Guidewire Testing: Can Test Automation Help Realize Higher ROI for Insurance Industry?

On the latest release of 2016.2 Guidewire Insurance Platform™, Wade Bontrager, Vice President, Business Owner, Predictive Analytics, Guidewire Software said, “This release delivers on our goal of continually adding new sources of value for our customers, particularly in the fast-paced Data and Digital engagement areas, enabling our customers to mine and deploy far more insight from the explosion of data available to the industry today”.

This estimates how Digital Transformation and Digital Engagement is making an impact across every industry and sector. Specially, the Insurance sector is facing some inherent challenges today, namely, more competition, changing consumer preferences, compliance with Federal regulations and growing digital confluence.

Guidewire Software Inc., popularly known as Guidewire is a provider of software products to Property and Casualty (P/C) insurers. A software published based in Foster City, California, Guidewire offers core back-end software for property and casualty insurance carriers in the US and worldwide.

The Guidewire Insurance Suite™ offers a comprehensive bunch of applications that support various insurance operations, namely, underwriting, policy administration, billing, and claims management. The Insurance Suite applications comprise a set of shared platform modules that include the property and casualty insurance lifecycle and particularly change the legacy systems developed and installed internally by the carrier.

Insurance carriers across the world implement Guidewire for some recognizable benefits. Some of the known names in the sector are Canadian Automobile Association Insurance Company (Ontario), Hartford Steam Boiler, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, and United Automobile Insurance Company (UAIC).

Guidewire’s three aspects, namely, operations, data and analytics, and digital engagement have enabled over 200 Property and Casualty carriers to enhance operational efficiency, speed-to-market and customer experience.

What are the most proven benefits of Guidewire?

Guidewire Suite offers a tested solution that focuses on optimizing insurance operations that have been developed with insights from an active global customer community. The overall objective is to further empower employees, agents, and customers to help adapt to the changing market dynamics.

Guidewire has been built with some clear objectives –

  1. Enable Business Agility
  2. Empower customers and improve retention
  3. Improve Operational Performance, Responsiveness, and Decision-Making
  4. Innovate with Digital Channels
  5. Build globally-accessible business model

Additionally, there are some clear factors considered while designing and developing Guidewire products –

  • Flexibility, is an important factor considered while developing the software suite. Moreover, it has to be agile enough to adapt the market changes. Particularly, the flexibility has to come by region, by business, and by functional area.
  • User Experience, is at the core of every development and has to ensure holistic experience. The focus is to design specifically to ensure the kind of experience that users expect, than to take the mundane route.
  • Performance and Reliability, are key factors considering while developing. The platform is built on a modern architecture to cater to the property and casualty insurance industry specifications.

While the benefits are overwhelming, the challenges of implementing Guidewire are inducing too. Choosing a platform will be just the first step. What do you do next?

  • Deployment option
    • Implementing the entire suite of Guidewire systems is the fastest way to comprehend the all-out benefits, however, risks can be reduced by rolling it out by business line/any other parameters.
    • There are carriers who selectively deploy Guidewire’s core systems one at a time across regions and business segments. This mainly helps in minimizing the impact of transformation across an enterprise.
    • Another option is to take a mid-way. Implementation experts suggest a combined approach, one system can be implemented followed by another system getting implemented simultaneously.

An experienced testing and implementation partner can definitely bring value in this sphere. With successful and tested implementation, Guidewire’s technology platform can enable insurers to reduce the long-standing cost of ownership by consolidating a single suite of applications.

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Let’s understand the challenges generally experienced while implementing and testing Guidewire Suite.

  • Minimum know-how about QA and its criticality across the enterprise
  • Inadequate processed and QA guidelines across diverse business streams
  • Frequent upgrades in user requirements
  • Delay in execution of tests due to absence of code development
  • Absence of functional and non-functional requirements documentation

While the implementation needs are taken care of, the testing and integration of the Suite within the functional spheres is absolutely critical. Testing remains a major challenge and manual testing can be time consuming and tedious. So, the benefits of Test Automation in such a scenario are loud and clear.

Efficiency in Testing

Efficiency and consistency are significant benefits of Test Automation. While manual testing can be time consuming, automation can make the process repetitive, faster, consistent, save costs, testing efforts, and bring in more ROI.

Reusability of tests

Reusability increases profitability across the product lifecycle. Test Automation framework makes tests reusable and with every new test and discovery of bug, the test directory gets upgraded and market-ready. This minimizes costs and mainly helps justify investment in the testing tool.

Stability

Test Automation framework offers a consistent platform for your complete testing needs, as it reduces monotony that arises due to some mundane tests. It further reduces errors with availability of pre-recorded instruction. Regression tests check whether the existing functionalities are suitable for latest versions, when new development takes place with the software.

Longevity

Test Automation serves as a core component for further testing tasks. Automated testing software are designed and customized to provide flexibility, while complying with the latest security and testing protocols. In this way Test Automation makes the overall process and framework resourceful for a longer period.

Simulation

Test Automation uniquely simulates a typical user environment. For instance, Graphics User Interface (GUI) testing is one of the most tedious testing processes. Test Automation helps mock user driven environments and checks for real-time issues.

Cigniti technologies has been partnering with Insurance carriers across North America to offer robust testing solutions and garner better ROI from their Test Automation tools. While working with one of the leading Insurance companies and by implementing Test Automation, Cigniti was able to achieve almost 80% reduction in Test Execution time.

The key requirement of the client was end-to-end testing of Guidewire Suite and Legacy Applications. Cigniti team sketched a comprehensive strategy for functional and non-functional testing and built a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) with standardized QA processes.

Most importantly, the team developed a scalable, platform-agnostic test automation framework to jumpstart the testing process and ensured seamless integration.

At Cigniti, we understand the quantum of investment you make in Guidewire Insurance product and the kind of ROI you expect from your huge investments. Cigniti’s Insurance TCoE comprises pre-built test scripts (Manual and Automated) for the different modules of Guidewire product suite, for example, Policy Center, Claim Center, Billing Center, Under Writing Management, Mobile portals, and much more.

Several insurance companies have benefited by implementing Cigniti’s Independent software testing services and Guidewire specific pre-built testing suite. We can help you reduce post production defects, improve test automation coverage and reduce your test cycle duration.

Gartner suggests that Insurance Technology Startups, popularly known as ‘Insurtechs’ are the next big thing in the insurance sector. Connect with us to build your business for the next big sensation and get your Guidewire effectively tested and implemented.

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