News & Commentary
Content posted in April 2006
Morris to Support Thrivent’s Growth Goals
News  |  4/26/2006  | 
Former American Express, ING and Reliastar technology officer Holly Morris brings customer technology expertise to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
Principal Enhances Market Research Capability
News  |  4/26/2006  | 
Seeking to optimize market research collaboration on cross-business unit initiatives, the Principal Financial Group has implemented Novintel's Viva Intelligence Plaza automated business intelligence platform.
Claburn
News  |  4/12/2006  | 
Hartford Life's Group Benefits Division races to the conclusion of its "core conversion" of acquired CNA books of business, on time and within budget.
Compliance, Not Malware, Drives IT Budgets: Survey
News  |  4/12/2006  | 
Chief security officers say their primary reasons for investing in security software have to do with compliance rules, not virus threats.
CIGNA Offers Virtual Doctor Visits
News  |  4/12/2006  | 
CIGNA HealthCare has teamed up with RelayHealth to offer customers Physician webVisits, a Web-based solution that allows customers to schedule doctors appointments, view laboratory results, and receive prescription refills and renewals online.
Third-Party Support
News  |  4/7/2006  | 
In an effort to expand its customer-centric portfolio of products, St. Paul, Minn.-based Securian Financial Group ( billion in total assets) turned to Woodland Hills, Calif.-based third-party administrator LifeCare Assurance Company for help developing Securian's new long-term care insurance product, LTC Guard. Securian's Ben Roth, director of life product research and promotions, and Mary Anne Smith, director of individual business technology, recently spoke with I&T Associate Editor Maria
Know Your Customers
Commentary  |  4/6/2006  | 
For insurance companies looking to capitalize on customer-centric product development, knowledge of consumers' needs and behaviors is key.
Reaching New Product Heights
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
To develop innovative products that support consumers' needs, insurers must overcome information silos and foster collaboration across the enterprise.
BEYOND THE CRAPSHOOT
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Return to growth has been the management mantra of the past couple of years, but how do you drive growth when you can't compete on products or price?
Van Wyk Heads ING U.S. IT
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Having served as CIO and COO of Morgan Stanley, Steve Van Wyk brings valuable financial services, IT and operations experience to ING U.S. as its new CIO.
Maier Globalizes Zurich N.A.
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
In taking on the top technology post at Zurich North America as part of a restructuring of IT, Andy Maier has left behind the alpine splendor of parent company Zurich Financial Services' ($59.7 billion in revenue) Zurich, Switzerland, headquarters.
Executive News
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Multifunction Printers
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Lexington, Ky. • Lexmark introduced a new collection of multifunction printers, including the Lexmark X644e, X646dte, X850e, X852e and X854e.
Cover Your Assets
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Insurers must focus on internal risk management rather than depend on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which is set to expire in two years, to mitigate losses from a terrorist attack, according to Risk Management Solutions (RMS).
Hanover Goes Commercial
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
In an effort to strengthen its commercial business, Worcester, Mass.-based The Hanover Insurance Group (2005 net premium of $2.2 billion) deployed OneShield's (Westborough, Mass.) browser-based rating and policy administration platform, Dragon, for commercial package policies.
Harleysville Taps AQS
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
To reduce time to market for new commercial lines products and provide ease of use to its agents, Harleysville Insurance (Harleysville, Pa.; $3.7 billion in total assets) will implement AQS' (Hartland, Wis.) Web-based AQS/advantage suite.
Taking Action On AML
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Responding to The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network mandate that life insurance companies establish an anti-money laundering (AML) program by May 2, 2006, Actimize (New York) and IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) will jointly deliver an AML solution to the industry.
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
To automate its medical/personal-injury protection (MED/PIP) claims processing, Farmers Insurance Group ( Los Angeles; $18.4 billion in total assets in 2004) deployed Clear Technology's (Westminster, Colo.) Med/PIP Claims Processing Solution.
Strong Incentive
News  |  4/6/2006  | 
Automated compensation systems offer a way to improve efficiency, streamline compliance and attract agents. But legacy environments stand in the way of flexible commissions processes.
Call Forward
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Promises of cost savings, enhanced customer service and improved business continuity are driving insurers to make the switch to Voice over IP.
Out of the Gate
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
As a marketer of health insurance plans to individuals and small businesses, Milwaukee-based Assurant Health ($2.3 billion in 2005 revenue) already dealt with a market population used to making decisions about its healthcare.
Partners and Rivals
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
As growth in the health savings account market skyrockets, health insurers and banks are simultaneously partners in the value chain and rivals seeking to control customer relationships.
In It Together
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Using client research, Philadelphia-based Cigna ($44.9 billion in assets) determined that the best offering for its employer health plan market was an integrated health savings account solution that offered a seamless experience for members accessing healthcare, performing transactions and navigating between the insurance and banking realms associated with HSAs.
Transparent Technology
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Jim Hanson, EVP of Information Services, Mutual of Omaha Jim Hanson and Mutual of Omaha (.74 billion in 2005 revenue) have a long history together. Hanson joined the mutual company right out of college and has served in his current role as the carrier's EVP for information services for 10 years. During his tenure, Hanson has been able to update the organization's legacy systems with new technologies while making the resulting IT environment appear seamless to the company's internal and external
True Insight
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Coradiant's TrueSight solution enables OneBeacon Insurance's IT department to locate and solve Web application problems quickly.
Go With the Flow
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
As part of a network redesign in 2003 that involved redeploying its IT infrastructure at colocation facilities in Boston and Dallas for business continuity and disaster recovery purposes, Amica Mutual Insurance Co. ($3.4 billion in assets) wanted to ensure its investment was protected.
Figuring It Out
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
MetLife changes the way it sells life insurance with new life insurance benefit calculator.
UnumProvident Shifts to ACS
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Increased outsourcing competition has led UnumProvident to modify its IT outsourcing procedures.
Rocky Mountain Low
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
A new Colorado House bill would saddle insurers with requirements to disclose more financial data and restrict rating methods.
Sign Me Up
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Insurers increasingly are reaping the benefits of electronic signatures, but lagging back-end technology and compliance concerns are slowing adoption by many.
Back In Style
Commentary  |  4/5/2006  | 
Just like lapels and skirt lengths, management concepts go in and out of style. Consider the concept of innovation.
TowerGroup: Know Your Customers
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
For insurance companies looking to capitalize on customer-centric product development, knowledge of consumers' needs and behaviors is key.
Third-Party Support: I&T Talks to Securian Financial
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
In an effort to expand its customer-centric portfolio of products, St. Paul, Minn.-based Securian Financial Group ($26 billion in total assets) turned to Woodland Hills, Calif.-based third-party administrator LifeCare Assurance Company for help developing Securian's new long-term care insurance product, LTC Guard. Securian's Ben Roth, director of life product research and promotions, and Mary Anne Smith, director of individual business technology, recently spoke with I&T Associate Editor Maria W
How IT Drives Product Proliferation: Keeping Complexity at Bay
News  |  4/5/2006  | 
Competitive pressures are driving the need for more product development. But the industry is plagued by complexity-related issues. Why IT may be part of the problem and why the solution may be less versus more.


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