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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: New Product Configuration Software for Life/Annuities from CSC
May 22, 2007 @ 16:15 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Computer Sciences Corp. unveiled Product Accelerator software, which is designed to simplify the creation of life insurance and annuity products. The software gives business experts - rather than software programmers - control of product introduction.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: Exstream Brings Dialogue Live to Insurance
May 22, 2007 @ 16:09 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Exstream Software introduced to the insurance industry its Dialogue Live, new software designed to manage the editing of all types of interactive documents across the enterprise, while controlling content and costs at the corporate level.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: Camilion Debuts New P&C Policy Admin System
May 22, 2007 @ 16:08 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Camilion Solutions introduced Authority Suite, which it describes as a next-generation policy administration system for the property and casualty market.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: More Than 140 Enhancements in Skywire's Documaker 11.2
May 22, 2007 @ 16:06 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Skywire Software announced the general availability of version 11.2 of the Documaker Suite, including Documaker Studio.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: Prima Solutions Launches Reference Insurance Model 5.0
May 22, 2007 @ 16:04 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Chicago-based Prima Solutions announced the availability of Prima IBCS 5, the latest version of the vendor's Reference Insurance Model.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: SEEC Unveils Online Catalogue of 280 SOA Components
May 22, 2007 @ 16:02 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor SEEC, Inc. has launched its searchable online catalogue of 280 pre-built, reusable SOA components.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: Whitehill Technologies Announces New IStream Functionality
May 22, 2007 @ 16:00 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Whitehill Technologies has released significant new functionality in its IStream document automation suite, which includes IStream Publisehr and IStream Document Manager, according to the vendor.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: MajescoMastek Introduces New Insurance Carrier Software
May 22, 2007 @ 15:58 PM | By Debra Kelly

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Edison-N.J.-based MajescoMastek has released software the vendor says can cut by up to 50 percent the time it takes life insurance carriers and their producers to issue policies.

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ACORD/LOMA News Briefs: LOMA Launches Corporate Learning Practice
May 22, 2007 @ 12:01 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor LOMA has launched its Corporate Learning Solutions Practice, which will provide member companies and their employees with new solutions to meet their professional and development needs.

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CIOs Discuss Legacy Replacement and Other Key Issues
May 22, 2007 @ 11:04 AM | By Nathan Conz

By Nathan Conz Associate Editor Legacy systems migration was one of several key topics discussed at a Tuesday morning CIO panel during the 2007 ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum in Orlando. All four CIOs on the panel - Saad Ayub, CIO for Sales and Service Applications, The Hartford; Jeff Carlson, senior vice president, CIO for Domestic Life Companies, AIG; Ursuline Foley, Senior Vice President and CIO, XL Reinsurance and XL Financial Lines; and Paul Fox, CIO, Guy Carpenter & Company - said they were working to migrate off legacy systems to some degree. That reinforced some vendors' sentiments and research found in a recent report from Forrester that anticipated the IT industry will see increased investment this year, driven partially by legacy replacement.

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2007 ACORD/LOMA Insurance Systems Forum Lives Up To Its Potential
May 22, 2007 @ 11:01 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Everyone I've spoken to agrees: this year's ACORD/LOMA Insurance Systems Forum is the most vibrant in years. One friend who began working within the insurance systems world right after the dot-com bust expressed just how much the show has improved: "The first one I went to wasn't a show, it was a wake," she quipped. But this year's event, she agreed, was the best since then, and had the feel of what these things can really be.

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AXA Enhances Broker Web Site
May 22, 2007 @ 10:23 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor Acting on feedback from distributors and insight from research, AXA Distributors LLC has launched significant enhancements to its AXAdistributors.com Web site to provide users with greater control and security.

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Insurers Outline Best Practices for ACORD Standards Implementations
May 21, 2007 @ 23:10 PM | By Kathy Burger

By Kathy Burger Editorial Director Acknowledging that "implementation is an important part of standard setting," ACORD president and CEO Greg Maciag kicked off the 2007 ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum at the annual ACORD Awards Luncheon, which recognizes excellence in ACORD standards implementation. Forty-four organizations received awards at this year's event. The program featured a panel discussion among past award winners, who provided updates on ACORD standards implementations at their organizations, including "lessons learned" and advice for other companies embarking on that path.

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Making a Difference: Joseph Beneducci, Fireman's Fund
May 09, 2007 @ 02:05 AM | By Vitali Zhulkovsky

Anthony O'Donnell, senior editor of Insurance & Technology, chats with Joseph Beneducci, one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about how technology innovation at property/casualty carrier is enabling creation of products and services that answer the unique demands of customers and enable competitive differentiation.

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Eyes on the (Customer) Prize: Thomas Watjen, UnumProvident
May 09, 2007 @ 02:05 AM | By Vitali Zhulkovsky

Kathy Burger, editorial director of Insurance & Technology, speaks with Thomas R. Watjen, one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about the ways technology plays a direct role in helping employee benefits provider Unum Group deal with change and gain competitive advantage and do things differently to serve employer customers.

