How Did Symfa Revolutionize Insurance Business Logic with Low-Code?

Symfa, a reputed software engineering firm, undertook a challenging project to transform and centralize the business logic for a major insurance company in the US. This project highlighted the potential of low-code platforms in revolutionizing operational processes within the insurance industry. Previously, the insurance company struggled for three years to develop an efficient Rules engine without success. Symfa’s intervention aimed to consolidate the fragmented business logic into a centralized system, greatly enhancing both manageability and efficiency.

Tackling Initial Challenges

Understanding the Problem

Three years before Symfa’s involvement, the insurance company had embarked on a project to develop a Rules engine designed to streamline various user-facing applications. Despite substantial investments and efforts over that period, the project ultimately failed due to the inability to integrate and manage the diverse set of business rules effectively. These rules were scattered across different systems, leading to inconsistencies and a lack of control, which in turn hampered the company’s ability to respond promptly to market changes. Symfa’s primary objective upon taking over this initiative was to transform this fragmented system into a coherent and centralized database of business logic entities, making it easier to manage and maintain.

Symfa’s Approach to Implementation

Unlike the earlier attempts, Symfa was granted considerable freedom in their approach to implementing the solution, allowing for a flexible and adaptive development process. Rather than adhering to rigid methodologies, Symfa’s team could continuously refine their strategies based on ongoing feedback from the client. This approach ensured that the final solution tailored precisely to the specific needs and requirements of the insurance company. Over the course of a year, Symfa expanded their team to eight dedicated members, all focused on different aspects of the project. This strategic growth not only added expertise but also demonstrated the company’s commitment to resolving the client’s pressing issues effectively.

The Workflow System: Centralizing Business Rules

Establishing the Workflow Concept

At the core of Symfa’s solution was the introduction of a “Workflow” system, a novel concept designed to graphically link multiple CPP (C++) business rules. This system allowed users to configure business rules visually and integrate them seamlessly into their existing CPP applications. Rather than dealing with abstractions and code, users could now see a visual representation of interconnected rules, making the system intuitive and user-friendly. Each rule’s execution would result in a success or failure, which then aggregated into a final outcome, such as ‘quote approved’ or ‘quote rejected’. This visual and interactive system significantly reduced the complexity of managing business rules, resulting in streamlined and efficient operations.

Technical Insights for Rule Aggregation

One of the significant challenges Symfa had to overcome was the MS Rules Engine’s lack of an inherent mechanism for aggregating execution results of individual business rules. To address this, Symfa devised two innovative methods for result aggregation. The first method involved creating a hardcoded process handler that determined the workflow based on specific rule return values. This method allowed the system to mark the entire flow according to the results of individual rules, ensuring consistent and predictable outcomes. The second method employed recursive grouping of rules to manage return values more effectively. By grouping rules recursively, Symfa created a system capable of handling a wide range of scenarios flexibly and robustly, thus ensuring that the final outcomes were accurate and reliable.

Overcoming Deployment and Security Challenges

Cross-Environment Implementation Solutions

Deploying such an intricate system across multiple environments presented its unique set of challenges. Symfa had to ensure that the business rules could be migrated smoothly across development, User Acceptance Testing (UAT), and staging environments without errors. To achieve this, they implemented a Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) process which automated everything from code integration to testing and deployment. This CI/CD pipeline maintained the consistency of deployments, reducing manual errors and ensuring that the rules performed as expected across all environments. Symfa’s careful and methodical approach to deployment was crucial in maintaining the integrity and reliability of the system, which is particularly important in highly regulated sectors like insurance.

Enhancing Security and Change History Management

In addition to deployment challenges, maintaining the security and integrity of the live environment was paramount. Symfa addressed these concerns by implementing distinct access rights, ensuring that unauthorized changes could not affect the production environment. Furthermore, they introduced an Evaluation History portal that meticulously logged every instance of workflow execution along with the associated data and outcomes. This portal provided a comprehensive change history, crucial for auditing, troubleshooting, and ensuring accountability within the system. It enabled the client to review past changes and understand the evolution of their business logic history, thus empowering them with the insights needed for future decision-making.

Empowering Users with the Low-Code Platform

User Independence and Flexibility

Symfa’s development of a micro low-code platform was a game-changer for the insurance company, allowing developers, business analysts, and even other non-technical users to write and execute their own business logic independently of the main application code. This decentralization meant that changes could be made quickly and efficiently without the need for extensive development cycles. Business rules could be modified, tested, and deployed with minimal disruption, greatly enhancing the system’s flexibility. This independence also reduced the bottleneck typically associated with having to route all changes through the development team, making it easier for the client to adapt to new business requirements or regulatory changes swiftly.

Benefits to the Client’s Operations

The transition to a centralized system facilitated seamless modifications and the consistent application of business rules across different applications and platforms. Business analysts and trained users were now able to manage over 1,000 business rules effectively, ensuring rapid and reliable updates. This capability was particularly beneficial for the insurance company, which needed to respond to a complex regulatory environment and changing market conditions. The consistency brought about by Symfa’s system greatly enhanced change management capabilities and traceability, allowing the client to track modifications, understand their impacts, and ensure compliance with industry standards. This centralized approach to business logic not only streamlined operations but also provided a robust framework for future growth and adaptability.

Industry Trends and Future Implications

Growth of Low-Code Platforms

The success of Symfa’s low-code platform underscores a broader trend towards adopting such platforms within complex and data-intensive industries like insurance. Low-code platforms are being increasingly recognized for their ability to deliver flexible and adaptable systems that can evolve with the business’s needs, without requiring extensive development resources. These platforms empower users to manage business rules and processes independently, reducing the dependency on software developers. This shift not only speeds up the deployment of new features and changes but also aligns technology solutions more closely with business objectives, fostering greater innovation and agility within organizations.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency

Symfa, a well-established software engineering firm, embarked on a challenging project to revolutionize and centralize the business logic for a prominent insurance company in the United States. This engagement underscored the transformative potential of low-code platforms in optimizing operational processes within the insurance sector. Prior to Symfa’s involvement, the insurance company faced significant difficulties for three years in their attempts to develop a functional Rules engine. These persistent struggles stemmed from their inability to create a cohesive and efficient system.

Symfa’s expertise was directed towards centralizing the fragmented business logic into a unified system, which markedly improved both manageability and operational efficiency. By streamlining these processes, Symfa not only addressed the inefficiencies but also provided the insurance company with a robust platform capable of handling complex business logic with ease. This intervention demonstrated the immense value of low-code solutions in transforming traditional industry practices, offering a blueprint for similar future endeavors. The project stands as a testament to Symfa’s proficiency in leveraging cutting-edge technology to solve intricate business challenges, highlighting their pivotal role in driving innovation and efficiency in the insurance industry.

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