3 tips for modernization success from RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc.
Blog //10-11-2023

3 tips for modernization success from RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc.

by Tim Jones, Managing Director - Application Modernization

RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc. (RWAM) is a prominent Third-Party Administrator (TPA) in Canada, specializing in Group Insurance Benefits. With over 30 years of experience, they serve a vast clientele of more than 250,000 Canadians. As a comprehensive TPA, RWAM offers a range of services including underwriting, real-time claim adjudication, administrative support, disability case management, and premium billing and collections.

To boost efficiency and adapt to the changing needs of the insurance industry, RWAM recognized their need for modernization. The reliance on outdated technologies such as OpenVMS, Natural, and Adabas began to reveal their limitations. In response, RWAM embarked on a modernization initiative with Advanced. This involved migrating to Windows and adopting C# and SQL Server with the aim of enhancing data access, reporting capabilities, and system flexibility. Read the full case study here.

Following the successful completion of the modernization project, RWAM has already experienced remarkable improvements. By establishing a forward-thinking platform, RWAM is strategically positioning itself for sustained growth and continued success.

To gain further insight into RWAM's modernization journey, we spoke with John Balch, Vice President, Information Technology who successfully led the organization's modernization project. He shares three valuable pieces of advice for companies considering a similar endeavor:

  1. Effective communication: John emphasizes the importance of regular, clear, and honest communication with key stakeholders, end-users, the IT team, and developers. Transparency about the project's progress, challenges, and successes ensures everyone remains informed. Addressing mistakes and setbacks openly is crucial, and having a skilled project manager adept at communication plays a vital role in updating senior management.
  2. Partner selection: John strongly recommends partnering with proven experts in the field of legacy modernization. Advanced, welding the omniscience of the original designers and architects of the legacy system, provided RWAM with the necessary expertise, tools, and resources they lacked internally. Choosing a partner with the right skills and experience greatly enhances the success of a modernization initiative.
  3. Allocate sufficient time: John advises organizations to allocate double the estimated time for modernizing legacy systems. It’s inevitable for complexities to arise in these types of projects. RWAM’s challenges were primarily due to the age and limitations of their 30-year-old system. Issues related to transaction volume emerged too, since previous estimations were based on guesswork rather than accurate measurements. Allocating additional time allows organizations to account for unknown factors and ensure a smoother transition.

These insights offer valuable guidance for organizations embarking on a modernization journey, emphasizing effective communication, partner selection, and realistic time allocation.

To read the full case study on how RWAM selected Advanced to help them enhance data accessibility and reporting for improved efficiency, productivity, and decision making click here.

No matter what kind of modernization plans you’re considering, Advanced can help you meet your objectives and drastically reduce project risk by harnessing the power of unmatched modernization expertise and powerful proprietary tools.

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Tim Jones

Tim Jones


Managing Director - Application Modernization

Tim has a track record of success in mission-critical Application Modernization projects. He is renowned for helping organizations maximise their investment in critical legacy applications.

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