Belfast software firm Kainos in €2.2m contract with Acorn Life

31 Oct 2011

Liam Noone, head of Consulting, Kainos, and Gerard Ryan, operations director, Acorn Life Ltd

Belfast-based IT Solutions company Kainos has been awarded a €2.2m contract with Acorn Life, the Galway-based life assurance company.

The contract includes the implementation of a state-of-the-art sales automation and customer relationship management (CRM) system. It will enable Acorn Life’s 200-strong team of financial advisers to provide a superior customer experience, resulting in a better service and consequently improved sales performance.

The comprehensive new software system is based on Microsoft Dynamics, which Kainos is configuring and customising for Acorn Life’s distribution network, and will be fully integrated with the assurance company’s sales and marketing applications. It will provide a holistic, single view of each customer, enabling Acorn Life’s financial advisers to track customer contact and sales activity in an unprecedented way, delivering better customer service while maximising opportunities to secure new business.

“This initiative with Kainos is designed to improve the IT systems used by our financial advisers so that they can better manage and build their business volumes,” explains Gerard Ryan, operations director at Acorn Life.

Acorn Life’s single biggest IT project to date

The rollout, due to be completed by the first quarter of next year, is Acorn Life’s single biggest IT project to date and is the first stage in a more ambitious programme of work planned to overhaul its point of sale and quotation system. Kainos was selected to implement this Microsoft Dynamics-based solution, thanks to its track record in projects of this nature.

“Kainos had the Microsoft experience, the financial services sector experience, a good understanding of our requirements, and a reputation for successful IT implementations,” said Ryan. “We were also attracted to Kainos’ relative size, as we felt we would matter to them as a client.”

“This is a crucial project for us. It will significantly increase our business, and is essential to our future – specifically, our goal to be the largest and most productive direct sales force in Irish financial services within the next five years.”

Commenting on the significance of the new contract, Noel Crowley of Kainos said: “This is very timely news following the announcement of our recent expansion. It is another example of how we work with our customers to understand their business, and then implement the technologies which optimise their full potential, helping them deliver more effective and efficient services to their customers.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years