Outdated systems and applications, proliferation of documents and an in-house IT department that no longer met today’s requirements. For UW, a sheltered employment facility based in Utrecht, a transition to a digital working environment was needed
Luc Vereycken, CEO Vereycken & Vereycken
Industry: Finance & Insurance
Life insurance specialists Vereycken & Vereycken have been advising and developing software for life insurance companies for over thirty years. The company, in partnership with Cegeka, is now unburdening customers with a switch to a Cloud and SaaS model for its UL3 software.
Vereycken & Vereycken is a family business from Kontich, Belgium, founded in 1988 by Luc Vereycken and his brother Carl. They offer consultancy services to life insurance companies as well as providing UL3, a software platform to manage personal insurance, from the first offer to the payment of premiums. “Currently 14 out of 28 life insurers in Belgium use our package,” says Luc Vereycken. “It’s a generic package for life insurers that can be adapted for each insurer, for example, with different rates and a different look-and-feel.”
Half of Vereycken & Vereycken’s forty-strong team consists of actuaries, lawyers and economists with an in-depth knowledge of the life and pension insurance industry. The other half are IT specialists who incorporate this knowhow into the software. The unique combination of advanced insurance engineering and sophisticated software technology in UL3 enables life insurers to achieve the highest level of operational efficiency and commercial effectiveness. “We not only help our clients to raise the quality of their services, but also to reduce their operating costs,” Luc Vereycken explains.
In the beginning, Vereycken & Vereycken only delivered its software to customers on an on-premise basis. Then the insurer’s IT department would roll out and integrate the solution. But an increasing number of banks and insurers are now looking to outsource the management of their own servers. To relieve them of their IT worries, Vereycken & Vereycken decided to offer a cloud solution to the insurers– and this is where Cegeka came in.
“We have raised our service quality to a higher level. Our software is more easily available in the cloud,” Luc Vereycken says. “And because we use the SaaS model, our customers do not have to wait around for implementation if there is a new law or if other changes are required. We focus on the technical aspects of insurance and always keep our software up to date.”
In addition, Vereycken & Vereycken and Cegeka are working together to ensure complete compliance. “Insurers have to adhere to all kinds of laws, such as anti-money laundering legislation, the Consumer Protection Act, auditing legislation, fiscal legislation, pension legislation, GDPR and so on. We are unburdening them by ensuring these laws are applied for them.” Cegeka has also implements the highest possible level of security in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.
“Thanks to the SaaS model, our customers do not have to wait around for implementation if there is a new law or if other changes are required.”
- Luc Vereycken, CEO of Vereycken & Vereycken
Cegeka successfully implemented the application using its proven ‘Plan, Build and Run’ approach, in close cooperation with Vereycken & Vereycken. It all began with a few introductory talks in order to understand Vereycken & Vereycken’s specific knowledge and expertise and gain an insight into the market. Next, Cegeka assessed the UL3 application: what it does, where it runs, how it is maintained and how much technical support customers need.
Cegeka then built a test environment in the Azure cloud to test UL3. We looked at what customers are going to do differently when the application is running in the cloud, and what else could be optimised. “Because, obviously, an application that has thousands of users in the cloud has very different requirements than an on-premises application with only a few dozen users,” Luc Vereycken says.
Cegeka supports UL3 in the Azure cloud and also provides a second-line helpdesk. It also continuously analyses the application’s performance: how many users are there, is there still enough capacity or does it need to be scaled up? As more Vereycken & Vereycken customers upgrade from UL3 to SaaS in their on-premise environment, the faster upscaling is possible. Cegeka actively thinks about the future along with them.
Meanwhile, the SaaS model is being implemented at a large international insurer and a Belgian bank. This means that UL3 can be easily adapted to the preferred environment of the insurer. Other customers now have the option of switching from their current on-premises version of UL3 to the future-proof SaaS model.
Luc Vereycken is already thinking one step ahead: “We have already opened up our system for insurance brokers, but for group insurance it would be good if we also opened it up for employers, and later perhaps for the employees of those employers. We are considering all these different avenues.” The front-end has also been reviewed for future innovations, and cloud-native development is also included in the roadmap.
Vereycken & Vereycken approached Cegeka because of their proven experience with cloud and security services on the Microsoft Azure platform. “Our expertise is a perfect complement for theirs,” Luc Vereycken says. “We specialise in insurance technology and software, and Cegeka specialises in IT infrastructure and integration with other systems. We don’t just rely on Cegeka to provide us with 24/7 cloud services, but we also trust them to be our integration partner. After all, our software must be integrated into a specific environment with a different front-end for each customer. Before, it was either us or the IT department of the insurer who was responsible for this. Now, we have Cegeka to rely on, allowing us to focus on developing the core elements of our software, which is our area of expertise.” And because Cegeka already has years of experience working with clients in the financial sector, some of which are also clients of Vereycken & Vereycken, both partners speak the same language.
Luc Vereycken is very pleased with the cooperation: “Cegeka’s word was their bond, right from the start of our cooperation. Like us, they are extremely passionate about their business. Our two companies clicked immediately, each with its own background and passion. No matter how high-tech IT is, it is still people who do the work. Cegeka always kept in mind the benefits to the end customer. This resulted in true synergy. I would even dare to say that it was 1+1=4!”
“Like us, Cegeka are extremely passionate about their business. Our two companies clicked immediately, each with its own background and passion.”
- Luc Vereycken, CEO of Vereycken & Vereycken
"A growing number of banks and insurers are looking to outsource the management of their servers. Vereycken & Vereycken turned to Cegeka to migrate its software for insurers to the cloud. With the SaaS model, customers don’t have to wait around for implementation if there is a new law or if other changes are required."