Storebrand has a strong market position in savings, insurance, banking, funds and pensions, with 2 million private customers and 40,000 corporate customers. Self-service solutions and digital channels are very important in this industry, both for customer care, sales, products and services, as well as partner management. Storebrand, like others in the industry, had an ambition to digitalize its services and to offer self-service solutions. They wanted a partner who could assist in initiating, managing and developing a digitalization program. Important criteria for choosing a partner were high skills, the ability to scale quickly, high quality deliveries, and ability to deliver a digitalization program in a cost-effective manner.

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Itera has been Storebrand's preferred partner for several years in system development related to digital customer channels. Hence, Itera was engaged to setting up a major digitalization program based on a delivery model with both onshore and nearshore resources to be as cost-effective as possible.

Itera started by identifying overall goals and functional needs as the basis for defining a digitalization program as a superstructure for a variety of projects aimed at different identified goals and functionality needs. Itera put together a multidisciplinary team consisting of project managers, architects, technologists and testers to renew and digitalize Storebrand's solutions. Initially, the team consisted only of on-site personnel, but gradually the different teams were manned as hybrid teams with a mix of resources from Oslo and Kiev. Some of the teams have gradually become pure nearshore teams, managed by Storebrand, and who deliver both development and application management.

Itera has contributed in the development of major parts of the architecture of the self-service solutions, including front-end, back-end, integration and services. The solution integrates with public organizations, partners and internal trade systems at Storebrand. For the purchase solutions, Itera has helped create a generic template solution and architecture where Storebrand can easily define new products without the need to develop complete new verticals for the new product. The self-service solution uses technologies that make them perceived as rich and that are built on top of a service-oriented architecture with REST services. Itera has further developed a Deployment Pipeline that supports Storebrand's wish for "Continuous Deploy". The solution enables the construction and deployment of new versions in new environments, including production, with a single click.

More than 40 services have been digitalized and improved, ranging from signing up for being a customer to insurance subscription, claims settlement, retirement savings, loan application, savings, funds, authentication, document signing, document distribution and alert services.
Overall, Itera has provided expertise in business consulting and analysis, governance and management, program/project/team management, IT strategy, technical architecture, DevOps, system development, integration, data warehousing, test management, testing automation, nearshore and operationalization.

Result

Storebrand has completed a solid upgrade of the digital customer solutions and self-service channels over the last 6 years. By using Itera as a partner and utilizing hybrid delivery teams, they have achieved significant cost savings. At peak speed in the project, more than 30 nearshore-consultants has contributed to the solution simultaneously, working in 6 different teams. The gradual and controlled transition to hybrid teams has proven to work very well in this kind of engagement that includes both development of new solutions as well as application management and continuous improvement.

  • Approximately 150 000 development hours delivered
  • More than 40 products and services launched
  • A solid and reusable test framework is developed and implemented for Storebrand's department
  • Annual nearshore savings of 28-30 MNOK compared to onshore
  • Annual savings of 12-15 MNOK compared to internal cost rates
  • Average hourly rate reduced by approximately 40%

Storebrand's technology solution is now very modern. New deployment processes allow Storebrand to release new versions daily. The sum of this enables Storebrand to move rapidly towards new markets and solutions and to provide their customers with easy access to the solutions.

Team setup

  • 6 "streams" – dedicated solution teams, significant part of main department's projects
  • Dedicated Test Automation team aimed to serve multiple projects
  • Only one management resource (Nearshore Coordinator) for 30+ FTEs fully covers coordination on the Nearshore side
  • ONE team (close in distance and culture)
  • Extremely fast on-demand scaling and effective onboarding process

Development and collaboration process

The developers and testers are communicating with Norwegian colleagues directly. They recieve and provide input to developers, project leads, managers, concept developers, product owners, etc. Atlassian collaboration tools are used in the day-to-day operation. Teams fully incorporate chosen development process methodology and take part in the continuous improvement process.