Using SOA to Accelerate New Business Growth

Written by Tony Baer, Associate Analyst, ZapThink.

Founded in 1895, Kansas City Life Insurance Company serves over a half million policyholders across the continental U.S. with a mix of individual life, annuity and group products. Selling through a network of 1400 independent agents, Business to business (B2B) partnerships have always been a way of life for this midsized insurer. As customers are gaining more choices, selling life insurance has grown more competitive. Kansas City Life responded with an innovative strategy that leveraged its core competency: It expanded its ability to sell life insurance products by creating a new channel that enabled Property & Casualty (P&C) insurers to sell Kansas City Life’s products through their existing agent networks.

The challenge, however, was that Kansas City Life could not impose its agent management structures on its new P&C insurance partners. The company needed a seamless way of integrating new agents into its adminstrative systems and Web portal. Having made the commitment to Web services and SOA, it looked to DataDirect to help create interoperability between its mainframe CICS environment and its distributed .NET Web services that powered its agent portal.

SOA provided the infrastructure flexibility needed to allow Kansas City Life to rapidly assimilate agents from new partner P&C insurers, expanding its business into new areas with reduced IT costs and faster time to market.

Case Study commissioned by DataDirect Technologies.

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