News & Commentary
Content posted in November 2007
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News  |  11/27/2007  | 
Former SVP of IT business applications Kathy Owen has been named the Chatanooga-based disability insurer's chief information officer, reporting to COO Bob Best. Brent Rogers, former SVP for operations and technology has been named CTO.
Stupidity and Negligence Result in Staggering British Data Privacy Breach
News  |  11/22/2007  | 
Whatever this means for the British government and governments in general, the incident once again sounds the general alarm about the vulnerability of private data that individuals choose to or are forced to disclose to supposedly responsible parties. And it shows once again that clever security measures focused on defense against malice may be inadequate in the face of official arrogance, laziness, stupidity and plain incompetence.
Is the Agent Community the Primary Roadblock to E-Signature Adoption in Insurance?
News  |  11/20/2007  | 
Never underestimate the value of stating the obvious. Karen Pauli, a senior analyst in TowerGroup's insurance practice has told me that her latest research -- on the importance of e-signatures and secure documents -- has stirred more reaction than just about any other topic she's covered.
Pre-Thanksgiving News Update
News  |  11/20/2007  | 
several important new CIO appointments have been made recently, including Mark Oakley's being named to State Farm's top technology spot, Eileen Slevin becoming CIO of New York Life, and Ed Steinike taking on the CIO role at ING Americas.
Ed Steinike, ING Americas' Consumer-Focused CIO
News  |  11/20/2007  | 
If consumer-focused CIOs are a recipe for success, then Steinike is "the real thing."
Auto Club of Southern California Implements Guidewire
News  |  11/20/2007  | 
Automobile Club of Southern California has selected Guidewire Software's Web-based ClaimCenter to replace the AAA affiliate's legacy claims systems and drive improved efficiency and service.
Introducing Eileen Slevin: New York Life’s New CIO Plans For The Future
News  |  11/20/2007  | 
Eileen Slevin, who recently replaced Judith Campbell as New York LIfe's CIO, will draw on extensive project management experience and background in shaping the company's e-commerce accomplishments and business resilience capabilities as she develops the mutual's IT strategic plan.
State Farm’s Oakley Tackles Legacy
News  |  11/20/2007  | 
Recently appointed State Farm CIO Mark Oakley will apply both business and technology experience to the carrier's legacy technology challenges and customer experience ambitions.
Steve Miller Heads Encompass Insurance IT
News  |  11/19/2007  | 
The newly named AVP in charge of technology at Allstate personal lines brand Encompass will focus on speedier and more intuitive systems for independent agents, brokers and other distribution channels.
Insurance Industry Faces A Number Of Critical Issues In 2008
News  |  11/19/2007  | 
Executives from the industry associations that represent each insurance sector speculate on the most urgent issues facing their lines of business in 2008.
Public Partnerships Critical For Insurers in Catastrophe-prone Regions
News  |  11/19/2007  | 
Creating public/private financial partnerships is a critical step in stabilizing property insurance markets in catastrophe-prone regions of the U.S.
P&C Carriers Will Look for In-Depth Analysis
News  |  11/16/2007  | 
Data integration, modeling, and analytics will continue to areas of focus and investment within many property and casualty (P&C) carriers.
Medical Mutual of Ohio Acquires Benefit Services
News  |  11/16/2007  | 
Addressing market changes driven by rising healthcare costs, Medical Mutual of Ohio has added the "boutique" capabilities of small group focused third-party administrator (TPA) Benefit Services, Inc., to the Cleveland-based carrier's own TPA offering.
Insurers’ Technology Investments Transform Catastrophe Claims Management Strategies
Commentary  |  11/15/2007  | 
Mobile computing, analytics and content management systems are among the technologies helping insurance companies transform their claims response to catastrophes such as the recent California wildfires. However, this both benefits and challenges policyholders.
Reinsurers Need To Address Catastrophe Risk and Regulatory Issues in 2008
News  |  11/14/2007  | 
In the coming year, reinsurers should focus on natural catastrophe risk and the relationship between federal and state governments as it relates to regulation.
Technology, Innovation Enable Health Insurers To Address Challenges
News  |  11/14/2007  | 
Health insurers are integrating new technology tools, such as personal health records (PHRs) and e-prescribing, to deliver information quickly and lessen administrative burdens.
Life Insurance Industry Would Benefit From Optional Federal Charter
News  |  11/14/2007  | 
An Optional Federal Charter (OFC) would streamline the regulatory process for life insurers, allowing them to better compete with banks and securities firms in the marketing of asset management products and services.
Tripathi Continues IT Transformation at Harleysville
News  |  11/14/2007  | 
Harleysville Insurance CIO Akhil Tripathi has implemented two new policy administration systems since 2006, earning the carrier a reputation as technology leader along the way.
IBM To Acquire Cognos
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
IBM has announced it will purchase Cognos in a $4.9 billion deal.
Players to Watch in Insurance Technology During 2008
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Insurance & Technology's editors identify some notable industry movers and shakers with opportunities to make a difference in the insurance technology world in the coming year.
Kevin Murray Builds for AXA Equitable’s Long-Term Growth
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Executive vice president and CIO Kevin Murray is establishing strategic platforms in support of AXA Equitable's ambitious growth objectives.
Craig Lowenthal Handles Carrier Systems Again For NYMAGIC
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Back on the carrier side after a stint at Integro, Craig Lowenthal faces the challenge of turning around legacy systems-bound New York Marine and General Insurance Co.'s (NYMAGIC) technology organization.
LOMA and LIMRA Face Future Together
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
The boards of LOMA and LIMRA have agreed to unite under the new name LL Global, saying that the complementary offerings of the groups will bring members synergies.