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Technology-Driven Destiny: Ned Hamil, Life of the South
May 09, 2007 @ 02:04 AM | By Vitali Zhulkovsky

Anthony O'Donnell, senior editor of Insurance & Technology, hears from Life of the South Corp.'s Ned Hamil, one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about the challenges of creating a technology-driven life insurance company, including an organizational transformation that involved systems conversions, consolidating operations, and creation of a thriving TPA business.

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Keeping It Real: Kent Clapp, Medical Mutual of Ohio
May 09, 2007 @ 02:04 AM | By Vitali Zhulkovsky

Nathan Conz, associate editor of Insurance & Technology, talks with Kent W. Klapp, one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about how Medical Mutual of Ohio has cultivated technology initiatives that have expanded the business and enabled efficient IT spending and operations, including streamlining claims and creating a for-profit BPO company.

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Innovation Catalyst: Rod Fox, Praetorian Financial Group
May 09, 2007 @ 01:54 AM | By Vitali Zhulkovsky

Anthony O'Donnell, senior editor of Insurance & Technology, speaks with Praetorian Financial Group's Rod Fox, one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about Fox's commitment to transform the carrier's paper-based legacy environment and invest in leading-edge technology to provide maximum accessibility to internal users and ease of use to distributors.

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Nominate the Elite 8!
May 08, 2007 @ 15:19 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

The appearance of I&T's annual Tech-Savvy issue means that the Elite 8 issue is just around the corner. In order to bring that issue to life, we appeal to our friends in the industry, be they technology professionals, business unit leaders, vendors, consultants or analysts, to nominate the senior insurance carrier technology executives they believe stand head and shoulders above the rest. The 2007 Elite 8 honorees will be recognized at the 2007 Insurance & Technology Executive Summit, Nov. 4-7, The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz. To submit a nomination (deadline: June 15), please contact Anthony O'Donnell: aodonnell@cmp.com, 503-465-0359. Nominations should include name, title, company and a list of accomplishments and qualities that make your nominee a suitable candidate for the Elite 8. We recommend that nominations be from 400 to 600 words.

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Editor's Note: Tech-Savvy CEOs Preview
May 08, 2007 @ 15:08 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Once a year Insurance & Technology turns its editorial focus away from the doings of representative peers of our senior technology executive readership to the business leadership that gives them context and scope for their efforts. We profile five insurance CEOs deemed to be "Tech-Savvy," as demonstrated by their understanding of and commitment to information technology as a means of competitive distinction and a prerequisite of operational excellence. I&T's annual July issue dedicated to the Tech-Savvy CEOs of 2007 will soon be on the street, but in the meantime we offer our readers of Insurance & Technology News a sneak peek at the five CEOs profiled in print. Today's edition includes not only exclusive stories beyond our print content, but also audio podcasts featuring I&T's editors talking with this year's Tech-Savvy CEOs about the role of technology in their businesses and their careers.

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Tech-Savvy CEOs 2007: A Personal View
May 08, 2007 @ 14:32 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell In the vein of author Steven Covey's work, there are no doubt common characteristics of highly successful insurance CEOs-and even Tech-Savvy CEOs, as we suggest elsewhere. However, there is no template for technology-astute insurance leadership. This year's crop of I&T Tech-Savvy CEOs come from widely varying backgrounds, geographies and even generations and have learned valuable lessons from widely diverging experiences. Perhaps something can be gained by a more personal look at this year's CEOs, if only amusement or some basic view into the compatibility of various personalities and success. Something, after all, is said by what a person dedicates himself to, endorses or honors, and as the great literary figure Samuel Johnson once observed, "no man is a hypocrite in his pleasures."

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Profiting From Technology
May 08, 2007 @ 13:27 PM | By Nathan Conz

by Nathan Conz There's an old military strategy known as "pivot and hammer." The pivot is a defensive position that takes less energy to defend. The hammer, on the other hand, is an attacking position. There's more opportunity for gain here, but more energy needs to be expended to support it. When it comes to technology, insurance companies traditionally have focused on the pivot. Thinking about IT has been of a more defensive sort, dedicated to minimizing cost and minimizing the impact of the IT budget on a company's bottom line. Today the more competitive insurance carriers have begun a more aggressive use of technology in support of competitive differentiation. A few have gone so far as to make IT a profitable enterprise unto itself, turning IT cost centers into IT profit centers by leveraging internal technological resources as external technology vendors. Included in that list are two of I&T's 2007 Tech Savvy CEOs: Life of the South's Ned Hamil and Medical Mutual of Ohio's Kent Clapp.

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Aligned for Success
May 08, 2007 @ 12:46 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

By Anthony O'Donnell Just as lack of understanding between business and IT is one of the great predictors of failure in technology investment, one of the distinguishing features of companies that effectively invest in technology is tight alignment between the two camps. That insight is broadly appreciated in the industry today but like so many things, achieving business/IT alignment is easier said than done. It is far more likely to be achieved, however, when driven from the top, as exemplified by both the technology philosophy and the actual performance of Insurance & Technology's Tech-Savvy CEOs of 2007.

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