With Talend's help, we continue to enrich each unique member record by integrating the customer data in our Customer Data Integration (CDI), a centralized "hub" shared by all of our CRM, ECM, and management applications. Every customer-facing agent now has all the information available on his accounts, which considerably improves our quality of service and the productivity of our teams.Mustapha Khafague, IT Architect
Management solutions dedicated to healthcare insurance
Dedicated to account management for healthcare insurance companies, Hosta provides a complete range of services. As a white label purveyor, Hosta offers its customers - insurance companies and brokers - full or partial service management. This allows them to build a customized, flexible, evolutionary solution either in the short - or long - term.
This custom approach let Hosta join the market's major players in just a few years. Founded in January 2002, the company has 170 employees and four locations in France. Nearly 800,000 policy holders benefit from services provided by 30-plus customers. Constantly growing since its inception, revenues reached 14 million euros ($18 million) in 2007.
Data stream exchanges with partners
Within the framework of its delegated management of policy holders' files, Hosta exchanges data with its partners, particularly information on contracts and services, emails exchanged, and phone contact logs. In 2007, when the company decided to migrate its former management tool to Aneto (an ERP application specifically designed for personal insurance), its IT department quickly saw the need to organize data flows via an integration solution that allowed centralization.
"At the time we had several constraints. One, of course, was budgetary, but we were also committed to ISO certification, which will help us organize both our IT and our business requirements," says Mustapha Khafague, Hosta's IT Architect. "We made a thorough study of the market in order to implement an effective data integration solution. We were interested in either a proprietary or an open source solution that could be easily and transparently integrated into our IT environment. In addition to the financial aspects, the user-friendliness, and the breadth of components - standard in Talend's solutions - convinced us to adopt an open source approach."
From Talend Open Studio for Data Integration to Talend Data Integration
Roughly twenty data flows developed in Java, as well as five data flows developed in WinDev - all executed daily - needed to be redeveloped with the tool. "Talend's user-interface is extremely friendly. In addition, we're not dealing with development, but with creating interfaces, which makes it very easy," Mustapha Khafague continues. "The wide variety of standard components is a real strength compared to proprietary solutions which don't offer free components. Talend also offers a variety of venues - forums, support services, etc. - which got us up-to-speed very quickly."
After a series of tests and a Proof of Concept to validate performance using Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, Hosta decided to subscribe to Talend Data Integration. "Talend Data Integration's Repository allows sharing projects and working as a team, yet security is maintained by defining a simple access profile. And the dashboard helps follow and easily check the status of a job, without getting involved with interface coding," Mustapha Khafague adds. "Talend Data Integration also lets us run several servers to distribute the load, and the professional support services are an important asset."
Improved service quality
With Talend Data Integration, Hosta implemented a new interface that converts documents to PDF format. Every time the management tool (Aneto) generates a flow toward the email service, a PDF document is also created and stored to keep track of these exchanges. Hundreds of PDF files are generated every day while Hosta manages about 400 GB of data; this translates to 100 GB for production and 300 GB for the archives. Two other interfaces are under development.
"With Talend's help, we continue to enrich each unique member record by integrating the customer data in our Customer Data Integration (CDI), a centralized "hub" shared by all of our CRM, ECM, and management applications. Every customer-facing agent now has all the information available on his accounts, which considerably improves our quality of service and the productivity of our teams," Mustapha Khafague comments. "Furthermore, Talend makes data integration easier and speeds it up, which helps us create reusable data mappings in a very friendly graphic mode."
"Previously, Hosta didn't have a solution for integrating customer data, but it had scripts developed internally. Management, follow-up, recovery, maintenance, script development, and evolution were labor intensive, complex and time consuming. In addition, as soon as a problem surfaced in a script, we needed to involve several colleagues to solve it. Today, we are able to quickly locate these incidents and reduce their impact on our daily activities," concludes Mustapha Khafague.
The Hosta IT department plans to keep migrating existing interfaces to Talend Data Integration while concurrently developing new BI interfaces to improve decision-making and generate reports to its customers. These reporting operations are essential for checking and validating the invoicing process.