ACORD’s John Kellington Drives New Standards Approach
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Former Ohio Casualty CTO and IBM consultant John Kellington will apply his best-practice and project management disciplines to his new role as ACORD's senior vice president in charge of standards.
2008 Presidential Election Promises Change for Health Insurance Industry
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Candidates for both the Democratic and Republican 2008 presidential nominations have proposed changes in the current health insurance system. Climate change is another topic of debate.
Celent And TowerGroup Expand Insurance Coverage
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Analyst firms Celent and TowerGroup have expanded coverage in the insurance space, with increased research and new hires.
The Three R’s Will Drive Carriers’ Fates in 2008
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
The manner in which carriers respond to the drivers of risk, revenue and regulation will determine how the insurance industry fares in a year of political, economic and social changes.
Predictive Analytics and Complex Event Processing Technology Move to Cutting Edge of Financial Services Industry
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Financial services companies are analyzing rising data volumes with predictive analytics to glimpse the future and segment consumers, build stronger customer relationships and reduce fraud.
IT, Data Governance Converge
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Developing a common framework that defines the scope of governance, policies, IT and business responsibilities is essential to manage data effectively.
Beneficial Financial Group CIO Steve Terry Discusses Business Intelligence Tools
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
How to be effective with the available business intelligence tools is a real challenge, Beneficial Financial Group CIO Steve Terry says.
Metlife Bank CTO Mark La Penta Talks About Holistic Risk Management
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Items under the risk umbrella such as security, privacy, suitability, will no longer be treated as isolated efforts.
Rapid Rollout of Services Will Differentiate the Market
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
It's going to be all about rapid rollout of services prioritized by customer demand and focused on capabilities that differentiate in the market.
Banks Should Consider Extending SOA With BPM
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
BPM, and the complementary components of process engineering and SOA, enable banks to drive new revenue, become more efficient and create new services to retain customers.
IT Needs to Be Integrated, Not Just Aligned, With Business
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Leveraging SOA and understanding the burgeoning role of social computing will keep CIOs busy this coming year.
IT Executives Looking For Fastest Ways To Make Effective Business Decisions
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Technology executives have a need for speed
SAP's Falk Reiker Discusses Real-Time Operability Change
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
It will not be an overnight transformation. Banks will start with a phased approach that first simplifies the processes they currently have in place to reduce redundancy.
Banks Will Revamp Payment Infrastructures
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
In 2008, financial institutions will increasingly test "payment architecture committees" and seed enterprise-level IT budgets.
Financial Services Firms Increasing Spending, But Priorities Differ
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Spending is increasing among financial services firms across the insurance, banking and securities/capital markets sectors. But priorities differ, according to a joint survey conducted by Insurance & Technology and its sibling publications, Bank Systems & Technology and Wall Street & Technology.
2008 Financial Services Outlook: Predictions on IT Budgets, Technology Trends and Key Executives and Companies
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
What are the 2008 IT budget and technology spending plan for insurers, banks and securities/capital markets firms? Editors from Insurance & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology and Wall Street & Technology surveyed experts from across financial services to find out the hot topics and trends.
Agis Turns to StreamServe To Achieve Efficiency
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Agis taps StreamServe for document personalization and uniformity to promote customer satisfaction.
Kanawha HealthCare Automates Data Queries With D2Hawkeye
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Kanawha HealthCare automates data mining, saving clients millions and improving care.
Allianz of America Expands AT&T Network Services Agreement
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Allianz of America's expansion of its network services agreement will foster greater operational unity between its Fireman's Fund and Allianz Life companies.
WellPoint Partners With Zagat
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
WellPoint partners with Zagat to offer an online peer-to-peer physician rating tool to the insurer's members.
MetLife Auto & Home Launches SEMCI Initiative
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
MetLife Auto & Home has launched PowerLink, a set of vendor partnerships that will help deliver SEMCI functionality to independent agents.
Microsoft launches HealthVault, Insurance Carrier Partnerships Could Follow
News  |  11/12/2007  | 
Microsoft's initial announcement of healthcare management portal HealthVault came without news of carrier partnerships. But that's likely to change.
From I&T's 2007 Executive Summit: Best Practices in Speed to Market
News  |  11/6/2007  | 
As I&T senior editor Anthony O'Donnell said when he introduced the first session of our 2007 Executive Summit, "The Need for Speed: Product in a Day," speed to market is a perennial topic, that we often report on. However, as Anthony also noted, the topic has seen a kind of resurgence recently. Perhaps that's because many insurers have undertaken related product development initiatives, and as a result, best practices are beginning to emerge - thus driving speed to market discussions in a new d
From I&T's 2007 Executive Summit: Globalization Is a Reality for Insurers
News  |  11/5/2007  | 
It often seems as if the theme at insurance industry conferences is nagging and haranguing -- pointing out all the things insurance companies do wrong when it comes to technology. But so far at this year's Insurance & Technology Executive Summit, the messaging has more to do with pointing out opportunities -- areas of potential growth and profit for carriers, if only they can gather the technology, financial and personnel resources to capitalize them. Nowhere is this more striking than
From I&T's 2007 Executive Summit: Making Insurance Company Transformation Real
News  |  11/5/2007  | 
"We're the hub of the insurance industry," ICW's Deborah Smallwood said of CIOs, whose technology serves as the circulatory systems for insurance companies. "We are in a position to really transform the industry."
Editor's Note: Chilling at I&T's Executive Summit
News  |  11/5/2007  | 
Reflecting on the implications of the new consumer for insurers' customer outreach, and of the underappreciated demographic inevitability of that consumer's emergence, Plaxo's Todd Masonis said, "You should be scared."
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