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n°25  |  April   2008
Business cases

• La Poste (France)
• Social Security (France)

• Wehkamp (Netherlands)

French social security for self-employed workers unifies its BI architectures with Bull

The RSI (Régime Social des Indépendants) was formed in 2006 as the result of the merger of a number of agencies providing social security benefits to self-employed workers in France. The RSI is administered by representatives of its subscribers: artisans, entrepreneurs, and anyone working for themselves – the so-called ‘professions libérales’. The organization is responsible for managing the statutory social protection for more than four million independent self-employed workers, and their partners or family members registered under the same affiliation.

The bringing together of the various agencies has resulted in the need for a restructuring of Business Intelligence systems, with some stringent constraints: existing BI warehouses and archives have to be maintained, the BI information system has to be easy to maintain and scalable, a new pensions BI system (for artisans and small business personnel) is to be deployed, and shared performance indicators are to be established.

A unified vision of the pensions BI information system
So the objective has been to rationalize and unify the systems architecture, to benefit from a global vision giving the RSI new performance drivers, lower costs, and efficiency vis-à-vis its subscribers. Having established the overall cartography of the Information System togetehr when consolidating the various agencies – the RSI launched its common pension datawarehouse or ECR (Entrepôt Commun Retraite) project. This project to supply data was run in parallel with another project dedicated to restitution, and was structured around several functional areas: subscriber management, debt collection, pension services and cross-functional views of business activity (actuarial, statistical...).

Setting up a responsive BI organization
The RSI has asked Bull to support it in the overall implementation of the project, particularly in the areas of organization, methodologies, standardization and implementation. As a result, Bull’s multi-disciplinary teams – using a range of tools – have been involved throughout the whole project chain, from infrastructure to support. The team’s objective was to set up a structure capable of gradually implementing standardized procedures, while supporting users throughout the change. In real terms, this involved:

  • Appointing a BI program management, a key interface for users
  • Limiting the choice of indicators to a sub-set of around sixty (to begin with) to facilitate adoption and utilization of this type of tool
  • Being receptive to users’ demands, and implementing the projects that meet their individual needs, particularly in terms of dashboards and business datamarts that can be launched and brought into service rapidly.

This structure has enabled the team to capitalize and standardize on tools and processes while at the same time facilitating the links between contracting authorities and project managers, thanks to dedicated teams assigned to each sub-project, and an identified interface with the contracting authority for each key stage of the project.

An industrial-scale deployment, capitalizing on business skills and leading-edge techniques
Bull has been able to draw on experts in the various tools chosen by the customer (restitution: BO/AF V6.5, SAS9, SPSS; ECR population: Informatica V8 for extraction in ETL mode; Oracle V9i databases; Bull NovaScale® and Escala® servers) in achieving the following:

  • Data warehouse design and modelling
  • Functional specifications for the data warehouse and datamarts
  • Technical specifications for database population
  • Definition of Informatica development standards
  • Definition of the form of dataflow specifications
  • Datawarehouse population (using Informatica)
  • Restitution specification
  • Compilation of statistical reports and detailed status reports
  • Integration tests
  • Defining the architecture specification.

For Pascale Soccol, the Head of the Pensions BI Skill Center at the RSI: “One excellent point about Bull – which sets them apart in this market – is that they make the effort to train their resources at several levels when it comes to BI information systems. This contributes considerable value, both in terms of efficiency and agility, as well as to the overall vision for the project.”

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