– Business and culture
A new team for Application Lifecycle Management
New premium products for the insurance industry
Together with Roger Wollert, Katja Schmidt is expanding the insurance division in IKOR's Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). With support from all IKOR teams, she develops strategy and processes, searches internationally for the best IT professionals and designs an offering that is attractive to insurance industry customers far beyond smooth operations. Her goal: premium services, partnership at eye level and a team that is keen to develop new technical, functional, organizational and process solutions.
– Fast Lane
In this article you will learn:
Application lifecycle management for a highly regulated business segment
Since the beginning of 2023, Katja Schmidt, as Co-Dock Manager at IKOR, has been working with her colleague Roger Wollert to build a team specializing in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for the insurance industry. IKOR has been providing ALM since 2005, guaranteeing clients the smooth functioning of their systems and system landscape. In ALM, SAP applications are operated, maintained and further developed. Katja works on processes and structures for the Dock - the name of the specialist departments at IKOR - and has worked her way deep into the multi-layered needs of the insurance industry.
In the future, this new division within the Dock will offer insurance customers individually tailored high-end ALM services. Katja is attracted to this task by the special challenges facing the industry: Insurance companies are highly regulated, have a complex system landscape and need correspondingly sophisticated technical solutions. IKOR is already a specialist in the insurance industry with comprehensive services covering integration, development, business analysis and project management. ALM is another building block that complements the overall portfolio.
„We see ourselves as part of IT and Operations and also ensure the transfer of know-how to our insurance companies.“
is the Dock Manager in Dock Application Lifecycle Management at IKOR
Relaxed atmosphere, highest level of professionalism
Katja joined IKOR in 2021 because she was convinced by the strategic tasks and also by the special form of leadership in the company. "At IKOR, everyone is perceived as a person with his or her strengths and weaknesses and is individually supported. This is the form of leadership I wanted and this is the form I live. It does not remain on the surface, but goes deeper," she explains.
This is exactly the philosophy she wants to carry over to the new team. Openness, honesty, directness and empowerment are the cornerstones: "I want to create a safe environment so that employees can achieve their best and also have the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.
She wants everyone to be passionate about their work and to work together on a solution until it is optimal. This calls for experts with excellent (SAP) knowledge, a passion for their work, a willingness to delve into complex challenges, and a healthy dose of flexibility. In return, this Dock Manager guarantees work at eye level in a relaxed atmosphere.
Working together to open up new segments
For a team player, one thing is clear: success is only possible together - and that starts with the management of the new ALM division. Together with Roger, Katja leads the ALM team in a dual leadership role. Roger is responsible for the industry and banking area, which has been established for many years and covers the entire SAP/ERP system landscape; Katja is responsible for the insurance area, which is newly located there, with the corresponding SAP modules (SAP FS-CD, FI, CML, CMS, ICM, etc.). The duo is currently working on dovetailing the two areas.
The closing of ranks with the company's parent X1F is also part of the strategy: Together with X1F, IKOR-Dock ALM can support all relevant SAP modules while a joint market offering for insurance companies is already in the works. In addition to operating SAP applications, the team will also tap into the non-SAP systems segment in the future.
Know-how transfer to insurance companies
We can rely on strong internal support: "We have a solid foundation within the company. No matter who I ask, everyone is keen to build something up, knowing it is good for IKOR overall and because the tasks and solutions often cross-fertilize each other," Katja reports.
The new ALM team will implement new technologies for its clients, optimize processes and structures, and openly address pain points. In addition, it will also be available to customers as a sparring partner beyond pure operations: "In general, it is important to me that we have a top-ranked operation in terms of content and technology and also offer consulting services with regard to optimization. We see ourselves as part of IT and Operations - and also ensure the transfer of know-how to our insurance clients." The new offering is also intended to appeal to insurance customers who already work with IKOR but still manage their operations internally.
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