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Pension administrator AZL closer to their members via ‘customer portal’

Pension administrator AZL closer to their members via ‘customer portal’

Pension fund administrator AZL from Heerlen, has taken a next step towards customer communication. With the Mendix App Platform, together with Mendix partner Bizzomate, AZL has developed an interactive, self-service customer portal, with a personalized company style that matches each pension fund AZL works for. In the background, the customer portal is linked to the administrative systems of AZL. Consequently, members get a faster and better understanding of the current status of their pensions and AZL can react faster to the requirements of their customers. Within eight weeks, the portal for the first pension fund was
up and running.

Bart Munsters, information manager and co-initiator at AZL: “Apart from pension administration, we offer our clients supplementary services such as actuarial and management support. Naturally, there’s a Communications business unit that advises on, and helps with the communication with the members and  employers. But we wanted to create more of a conversation, more interaction. Communication grows increasingly important and besides that, as a pension administrator, we want to minimize the costs. So if we want to effectuate better, smarter, more efficient and digital (online) communication, we can serve our members in a better way while we can manage the costs for our customers. However, it should be correct and safe, since it’s about important and highly confidential member information.”

Communications

To improve the information exchange with employers, AZL developed an Administration Portal in 2012. Munsters: ‘We wanted something similar for the members. For the realization of the customer portal, we searched for a partner who offers stability and reliability. At the time, we built an administrative system ourselves, and it still functions properly. However, with the programming in the existing system, we don’t get the desired flexibility. Next, we came across Bizzomate and Mendix as a development platform. Based on a concrete case study, they showed us the possibilities of great business applications, in two and a half days. Bizzomate surely impressed us with that. They work with timeframes, SCRUM, sprints and prototyping. It actually forces people to think and work differently. Really quickly, this led to usable results.”

Reliable administration

“Running a reliable administration continues to be the heart of the matter.”, says Munster. “What we wanted to achieve, was a different way of communicating with the customer. More direct, more interactive and way faster. It’s all about customer experience: what do the members think and experience when they log in? The essence of the intended customer portal was to give members the feeling of being the primary owner of their personal and critical information. While for us as an administrator, a good customer experience and the image as a reliable partner came first. In that light, it’s very important that the partner you will work together with, fits your own organization. With Bizzomate, that’s certainly the case thus far.“

Flexible shell

With the Mendix platform, Bizzomate built a flexible shell around the existing customer data. So the customer communicates indirectly with the back-end systems, while he feels like he’s communicating with his own pension organization. Munsters: ‘The portal is actually the communication layer between our organization and the outside world. When the client is logged in and online, he can see all the information that’s relevant to him. That way, he is able to quickly gain insight in the status of his pension. We only found the connection between front-end and back-end at Bizzomate with Mendix. Together with a designing company to create the unique look and feel for each pension fund, Bizzomate was able to build just that, with which we can optimally communicate with our customers.”

New projects with Mendix

Meanwhile, the collaboration ran so smoothly, that we already have the following projects coming up: invoice processing for the funds will also go through the Mendix platform in the future. After that, the platform will be used to develop an application to effectuate the control and auditing of processes. The customer should feel good and the processes have to run smoothly. Munsters: “It’s going very well. We have learned to look from the outside to the inside more often. What does the customer want and expect from us? Then you need to know – and measure – what’s going on. Bizzomate gives us the opportunity, with the Mendix platform, to maximize the way we can benefit from the newest technologies in a fast changing world.”

AZL executes a wide range of pension schemes for premium pension institutions and pension funds. An excellent, flexible pension administration service’s basis. AZL can complement this as needed with management consulting, actuarial support and advice on communications with members and employers. AZL is operates from Heerlen and Utrecht.

  • AZL handles the pensions for nearly one million participants from 9000 employers
  • AZL works for 64 pension funds in the Netherlands
  • 424 people work at AZL
  • Its annual turnover is € 48 million

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