structure. We have set up a steering committee which will put the Data Hub tool ‘on the ground’, by defining governance rules taken at the business level,” added Goldstein.
Immediate and future benefits
“From the first batch, we were able to start extracting results from the overall workforce for the entire population covered by AGRICA, regardless of the original silo. We were able to show that the results obtained automatically by Semarchy were consistent with the figures which had, until now,been consolidated manually," said Goldstein. “The manual consolidation process would take up to a month. With Semarchy, we have the consolidated figures in a few minutes - the goal is reached!"
“We have also set up a method of communication and support by forming a pilot group of 30 people working on the data hub. They use the data hub on a daily basis for their own needs, mainly for extraction purposes, for example for marketing (for campaign targeting), financial management (for calculating provisions), and auditing.” said Goldstein.
“During our pilot group training, we had positive feedback on the use of a company-wide vocabulary around the tool. Thanks to the Data Hub, we can give and share common semantics to data across the enterprise, ”she added. “We are going to start working on the structure of products, risks and agreements. Our users can start to project, beyond the knowledge of the insured, on the benefits and added value that the Data Hub will bring them in terms of contracts, risks and products. ”