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Transition of Alternative Sourcing Strategies: Making The Move to Value
March 30, 2010 @ 11:31 AM | By Christine Hintze

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

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Thoughts on Distribution Management
March 23, 2010 @ 14:29 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

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.

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House Vote Addresses Health Insurers' Abuses, Answers Americans' Prayers
March 22, 2010 @ 10:58 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

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.

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Integrating a Customer Value Currency across the Enterprise
March 18, 2010 @ 18:01 PM | By Christine Hintze

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.

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Creating a Customer Value Currency
March 18, 2010 @ 12:48 PM | By Christine Hintze

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.

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Early Insurance Industry Reaction to Sen. Dodd's Financial Reform Bill
March 16, 2010 @ 14:21 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

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."

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Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications, Part III: Improving Software Quality at AGF-Allianz
March 16, 2010 @ 09:11 AM | By Christine Hintze

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.

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Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications, Part II: The Current State of Insurance IT Applications
March 15, 2010 @ 11:39 AM | By Christine Hintze

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.

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Northwestern Mutual's CIO: IT as a Business Asset
March 12, 2010 @ 13:21 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

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, Northwestern Mutual's CIO makes such a case in a profile piece by our colleague Chris Murphy of InformationWeek. An excerpt:

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Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications: Part I: Addressing Current Business Pressures
March 11, 2010 @ 12:44 PM | By Christine Hintze

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.

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Improving the Quality of Insurance IT Applications: a Three-Part Series
March 11, 2010 @ 12:29 PM | By Christine Hintze

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

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Carriers Must Put Profitability Before Growth
March 10, 2010 @ 12:14 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

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.

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Getting the Most from Analytics: Positioning Your Information Management System for Maximum Results
March 09, 2010 @ 09:17 AM | By Christine Hintze

Maintaining the status quo with regard to reporting and analytics doesn't position carriers well for the future marketplace. This is the right time for the insurers to start embracing advanced analytics, such as predictive modeling solutions.

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Honor Roll: This Week's Top Insurance Blogs (Feb. 28-Mar. 6)
March 05, 2010 @ 11:30 AM | By Nathan Conz

Our favorite insurance technology-related blog posts from around the Web (February 28-March 6, 2010):

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Communicating With the Emerging Life Insurance Buyer
March 04, 2010 @ 11:34 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

There remains a large untapped life insurance and annuity market, a mass of people who really want to invest more in their future. Carriers have a special opportunity today to reach those prospects, hold their attention and make it easier for them to finally do what they think they should. What carriers can learn today by exploiting this opportunity could make a long-term difference in the way life insurance is sold - and bought.

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Telematics: Reinventing Auto Insurance
March 03, 2010 @ 13:19 PM | By Christine Hintze

For insurers, winning in this market will be a major area of differentiation as they improve their risk management, heighten the safety of their drivers, reduce claim costs and draw in new customers.

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Striking the Right Tone Online: Style Without Offense
March 02, 2010 @ 13:23 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Frankly, I'm not looking to "built a better future" with my auto insurer, much as I might appreciate that they're trying to pollute less and give something back to communities where they make a profit. I've always considered the pursuit of happiness to be a private matter.

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Lessons from Chile and Haiti
March 01, 2010 @ 12:44 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

This weekend's earthquake in Chile - following quickly on the heels of the Haiti quake - will no doubt reshape the popular appreciation of seismic risk in North America.

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Lessons In Chile's Strength
March 01, 2010 @ 11:53 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

San Franciscans also live in a zone where they are reminded frequently by perceptible shaking. That is not the case in the Pacific Northwest, where seismic activity is seldom perceptible and usually associated with volcanic eruptions rather than earthquakes per se. The Chile quake should be a wake-up call to the U.S. Northwest.

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