"In 2009, we reduced our travel expenses by EUR 400,000 by using online meetings and web conferences in our projects and for other internal meetings."
Karl Mårtensson, Maintenance Manager

Increased tempo for development projects

Zurich has increased the tempo of its development projects thanks to a web-based project tool offering fantastic performance and great accessibility. Zurich manages international projects with exacting demands for security and availability – something a cloud-based solution can satisfy. Having chosen Projectplace, the company has also seen major savings as a result of the reduced need for travel.


Insurance company Zurich is the world’s second largest insurer in general corporate business. The company has 200 employees, 700 customers and six offices in the Nordic region alone. This strong bond with the local market improves understanding of the risks customers face and how these can be managed. The offices also collaborate on projects with other colleagues throughout Europe.

The development department at Zurich in Stockholm is responsible for developing solutions suitable for other markets served by this global concern. This makes great demands of communication and the potential for cooperation, which the group’s shared intranet cannot meet for a variety of reasons.


In many cases, development projects involve external consultants, who require access to the same functions and need to be able to work in shared documents and with the same terminology as the rest of the project team. When document versions are amended, all project members, both internal and external, must be able to access the latest version. The key is therefore active version management.

It is also not unusual to find several people working in the same document at the same time. This requires the tool to be able to manage any conflicts that may arise when different versions are saved. Occasionally, there is also a need to be able to return to earlier versions.

In addition to a common project platform, Zurich also needs a solution that allows for communication in real time. In connection with telephone and web conferences, the company has to be able to share documents online, with everyone having access to the same information, which enables each individual market to get involved and feel committed to business development.

The financial crisis led Zurich to increase its use of telephone and video conferences, as a means of both reducing costs and becoming even more efficient.

Individual participants meanwhile need the IT tool to be intuitive. It needs to be easily accessible from a variety of web browsers, as well as from the Citrix solution already employed by Zurich. Access to the tool must not be restricted by someone logging on from another domain, as approximately 40 per cent of project members are external parties.


Having reviewed its needs, Zurich decided that Projectplace was the best solution. The company began using the tool in 2007, and right from the start it was clear that this was a simpler and better solution than the company’s own infrastructure.

Each project entails a lot of communication. Projectplace gives employees and other project members the opportunity to get involved and to communicate with one another without this interfering with the process.

As regards efficiency, the use of web conferences in combination with the online meeting function offered by Projectplace has enabled Zurich to make considerable savings. In 2009, swapping physical meetings for web conferences and online meetings saved the company almost EUR 400,000 in travel expenses. In addition to financial savings, there are also considerable time savings to be made. Without the need for travel Zurich can arrange shorter meetings more frequently. Greater coordination also makes projects and the business as a whole more efficient.

According to Zurich, the primary benefits associated with the tool, in addition to the financial advantages, are performance and access. With these needs satisfied, the company has been able to maintain a higher tempo in its projects than would otherwise have been the case.


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