April showers bring May flowers, and if you’re a lucky insurance technology executive, perhaps a slew of new product and partnership announcements. Fortunately for them, lady luck was in attendance this week at the ACORD LOMA Systems Forum in Las Vegas, where a host of vendors unveiled their latest developments and hottest wares for P&C, life and health providers. Here are a few of those releases:
Exigen Insurance Solutions
Commercial lines carriers will be interested to learn that Exigen Insurance announced that its PolicyCore product—a policy administration, product configuration and rating solution—will now support commercial lines business through ISO’s new Electronic Rating Content Associate Program. Exigen is one of the first participants of the program, which enables systems, such as PolicyCore, to expedite the input of ISO rating content essential to the development of insurance products, and to simplify ongoing maintenance of those products to provide considerable time and cost savings for insurers.
The integration of ISO Electronic Rating Content completes PolicyCore’s support for personal and commercial lines. PolicyCore now supports any product, any line of business, and any distribution channel. The flexibility and extensive product and process configurability offered by PolicyCore allow carriers to rapidly add additional lines and volume as their business grows, Exigen says.
“We designed ISO Electronic Rating Content in response to requests for a solution that can jump-start initial development of personal and commercial lines products,” said Kevin Thompson, SVP, Insurance Services, ISO, a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics. “Exigen Insurance was among the first to ask us to provide the program because they realized their modern architecture, data structure, and product configuration capabilities would allow a faster product integration path for live rating data than traditional approaches. Manual analysis and implementation of the ISO circulars are unnecessary, and data quality is improved. The savings for insurers are significant, as ISO typically makes 3,000 to 4,000 program changes per year in commercial lines alone.”
Property/casualty core systems provider Guidewire Software announced the launch of its global program for strategic System Integrator (SI) and regional consulting alliance partners. Available by invitation only, the PartnerConnect program is intended to strengthen alliance relationships by formalizing Guidewire’s commitment to its partners, and puts in place metrics on which alliance success is measured. PartnerConnect ensures global consistency in the training and certification of consultants assisting property/casualty insurers in the implementation of Guidewire Insurance Suite products, and helps alliance program members develop the skill sets necessary to grow their Guidewire practice, the company says.
“Our partner eco-system has always been an integral part of our customer success, growth, and go-to-market strategy,” Priscilla Hung, Guidewire Software VP, corporate development and alliances said in a release. “PartnerConnect takes it one step further by providing a formalized framework to help us better support our alliance members in ensuring the success of our mutual customers.”
PartnerConnect members benefit from: a close working relationship with the Guidewire team, senior executive sponsorship, market development funds, training discounts and Guidewire product strategy previews, the company says. Additionally, customized go-to-market strategies, which leverage each member’s implementation successes and Guidewire product expertise, are designed to better assist members efficiently invest in the resources needed to grow their Guidewire practice.
“Guidewire already has well-established and highly successful SI and regional consulting relationships,” Hung said. “To date, worldwide, Guidewire practices include over 600 consultants, 130 of whom are functional and technical consultants certified on Guidewire products.”
Big Blue unveiled its Insurance Industry Framework, which is designed to help insurance companies further automate their processes and turn raw data into actionable intelligence for smarter decision making. A packaged software offering intended to help carriers boost client service, increase agility, optimize business efficiency and better manage risk, the framework enhances advanced analytics and process optimization, and collaboration capabilities.
Built on open standards technology, IBM's says its Insurance Industry Framework provides the base upon which insurance carriers can upgrade and transform their business models, without ripping and replacing legacy technologies. Connecting disparate systems across the enterprise and exposing key information to their distribution channels in a coordinated fashion, the framework can enable a carrier’s transformation with proven technology capabilities already employed by dozens of insurance institutions. As a result, insurers have the ability to safely and securely update their infrastructure on the fly, more cost effectively and quickly.
The Insurance Industry Framework also enables business processing through rules and workflow automation. Business processes automation dramatically reduces complexity and cuts administration costs.
The new approach in the framework is designed to break through the "silos" that often exist between insurance carriers’ lines of business, allowing true data transparency and application sharing. For example, enabled by one of the framework solutions, staff within one part of the insurance company will be able to track transactions across multiple business lines in order to identify fraudulent activity before it happens, while other staff elsewhere can use those same analytic tools to understand customer behavior and preferences.
"Smarter Insurance is about applying the strategic use of technology to anticipate client needs and deliver innovative products faster and more consistently than the competition," Mark Lewis, GM, Global Insurance Industry, IBM, said in a release. "IBM’s unified software offerings are designed to serve as a springboard for transformation so that clients can focus their efforts on growth and innovation. There is no other offering on the market today that can do this with as much ease, efficiency and cost–effectiveness.”
Life and health insurance processing solution provider InsPro Technologies debuted the development strategy for its InsPro Enterprise policy management and administration suite. InsPro Enterprise was first introduced in 2004 as an integrated platform supporting the entire product and policy lifecycle, and remains the only application suite built from the ground up to support both group and individual policies, the company says. The new development path will focus on expanding InsPro Enterprise to support a wider range of life and annuity products.
The expansion of InsPro Enterprise is designed to address the needs of life and annuity insurers looking for modern day technologies that offer the rich functionality and flexibility to replace their current legacy environments. Coupled with InsPro Enterprise’s library of product templates and business rule configuration tools, the system enables business analysts to quickly define and deploy new products to take advantage of windows of market opportunity and the constantly changing competitive landscape.
“As we evaluated our product direction plans, it quickly became apparent that life and annuity insurers had very few solution alternatives incorporating modern technology,” Robert Oakes, InsPro Technologies president and CEO, said in a statement. “Insurance carriers are looking for modern solutions and analysts have been challenging vendors for years to put their best foot forward and bring these solutions to market. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to expand our market reach and fill an industry void.”
The current version of InsPro Enterprise supports term and whole life, senior health (long-term care, Medicare supplement and critical illness) as well as group /worksite lines of business. Expansion development is underway, and will continue through 2011, enabling InsPro to support a wider range of life (universal life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life) and annuity (fixed, indexed, payout, and variable) products on InsPro Enterprise.
This article can also be found at InsuranceNetworking.com.
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