News & Commentary
Content posted in March 2010
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Tower Life Transforms Its Call Center with Zeacom Platform
News  |  3/31/2010  | 
Tower Life has transformed its legacy call center into a true contact center through the integrated capabilities of the Zeacom Communication Center platform.
Tufts Health Plan Taps CGI For Application Development and Support
News  |  3/31/2010  | 
Tufts will utilize CGI's resources to help improve processes, lower IT cost structure and have access to specialized technical skills.
Aiming to Stop Cargo Theft, CargoNet Expands Its Insurance Membership
News  |  3/31/2010  | 
Launched in January, the ISO-managed national information-sharing network unites insurance company, transportation, manufacturing, retail and law enforcement participants in the fight against cargo theft.
Healthcare Reform Will Require Massive Insurance IT Spending
News  |  3/31/2010  | 
Complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will require both massive IT spending and increased operational efficiency from insurers.
Recent Natural Catastrophes Should Alert U.S. Insurers to Dangers
News  |  3/30/2010  | 
Experience with seismic events mitigated the human and property toll of the February Chile earthquake -- lessons that should inform insurers' planning in parts of the U.S.
Transition of Alternative Sourcing Strategies: Making The Move to Value
News  |  3/30/2010  | 
A case could be made that transition is ultimately the most important step in alternative sourcing. After all, even the strongest business case will fail if the transition breaks down. Successful transitions are enabled by a strong strategic concept and comprehensive plan, and extend through effective monitoring of ongoing operations
New York Life Names Michael Gordon Senior Vice President, Agency-Life Operations
News  |  3/30/2010  | 
Gordon is responsible for overseeing the eight sub-units of the newly formed Agency-Life Operations organization. He reports to Paul Pasteris, COO of New York Life's U.S. Life Insurance.
AIG Completes Sale of PineBridge Investments
News  |  3/29/2010  | 
Hong Kong-based Pacific Century Group has paid $277 million in cash for the portion of AIG's asset management business.
American General Life and Accident Adopts iPipeline Illustration Suite
News  |  3/29/2010  | 
The Nashville-based insurer will use iPipeline's solution for its life and annuity products within a system branded internally as AGLA Passport.
Insurance Associations Express Concerns About Financial Reform Bill
News  |  3/29/2010  | 
Sen. Christopher Dodd's reform bill proposes only modest changes to the existing insurance regulatory regime, but industry associations are pushing back against resolution funding requirements and potentially duplicative regulation.
The Hartford to Participate In ProspX Online Search and Sales Collaboration Platform
News  |  3/26/2010  | 
The Web-based platform will give participating commercial insurance agents and brokers real-time access to information about The Hartford's expertise, the types of risks it insures and key contacts.
Fidel Castro Applauds US Healthcare Reform
News  |  3/26/2010  | 
Castro calls reform a "miracle" and a victory over "lobbyists and political mercenaries," in qualified praise of President Obama, whom he calls a "fanatical believer in the imperialist capitalist system."
New Policy Admin System Fuels Trust-Based Pay-as-You-Drive Launch
News  |  3/25/2010  | 
Sydney-based Real Insurance is the first to market, worldwide, with trust-based PAYD coverage thanks largely to a new policy admin suite.
Pacific Life Saves $1.1 Million With IT Services Management
News  |  3/24/2010  | 
Pacific Life Insurance reaps $1.1 million in savings by embracing the ITIL best practices framework and deploying BMC's IT services management suite.
Bear River Mutual Chooses StoneRiver Policy and Billing Solutions
News  |  3/24/2010  | 
Utah-based P&C carrier sees the solutions as key in preparing infrastructure in support of growth objectives.
New Mexico Chooses Valen's UnderRight
News  |  3/23/2010  | 
New Mexico Mutual will use the solution to enhance its already dominant position in the New Mexico workers' comp market through identification of opportunities and precise pricing of risk.
Thoughts on Distribution Management
News  |  3/23/2010  | 
Carriers have made significant progress in speed-to-market by implementing rules-based systems and tightening their product development capabilities. They have aggressively moved to create more tailored products marketable through more diverse channels. However, their engagement with those channels is remains challenged by the limitations of their existing distribution systems.
