Helping New York Life Lead With Finance Digital Transformation

Estelle Lagorce

A recent SAPinsiderPROFILES article, New York Life Plans Bright Future for Finance, highlighted how the insurance company gained the insight needed to confidently answer questions and take immediate action.

iP-MastheadLogo-featured-in-300x49Below are some of the key elements explaining how the company is driving finance digital transformation. And as SAPPHIRE NOW is just around the corner, I also invite you to hear firsthand from New York Life Insurance about transforming finance systems and enabling live business processes.

With 12,000 agents and more than 6 million customers, New York Life is the largest insurer that is also a mutual company in the U.S.

Like many companies, New York Life was struggling with responding to requests for business information. As Jonathan Feinstein, vice president of Insurance Finance, said: “When you spend all your time chasing down information, it takes too much time to answer the question that is being asked, which prevents you from adding value to the business process. We wanted to reach a state where a financial analyst can deliver thoughtful, thorough solutions from the word go.”

In 2014, the company was implementing an industry-specific solution from SAP to help it comply with financial reporting standards, guidelines, and directives, when it started to talk to SAP about how it could overcome its data analysis challenges.

The conversation soon turned to the option of incorporating transactions and analytics into a single cloud-based solution to enable real-time analysis of data. Feinstein quickly agreed that this was the way to go. The decision to take this direction was not just the implementation of a new solution; it was the start of a true digital transformation.

With an assist from implementation partner Deloitte Consulting LLP, New York Life developed a design approach keeping the end in mind, and tackling manageable wins rather than installing a completely new system and then figuring out how to use it. The implementation of a new “Common Information Model” resulted in a highly scalable, high-performance platform with near-real-time access to all financial transactions.

“For us, the digital transformation is summed up by focusing on the ‘what’ and not the ‘how,’” Feinstein explained. “We spent far too much time simply figuring out how to get information and put it together. We realized we needed instead to figure out what was going on in the business.”

Today New York Life has come a long way on its digital journey. The company has digitized key processes in finance, procurement, expense management, and human capital management. It has also gained a single source of truth that allows it to deliver accurate, real-time insights into all corporate and customer data.

“In this new world, business partner expectations for finance should revolve around what the business can deliver – now,” Feinstein continued. “Companies that make that transition have a competitive advantage. That propelled our thinking about how to arrive at a place where we truly understand the information we have, make better use of it, and drive the business forward.”

For more about New York Live’s finance digital transformation, read the full article, New York Life Plans Bright Future for Finance, in the Q2 2016 issue of SAPinsiderPROFILES.

You may also be interested in these finance digital transformation sessions at SAPPHIRE NOW:


Estelle Lagorce

About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is the Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).