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a.s.r. on standby 24/7 even without Control Centre

a.s.r. is an insurer that provides every possible kind of insurance. With almost 3,900 employees and revenues of €3.8 billion in 2014, it is one of the largest insurers in the Netherlands. Until mid-2015, all a.s.r. IT systems were monitored 24/7 by operators in the Control Centre to ensure that customers received impeccable service and good accessibility. Devoteam was tasked with investigating the potential to cut the costs of the Control Centre. This led to a radical recommendation: to shut it down and computerise all the processes. Devoteam helped make this a reality – to the great satisfaction, among others, of monitoring specialist Frans Boejé. He explains why. 


“Continuity of our services is naturally crucial in this 24/7 economy. People want to contact our organisation day and night, so all systems and channels must run smoothly 24/7. In the Control Centre we therefore kept a close watch on the availability and performance of all a.s.r. applications and websites. If something went wrong or threatened to go wrong, the operator filed an incident report manually in our HP Service Manager ITSM system (HPSM) to find a specialist who could solve the problem. At night in particular that was a real quest because the nature of the disruption was not always clear, so you didn’t always know which colleague to wake up with a phone call. In addition, there was less and less work for the operators to do, partly because we’d outsourced the mainframe and the mainframe applications were being phased out. We therefore wanted to make substantial cuts in the Control Centre’s fixed costs, or in any case make them flexible.”

Advisory report

“We then asked Devoteam to draw up an advisory report to explore the possibilities and propose solutions. They produced a thorough and well-argued document that recommended computerising the operators’ work as fully as possible and dismantling the Control Centre. When we saw this was feasible, we launched a project to implement the recommendation.”

Substantial savings

“Devoteam’s main contribution – in addition to writing that advisory report – was building an interface (NetCool Impact) between NetCool Omnibus and HP Service Manager. There too they did a great job. NetCool Omnibus brings together all the information from the a.s.r. systems in a clearly arranged dashboard. The link to HPSM enables all disruptions and warnings to be logged automatically as an incident in HPSM. Then, through a second interface to MIR3, a signal is sent to the right operator by mail, text or phone. That meant the Control Centre was actually redundant and could be dismantled, allowing very substantial savings. The operator on duty now receives a signal at home, from where he can take any necessary corrective action via his laptop. It was nevertheless decided to keep someone on standby for the batches – even though there are fewer and fewer of them – because problems in night-time batch processing have immediate consequences for many employees’ work the following day. But for the other systems and websites, all the reports now pass fully automatically through the new solution.”

A great job

“Naturally we knew about Devoteam’s monitoring expertise, because they’d already done a lot for us. But this was a really great job that delivered big savings in just six months.”