We create clarity and shape the future of business-critical software systems.

Case Study

AVUS

Successful modernisation instead of the exploding costs of a new development.

“We chose PKS as our development partners because they are a one-stop shop for support in all critical aspects of the project. We also appreciate the unfailing reliability of both management and project leads.”

The Company

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countries
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claims experts
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customers

AVUS is an Austrian family business that was initially founded as a transport company at the time of the Allied occupation following World War II. Thanks to his negotiating skills, Josef Pscheidl was the first person allowed to transport goods between the Soviet occupation zone and the zones of the Western allies. However, as a result of increased motorisation, he was more and more often involved in traffic accidents. Since the insurance sector hardly existed in those days, he often became embroiled in compensation disputes. This experience led to the business idea of representing other injured parties against injuring parties or against their opponent’s insurers. And that was the trigger for founding a claims settlement company, which was initially active in a domestic capacity. Today, AVUS is one of the largest service providers for international claims settlement. Based in Graz, Austria, it is active in over 150 countries. With over 300 claims experts, the traditional company currently serves over 800 insurance customers.

 

The company

0
countries
0
claims experts
0
customers
AVUS is an Austrian family business that was initially founded as a transport company at the time of the Allied occupation following World War II. Thanks to his negotiating skills, Josef Pscheidl was the first person allowed to transport goods between the Soviet occupation zone and the zones of the Western allies. However, as a result of increased motorisation, he was more and more often involved in traffic accidents. Since the insurance sector hardly existed in those days, he often became embroiled in compensation disputes. This experience led to the business idea of representing other injured parties against injuring parties or against their opponent’s insurers. And that was the trigger for founding a claims settlement company, which was initially active in a domestic capacity. Today, AVUS is one of the largest service providers for international claims settlement. Based in Graz, Austria, it is active in over 150 countries. With over 300 claims experts, the traditional company currently serves over 800 insurance customers.

A look back

Since the 1980s, AVUS’ core IT system for the planning, implementation and management of all its business processes has been based on a self-developed RPG application. The claims settlement company is in a constant state of flux – and will face numerous challenges in the future, in particular due to a deepening of the markets, diversification processes in the sector and the implementation of statutory provisions in their business at home and abroad. AVUS’ specific requirements mean a switch to standard software would be unworkable. At the same time a completely new development by another software company would have required too much time and money, without providing the benefits to match.
So AVUS was faced with the following urgent questions:
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How can you evaluate

whether the existing RPG application provides a solid foundation for continuing with the customised software?

Is it possible

to perform a careful step-by-step renovation in order to continue using the software investment of the last twenty years without endangering operational reliability or performance?

How can the benefits

of customised software ensure the company's competitiveness in the long term?

So AVUS was faced with the following urgent questions:

Image

How can you evaluate

whether the existing RPG application provides a solid foundation for continuing with the customised software?

Is it possible

to perform a careful step-by-step renovation in order to continue using the software investment of the last twenty years without endangering operational reliability or performance?

How can the benefits

of customised software ensure the company's competitiveness in the long term?

A closer look

Given this background, the owner, managing director and head of IT decided to work together with PKS Software GmbH.

As part of an assessment over several months, led by PKS, the core application was tested in all areas, from mapping of processes to technology, source code and maintenance investment, to development methods and the developers’ qualifications. The review revealed that modernising the old application would be much simpler and more economic than a new development. The investigations showed that the company’s own software had a high value, estimated at 1.6 million euro. Therefore developing new software with the same functionality would have incurred costs of around 1.6 million euro for programming alone – not including the specifications.

Following the comprehensive evaluation of the claim settlement software in autumn 2015 and the creation of a modernisation roadmap, in May 2016 the owners of the company gave their go-ahead for the modernisation project.

The project was divided into several steps. The central element was the implementation of an electronic claim file instead of paper-based processes. In addition, PKS provided a web interface for the complete system, based on eXcite technology and implemented a query/BI tool based on Valence.

A closer look

Given this background, the owner, managing director and head of IT decided to work together with PKS Software GmbH.

As part of an assessment over several months, led by PKS, the core application was tested in all areas, from mapping of processes to technology, source code and maintenance investment, to development methods and the developers’ qualifications. The review revealed that modernising the old application would be much simpler and more economic than a new development. The investigations showed that the company’s own software had a high value, estimated at 1.6 million euro. Therefore developing new software with the same functionality would have incurred costs of around 1.6 million euro for programming alone – not including the specifications.

Following the comprehensive evaluation of the claim settlement software in autumn 2015 and the creation of a modernisation roadmap, in May 2016 the owners of the company gave their go-ahead for the modernisation project.

The project was divided into several steps. The central element was the implementation of an electronic claim file instead of paper-based processes. In addition, PKS provided a web interface for the complete system, based on eXcite technology and implemented a query/BI tool based on Valence.

Conclusion

With the IBM i software assessment, AVUS was able to attain clarity regarding its content as well as about the design and structure of its software strategy. PKS was able to give AVUS valuable insights, providing support with the evaluation of technical areas of activity as well as with putting together the necessary organisational measures. Particularly valuable was the implementation support by an experienced PKS project lead following the assessment, as well as the allocation of developers to support and provide additional expertise for AVUS’ small, 3-person developer team.
Thanks to our long-standing expertise in complex software projects, we were able to meet all requirements and reach the customer’s project goals on time and on budget.

Conclusion

With the IBM i software assessment, AVUS was able to attain clarity regarding its content as well as about the design and structure of its software strategy. PKS was able to give AVUS valuable insights, providing support with the evaluation of technical areas of activity as well as with putting together the necessary organisational measures. Particularly valuable was the implementation support by an experienced PKS project lead following the assessment, as well as the allocation of developers to support and provide additional expertise for AVUS’ small, 3-person developer team.
Thanks to our long-standing expertise in complex software projects, we were able to meet all requirements and reach the customer’s project goals on time and on budget.

A look ahead

By implementing the modernisation roadmap, AVUS was able to strengthen its competitive advantages and secure them for the future. Thanks to the customised software, very different service level agreements can be agreed and implemented with individual customers. In the next stage the goal is to help the developer team successfully negotiate the generational transition.
That’s why Avus is investing in young developers both on its own and through PKS’ iCademy.

A look ahead

By implementing the modernisation roadmap, AVUS was able to strengthen its competitive advantages and secure them for the future. Thanks to the customised software, very different service level agreements can be agreed and implemented with individual customers. In the next stage the goal is to help the developer team successfully negotiate the generational transition.
That’s why Avus is investing in young developers both on its own and through PKS’ iCademy.

The benefits at a glance

1.6

mn.
Cost savings of 1.6 million euro compared to a complete new development

State

of the Art
State of the art technologies and innovative tools (RDi, eXplain, Valence and eXcite) rescue valuable IT assets

1

stop shop
Support in all critical aspects of the project from PKS as a one-stop shop

Well

thought-out
Thanks to the well thought-out procedure, all functional areas benefit from functional renewals after just a few months.

Tools / processes

  • IBM i software assessment
  • Creation of a roadmap
  • eXplain
  • eXcite
  • Valence
  • Project lead implementation

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