Principal is on the path to implementing new technology to better serve customers, but in the meantime, we face a challenge in serving our existing clients on legacy platforms. This team will be tasked to design a tool to extract customer policy and demographic data from a mainframe system and run it through an actuarial pricing database to provide a premium quote to existing customers.
Principal provides best in class retirement services, insurance solutions, and asset management services to businesses and individuals. As with most established organizations, a significant amount of customer data is stored on a legacy system mainframe (IBM ZOS, DB2, COBOL). Today, when individual disability customer policies need to be updated by Principal team members, employees manually extract customer information from the mainframe and individually enter it into an excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains the actuarial rating tables and a tool to calculate new/updated premiums. The students on the Principal team will design and build an automated data extraction tool working at the Persistence layer/DAL (data access layer) to retrieve desired data.
Because the mainframe tech stack is older and based on legacy software engineering patterns, the team will need to demonstrate a fairly sophisticated understanding of database theory and practical design to deliver a functional tool. Successful completion of this project would demonstrate substantial database knowledge and practical skills for your resume.
Successful completion of this tool will significantly reduce the processing time required to address customer requests for policies currently stored in the legacy database. In addition, automating the process will reduce human errors, provide a consistent experience, and support a more efficient audit.
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Database (2 Students)
Specific Skills: Solid understanding of database design theory and practical knowledge. General Programming. Students must have completed EECS 281 or equivalent.
Likely Majors: CS, DATA
General Programming (4 Students)
Specific Skills: General Programming skills, good software engineering practice and design. Students must have completed EECS 281 or equivalent.
Likely Majors: CS, DATA
Director of IT Architecture
In his 25 years at Principal, Tony has delivered and led in technology, information security, and technical strategist roles. Currently, Tony works in our insurance innovation group, mentoring novel and startup-related ideas and helping them find their opportunity in real implementations. His outside interests include photography and 3D printing.
Douglas Moore is a Product Manager at Ford Mobility. Doug has more than 25 years experience in software development and complex program delivery. His most recent focus has been developing new mobility products and services for Ford Motor Company. He has led an innovation team exploring an integrated portfolio of mobility solutions for city customers and previously led the development of Ford Mobility’s Dynamic Shuttle technology platform (GoRide). Prior to that, Doug leveraged his extensive experience in program management to lead an initiative in the Ford Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO) on the adoption of agile delivery practices.
Doug joined the Center for Entrepreneurship in 2020 as a TechLab instructor. He holds a BS degree in Electrical and Computer Science from the University of Buffalo and earned an MS in Computer and Information Science from U-M Dearborn. Doug has previously served as a Lecturer in Computer Science at U-M Dearborn.
Course Substitutions: Honors, ChE Elective, CS MDE/Capstone, CE MDE, Data Science Capstone, EE MDE, IOE Grad Cognate, SI Elective, SI Grad Cognate
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students.
IP/NDA: Students will sign IP/NDA document(s) that are unique to Principal.
In Person/Remote Participation Options: Work will take place on campus in Ann Arbor, MI. Students accepting this project may have the opportunity to travel to Principal in Des Moines, IA (as Principal, University and State of Michigan, and Iowa policies allow). Transportation will be provided by MDP.
On Campus Requirement: Students who are approved to attend classes remotely for Winter (and Fall if necessary) 2022 may participate on this project.
Internship/Summer Opportunity: Students will be guaranteed interviews for 2022 internships. The interviews will take place by January 2022.