Sramana Mitra: What is the price of the subscription?
Yves de Montcheuil: It varies greatly on the types of features the customer wants. It can start from a simple data integration project in the $10,000 range. A typical MDM [master data management] project is in the range of $70,000 to $100,000. It will scale up on the complexity of the project and the number of developers. Typically it is significantly less expensive than what you can buy from our competitors.
SM: You have done one example in the travel space. Now that we know you are talking about a platform that your customers customize to address their specific problems, let’s do another example like that.
YM: Let me give you the example of an insurance company based in North America. They provide traditional life, health, and property casualty insurance. The challenge this company has is that they have a lot of legacy systems running in the back end and that provide quotes for insurance products, managing the insurance contracts for customers, etc. However, they need more modern systems for their agents and also for their customers, who are accessing those contracts through a web front end. Of course, one way to do that would be to redevelop the entire system. That is not always doable. Sometimes it is extremely expensive and risky. Another approach is to encapsulate the existing system along with their data and processes that are provided and to expose access through services to a new front end. That is a completely different use case than the MDM case I was describing before. Here we are talking purely about an enterprise service bus–style approach, where you are providing a series of web services that are encapsulated and available through an enterprise service bus to new generation applications that are able to invoke the back end processes and services to retrieve data and to execute processes in the back end without having to be deeply integrated. The enterprise service bus we provide to this insurance company is delivering an insulation layer between the front end applications and the back end.
SM: How does that manifest in terms of what it is capable of doing?
YM: What this company is doing in the back end is the traditional way an insurance company is running their business. They are storing contracts, risk analysis according to algorithms that are probably several decades old and are working, so they don’t need to be redesigned or rewritten. Essentially what this company is doing is that it is putting a new face on its applications. So, it is a facelift for applications to provide a much more modern, dynamic and user-friendly access to systems without having to rebuild all the back end logic.
This doesn’t necessarily translate into anything for the end customer. It translates into efficiency gains for the distribution channels. Agents who are distributing the insurance contracts and the experts who are doing their work have access to the information via web interfaces or mobile devices. They are modernizing their infrastructure and their access to information. Experts before needed to receive documents and paper. Now they can access it on their tablets. Insurance companies don’t only work with employees. They also have agents who sell their products. Those agents today are expecting the type of access through a web interface. They don’t expect to fax a contract or a request and wait for a quote to come in. It is a modernization of access to processes and information.