There was a need for an internal IT modernization. We took a journey with IBM as a partner in increasing the overall flexibility of the business – the way we accept new customers but also the way we handle the price proposal towards a customer

Giovanni D’Aniello, IT Director Insurances, Axa Belgium

Business Challenge story

Insurance markets are becoming more and more competitive, and AXA Belgium is continuously challenged to maintain a leading position. AXA Belgium has been rethinking its underwriting process to become more agile and to respond faster to market demand with new products and services. As part of that process, AXA Belgium wanted to launch a one-year pilot project to implement underwriting for household products. However, the company was concerned about the upfront costs and the lengthy process required to ramp up its infrastructure.


In conjunction with its new underwriting system, AXA Belgium embarked on a one year pilot project to evaluate IBM PureApplication System technology. The insurer realized that significant lead time was required to install, test and fine-tune PureApplication System in its datacenter, which could delay actual implementation of the project unless a suitable and compatible short-term alternative could be found. Fortunately, the PureApplication product family offers deployment configurations that include on-premises and off-premises options or some combination thereof. Operating the pilot program using IBM PureApplication Service on SoftLayer provided a viable and cost-effective alternative. This cloud-based option enabled AXA Belgium to rapidly deploy its underwriting project while engaging in a concurrent Proof of Concept test using PureApplication System. Working with IBM Global Business Services (GBS), IBM Global Financing (IGF) and IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW), AXA Belgium deployed IBM PureApplication Service on SoftLayer and patterns for Operational Decision Manager (ODM) software, including ODM for z/OS. The insurer uses IBM Operational Decision Manager software as the tarification engine to create complete sets of insurance rules to price insurance services. A governance model will be configured in this tool, so that business users can create or adapt rule sets in days. GBS delivered all-around services including project management, implementation and deployment. IBM Software Services for WebSphere assisted with implementing the Operational Decision Manager software. IGF provided an Installment Payment Plan (IPP) on the software offering, including PureApplication Service on SoftLayer. The IPP uses standard conditions on 12 months financing, and 0% financing was also possible. In the first quarter of 2015, having successfully completed its Proof-of-Concept project, AXA Belgium purchased two IBM PureApplication System units for on-premises use and began migration of its business data and applications.


Deploying PureApplication Service on SoftLayer, a cloud solution, required a lower initial investment while providing AXA Belgium with the flexibility to increase capacity if needed as its project progressed. Because development environments were deployed in just a few hours - rather than weeks or months using more traditional resources - the company's underwriting project enjoyed an accelerated start. Patterns were already licensed and in place at the time AXA Belgium began its migration to the new on-premises infrastructure in 2015, and the company can easily move projects between PureApplication System and PureApplication Service on SoftLayer if desired.

Solution category

  • IBM Hybrid Cloud
  • Global Financing
  • Solution components

    • GBS AD&I CS - IT Strategy
    • IGF: IT Financing - IBM Services and Project Financing
    • Operational Decision Manager (ODM)
    • PureApplication Service on SoftLayer
    • PureApplication Service on SoftLayer
    • Software Services for WebSphere - Lab Services