Web Portal Build

Centric deploys new web portal CMS, significantly increasing site functionality while giving direct admin control of sites to the business.

The Business Need

A large regional insurance company had outdated web and application server technology that prevented it from keeping up with self service standards required in the insurance industry. Business owners were not able to quickly make the changes mandated by the business. Technologically the sites were built on a difficult to use and arcane CMS web site resulting in the need for IT resources for every monthly web content release. Given the Insurance industry’s overall push for customer self serve initiatives the current infrastructure was limiting the business’s ability to grow revenues and decrease costs. Finally, the site’s underlying technology prevented the business from fulfilling its vision for a modern, feature rich, collaborative, personalized web portal similar to the sites of its competitors.

Centric’s High-Impact Approach

As the primary technology partner to our client, Centric was engaged to manage and execute a multi-phased project that:

  • Defined the Enterprise Architecture needed to solve the business problems and to evaluate and select the partners and vendors needed to implement the solution, and
  • Redesign and redevelop the highest priority web capabilities using the defined solution architecture. The initial scope was set to redesign and implement six new public domains and five extranet sites.

The initial project phase involved big picture thinking around satisfying the business drivers for the project which naturally lead to defining an underlying web portal and web content management software stack. Issues addressed included how the business would interact with IT to manage the new and improved web properties, how security would be handled, how the network architecture would be affected, and how back office applications would be exposed and extended on the new sites.

To accommodate the business need for much faster and self-administered site maintenance an early decision was made to build the new sites on top of a modern commercially available web Content Management System (CMS). Centric ran a vendor evaluation to select the CMS vendor. The team also conducted an RFP driven selection process to select an Interactive Design / Creative firm responsible for the site’s Information Architecture and the look & feel. As overall project manager Centric managed the interaction between the Interactive Vendor and the Client’s IT, Business, and Marketing groups.

During the second phase Centric created work plans and schedules to redesign and refresh six public facing web domains and five private or agent only web domains and move them onto the new CMS. For each site creative concepts had to be reviewed and approved, integrated into the CMS, loaded with content, and users trained. Significant technical issues had to be addressed including, hardware configuration and selection, single sign on / security, and network architecture (routers and firewall configuration).

Project scope also included building dashboard portlets that allowed Agents to see an aggregate view of all their in-process life, auto, home and commercial quotes. The dashboard provided for a measurable increase in agent efficiency and satisfaction.

Results

Our Client’s web sites have been redesigned with a fresh, modern look. The business is now doing the bulk of web site updates themselves with less assistance from IT. Furthermore, the business does not feel constrained in terms of what’s possible with the web site and is planning for numerous creative extensions of content and functionality.

Technologically, our client now has a supported, modern platform for enhancing and building out future web site functionality that is fully aligned with its long tern Enterprise Architecture goals. The Client is well positioned to roll out additional advanced functionality that would not have been possible without the new portal / web CMS infrastructure.