ProspX Announces Microsoft Outlook Integration
News  |  3/23/2010  | 
Prospx has announced that its enterprise search and collaboration solution for commercial insurers can now be directly accessed from Microsoft Outlook.
DST Health Solutions Debuts Enhanced ACG System
News  |  3/22/2010  | 
ACG Version 9.0 builds on the success of previous releases by identifying members with chronic conditions that are at risk for low adherence to prescription regimens, poor coordination of care among primary care providers and specialists or acute hospitalization needs.
Insurance Industry: Healthcare Reform Fails to Address Costs
News  |  3/22/2010  | 
Health insurance carriers praise coverage, lament cost. Distributor association expresses disappointment on cost to small businesses and procedural liberties taken by Congress to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
House Vote Addresses Health Insurers' Abuses, Answers Americans' Prayers
News  |  3/22/2010  | 
I begin to wonder how my contacts in the health insurance industry sleep at night. Possibly their excesses and abuses leave them exhausted at the end of the day. Fortunately, whether we know what's good for us or not, the President and Congress have found a way to put an end to the tyranny of health insurers. Some things turn out to be easier than they seem.
Accident Fund Names Joanne Topa Director, Enterprise Applications
News  |  3/19/2010  | 
Topa will be involved with initiatives within content management, Web services and business relations throughout the organization.
Don Desiderato Joins Novarica
News  |  3/19/2010  | 
Former Prudential and ING divisional CIO has focused on transformational initiatives within the life/annuity industry throughout his 25-year career.
Integrating a Customer Value Currency across the Enterprise
News  |  3/18/2010  | 
Insurance carriers spend billions each year to acquire customers and increase customer loyalty. Yet most initiatives fail to deliver the expected results for the simple reason that no direct, measurable connection can be made between each initiative and the resulting consumer behavior.
Jackson National Life Selects Thunderhead NOW
News  |  3/18/2010  | 
The life, annuities and institutional products insurer will use the Thunderhead platform to streamline the production and delivery of its policy documentation, correspondence and other personalized content.
The Hartford Prices Share Offerings
News  |  3/18/2010  | 
The Hartford plans to use the net proceeds of the offerings, together with proceeds from a planned debt offering and available funds to repurchase in full the $3.4 billion of The Hartford's preferred shares issued to the U.S. Treasury Department under Treasury's Capital Purchase Program.
Creating a Customer Value Currency
News  |  3/18/2010  | 
An insurance company could develop its customer value currency definition using easily predictable dimensions, such as average premium for a single product and retention rates. To enhance the effectiveness of the customer currency metric, other factors, such as loss and multi-product premiums, can be added later.
PayFlex Releases New HSA
News  |  3/17/2010  | 
PayFlex's new custodian-agnostic product enhances flexibility and control for employers and insurers, while extending its HSA offering to any financial institution, the vendor claims
Verex Implements edge IPK edgeConnect
News  |  3/17/2010  | 
The edge IPK product underpins a solution designed to enable Verex to offer a range of branded insurance products directly to automobile manufacturers, dealers and their customers.
Early Insurance Industry Reaction to Sen. Dodd's Financial Reform Bill
News  |  3/16/2010  | 
If one were to summarize the reaction of insurance industry associations to Senator Chris Dodd's financial reform bill it would be: "If it aint broke, don't fix it."
Patni Establishes New BPO Hub for North America
News  |  3/16/2010  | 
Patni Computer Systems has established a new BPO delivery center in El Paso, Texas.
Brit Insurance Selects Prodiance ERM to Manage Spreadsheets
News  |  3/16/2010  | 
The solution will support a strategic initiative to automate internal controls over mission-critical spreadsheets used to capture and report on financial information.
Pegasystems Will Acquire Chordiant Software
News  |  3/16/2010  | 
Under the terms of the agreement, Pegasystems will make a cash tender offer of $5.00 per share for all outstanding shares of Chordiant common stock for a total purchase price of up to approximately $161.5 million.
Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications, Part III: Improving Software Quality at AGF-Allianz
News  |  3/16/2010  | 
As we recover from the liquidity crisis and face waves of new regulation, the ability to scale rapidly is critical to insurance companies. Scale enables us to spread risk more effectively, segment smartly for higher premiums, and keep costs competitive.
Torus Specialty Selects Duck Creek for Policy Admin, Billing
News  |  3/15/2010  | 
The carrier has signed a contract for Duck Creek's solutions in order to support expansion into new lines of business.
Colonial Life Taps Top Down Systems for Document Automation
News  |  3/15/2010  | 
Colonial Life will use the solution in support of customer correspondence to save time and money on operational and information technology involvement, as well as eliminate document duplication.
Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications, Part II: The Current State of Insurance IT Applications
News  |  3/15/2010  | 
In Part II of this three-part series Paul Camille Bentz, former CIO, AGF-Allianz, describes the current state of the insurance IT portfolio and why this makes it hard to achieve the requisite business goals of increasing revenue and margin through M&A and organic growth.
Northwestern Mutual's CIO: IT as a Business Asset
News  |  3/12/2010  | 
In discussions of the contribution of IT to the insurance enterprise, it's hard not to speak in terms of IT as separate from "the business." IT is an enabler of business process after all, no matter how pervasive and strategic its role has become. Nevertheless, CIOs often insist that IT is part of the business, even as it supports it, and certainly not without reason. Tim Schaefer<
Accident Fund Names Lisa Riddle VP of Claims and Medical Operations
News  |  3/12/2010  | 
Accident Fund names Lisa Riddle VP of Claims and Medical Operations.
DRC Enables Cloud Delivery of DecisionMaker Rating Enterprise
News  |  3/12/2010  | 
DecisionMaker Rating Enterprise customers will be able to minimize overhead, create multiple cloned environments and quickly perform "what if" analysis with version 7.1, the vendor says.
Narragansett Bay Launches New Homeowner Web Site, Agent Portal
News  |  3/12/2010  | 
The enhancements fall within the company's APEX project, an agent-focused series of technical initiatives to be completed in 2001 that will allow the company to fulfill new customer needs and provide what the carrier describes as outstanding service to its policies with advanced straight-through processing to its independent agents.
Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Renews Contract with Sapiens
News  |  3/12/2010  | 
Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society renews contract with Sapiens; $7 million, five-year deal involves support services for closed books.
Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications: Part I: Addressing Current Business Pressures
News  |  3/11/2010  | 
A reflexive response to uncertainty is to keep a tight rein over costs, placing a premium on margin growth, not simply revenue growth. In such an environment, companies that have the scale and are fortunate enough to be cash rich will continue to grow revenue and margin through M&A.
Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications: a Three-Part Series
News  |  3/11/2010  | 
Current economic conditions have put insurance companies in a bind. The pressure to recapture pre-2008 revenue and profit margins is intense. But achieving these business goals requires rapidly developing IT applications and enhancing existing ones in ways that escalate IT complex
Hyland Aims to Bridge Online/Offline Worlds with OnBase 9.2
News  |  3/11/2010  | 
Enhancements to the enterprise content management suite include a "full-featured" offline client, Mobile Workflow for BlackBerry and workflow integration with Microsoft Outlook.
Carriers Must Put Profitability Before Growth
News  |  3/10/2010  | 
Companies that effectively leverage analytics to refine their ability to segment risk, have a window into the profitability of customer segments. Those who lag behind in analytic capabilities are flying blind in this respect. And not only are they less able to gauge profitability, they are more likely to be stuck with the worst risks relative to their competitors.
Guidewire Releases Guidewire BillingCenter 3.0
News  |  3/10/2010  | 
Guidewire describes its approach to the billing product as shifting from a traditional view of billing as a back-office function to a "front and center" concept that offers increased flexibility to customers.
Equitable Life of Canada Uses HP Exstream to Streamline Customer Communications
News  |  3/10/2010  | 
HP Exstream will provide a single software platform for Equitable Life of Canada to create, manage and deliver a variety of communications, in multiple languages , to its customers.
Thrivent Notifies Members of Breach of Unsecured Personal Information
News  |  3/10/2010  | 
Laptop stolen from Pennsylvania office contained personal information, including name, address, social security number and health information.
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