Insurers that have portfolio management software are able to prioritize which business drivers spread across their vast enterprise are prime for additional funding requirements and which drivers might have to be scaled back from a capital investment standpoint.The solution is able to look at multiple businesses across the enterprise, plugging in a number of internal variables that drive the analytics. Business drivers at most companies range on a scale from those that enhance revenue to those that foster cost-savings. In the ebb and flow of corporate decision-making, priorities are apt to change on a quarterly or even bi-annually basis-if not more frequently.

With operating silos in place, it's difficult for insurers, especially larger ones, to obtain an enterprise view and to visualize how its businesses all work in conjunction with one another-not just in isolation.

AXA Financial Services, N.Y., began using a portfolio management software solution designed by New York-based UMT to assess what the most effective business drivers were across its organization. At AXA, these drivers increased following a 2004 merger with The MONY Group, a deal that heaped more systems and processes into the equation.

Mike Gruia, president of UMT, says the solution is helping AXA get a better handle on ways to assess and audit its business strategies. The UMT software manages four distinct functions: building, optimizing, planning and managing a business portfolio. Each of these phases sits across a central repository as part of enterprise application integration, Gruia explains.

For instance, the creation (or building) phase of managing a portfolio is supported by UMT's Portfolio Builder, which is designed as a single data-entry point to capture what AXA might need to know about each proposed project, from investment cost and benefits, to scope, dependencies, risk and alignment, to strategic objectives, which can then be used to generate business cases.

In the selection (or optimizing) phase, AXA can align its project portfolio with its business strategy and optimize its portfolio against multiple constraints, including cost and resource. In the planning stage, AXA can balance and align resource utilization with business demands, while enabling the flexibility to create multiple scheduling and resource capacity scenarios, states Gruia.

In the management phase, UMT's Portfolio Dashboard provides information on the status of project portfolios so that AXA can make timely, fact-based decisions that optimize their company's performance, he states.

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