Com­pany-wide data integration


short to story

Hel­ve­tia is cur­rently in a strong third place among multi-line insurers in Switzer­land. It mainly offers life and non-life insur­ance as well as group life insur­ance. In addi­tion, Hel­ve­tia has spe­cial­ized in niches such as engin­eer­ing, trans­port, art and act­ive rein­sur­ance in the spe­cialty mar­kets seg­ment. Hel­ve­tia oper­ates in Switzer­land, Europe, Asia and North, Cent­ral and South America.Helvetia has been oper­at­ing a data ware­house for local ana­lysis require­ments in Switzer­land for more than 10 years. This sys­tem is to be com­pre­hens­ively mod­ern­ized. This includes the cent­ral­iz­a­tion of data integ­ra­tion and the estab­lish­ment of an organ­iz­a­tional unit that sup­plies all peri­pheral sys­tems with data.

„synvert saracus consulting ist seit über 2 Jahren ein wichtiger Partner im Umfeld der Helvetia Data-Warehouse Integrationsplattformen. Hierbei werden unterschiedliche Rollen erfüllt: von der Ausarbeitung taktischer Konzepte bis hin zur Realisierung ganzer Building Blocks. synvert saracus consulting war in zukunftsgerichteten Projekten wie DANTE, DANTE II und DANECO beteiligt und die Zusammenarbeit hat sich in dieser Zeit vom DWH-Entwicklungspartner hin zum konzeptionellen Partner der Neuausrichtung der Helvetia Integrationsplattform weiterentwickelt.

Im Projekt IFRS17 ist synvert saracus consulting für die Umsetzung der Anbindungen aller Systeme an die zentrale Datenplattform und das SAP Zielsystem zuständig. synvert saracus consulting übernimmt die gesamte Verantwortung bezüglich Planung, Konzeption und Realisierung aller Umsetzungstätigkeiten. “

Mar­cel Hein (Hel­ve­tia)

Teamleiter DPS (Data Provider Services)

Goals & challenges

The DANECO project originally served as an initial project for the introduction of a modernized data warehouse. As part of this, data integration from various source systems was standardized with the introduction of a global staging area. By implementing the IBM Information Server as the new integration platform, the ETI tool, whose support had expired, and then the SAS DI Studio were replaced. To this end, all ETI programs for the old Core Data Warehouse were replaced. During the project, Helvetia's strategic direction changed and the new data warehouse for Switzerland became the global data integration interface for all countries. The focus is on the staging area and different processing variants. The new team, which was created in the course of the strategic change, should therefore ensure the following:
  • Integ­ra­tion of all source sys­tems in all coun­tries in which Hel­ve­tia operates
  • Trace­ab­il­ity of data loads and per­sist­ent storage
  • Gen­eric source sys­tem con­nec­tions and scalability
  • Pro­vi­sion of vari­ous data pro­viders with dif­fer­ent data views (ana­lyt­ical data pro­vider, oper­a­tional data pro­vider, indi­vidual data provider)


The general data integration layer also served as the basis for further project plans in the sense of a company-wide platform:
  • With the changeover to IFRS 17, all coun­tries are to provide the required data for SAP FPS and the actu­ar­ial sys­tems via the new integ­ra­tion layer. The integ­ra­tion layer will there­fore become the cent­ral data hub for the monthly, quarterly and annual fin­an­cial statements
  • In the BDM pro­ject, a com­pany-wide busi­ness data model is to be cre­ated, which will serve as a tem­plate for the ana­lyt­ical data provider
  • In future, integ­ra­tion into the Global Sta­ging Area will take place using InfoSphere CDD, which will enable real-time integration
  • In the ECM pro­ject, a real-time con­nec­tion of source sys­tems to DMS sys­tems is to be implemented

key points

  • Due to restruc­tur­ing in IT dur­ing the pro­ject phase, the over­all concept and scope had to be con­stantly adap­ted. At the same time, the agreed dead­lines had to be met
  • New require­ments from addi­tional pro­jects, such as the IFRS pro­ject, had to be incor­por­ated into the infra­struc­ture and pro­cess land­scape in par­al­lel with the ongo­ing devel­op­ment work
  • In addi­tion to the con­ver­sion of all source sys­tems that are con­nec­ted to the old CDWH via ETI, sev­eral new source sys­tems were con­nec­ted dur­ing the project
  • Intro­duc­tion of a new range of tools with IBM InfoSphere (Data­Stage, CDC, Busi­ness Gloss­ary, Qual­ity Stage, Inform­a­tion Analyzer)
  • Intro­duc­tion of a busi­ness gloss­ary as part of the IFRS project
  • Cre­at­ing a new mind­set within the team towards gen­eric devel­op­ment and processing
  • Con­nec­tion of exist­ing source sys­tems to the Global Sta­ging Area with a com­pletely new approach


A generic approach with IBM DataStage and DWautomatic is used for integration into the staging area. IBM DataStage is used as the ETL tool. Depending on the possibilities and benefits, generic or partially generic processes are also created at higher levels. In the long term, all ETL tools (ETI, SAS DI, SSIS) are to be replaced with IBM DataStage

gen­er­ated bene­fits

  • The archi­tec­ture developed is the tem­plate for Helvetia’s over­all archi­tec­ture in the area of data integration
  • The gen­eric approach min­im­izes the devel­op­ment effort for con­nect­ing new systems
  • The imple­ment­a­tion of the IFRS pro­ject will fur­ther con­sol­id­ate the over­all concept and its usability
  • The cre­ation of a com­pany-wide busi­ness data model stand­ard­izes future devel­op­ments for the ana­lyt­ical area
  • The Data Pro­vider Ser­vice team is estab­lished as a new point of con­tact for the integ­ra­tion of source sys­tems through­out the company

ser­vices accom­plished by syn­vert saracus

As a competent partner, synvert saracus provided the following services:

  • Over­all concept of the data integ­ra­tion layer
  • Ana­lysis and imple­ment­a­tion of the new ETL pro­cesses for the ETI replacement
  • Con­cep­tion and imple­ment­a­tion of ETL and CDD tasks for the IFRS project
  • Con­cep­tion and imple­ment­a­tion of CDD and IIB tasks for the ECM project
  • Col­lab­or­a­tion in the cre­ation of the busi­ness data model
  • Oper­a­tion and main­ten­ance of the old DWH
  • Col­lab­or­a­tion in the DWH team in the area of sales

deliv­ery / conclusion

The planned overall architecture was so successful that Helvetia set up a separate team that deals exclusively with data integration and can operate independently of the DWH team. The connection of new source systems is very fast thanks to the generic approach.
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