Insurers Seek Balance in Web 2.0 Projects

COVER STORY

Insurers Seek Balance in Web 2.0 Projects
Insurers including Humana and Esurance seek Web 2.0 success by soliciting user-generated content and leveraging social networking concepts in ways that are nonintrusive to their customers and other end users.

FEATURE

The Architecture of Adaptation: Enabling Flexibility With Business Architecture and BPM
Business process management (BPM) — in combination with business architecture and service-oriented architecture — enables insurers' rapid response to a changing marketplace by pulling processes and functionality out of legacy code and legacy thinking.

Sidebar
Keys to BPM Success
Successful BPM requires breaking with traditional ways of looking at systems and processes and adopting new approaches.

CASE STUDIES

Kryptiq's Choreo Powers Regence's Contract Management Across the Enterprise
Kryptiq's Choreo Suite gives Portland, Ore.-based Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer Regence a single-system solution for contract management, providing the carrier with provider data connectivity, storage and workflow management to meet its growing needs.

Information Builders Offers Everest National Business Users a "Single Version of the Truth"
Everest National Insurance leverages Information Builders' enterprise data warehouse and WebFOCUS front-end interface to empower end users to mine data to guide business decisions.

UPDATE

Economy Portends Insurance IT Budget Cuts
The sudden economic downturn owing to the subprime lending crisis will likely blunt insurers' IT investment plans during the next budget cycle, if not sooner, but transformation initiatives will be regarded as essential rather than discretionary.

AXA Equitable Rolls Out Online Tracking of Variable Products
AXA Equitable's new state-of-the-art online analytical and research tool Performance offers financial advisers enhanced, customizable information management.

Medical Mutual of Ohio Seeks to Discourage Fraud Before It Occurs
Medical Mutual of Ohio leverages ViPS' Star Sentinel software to better identify potentially fraudulent claims activity and discourage fraud before it begins.

Chubb Standardizes and Automates Producer Appointment Process
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has implemented ACORD's standard producer appointment form and data standards.

NAMES IN THE NEWS

Securian's Couillard Champions Ease of Use
As Securian Financial's manager of field retention, Christopher Couillard collaborates with IT to maximize the quality of the carrier's relationship with distribution partners.

Safeco, Chubb, MetLife Appoint CIOs
Robert Ingram replaces Bill Jenks as Safeco CIO; former Chubb claims CIO Jim Knight takes corporate role at Chubb; Jeanette Scampas becomes MetLife's enterprise CIO on Steve Sheinheit's retirement.

FROM THE EDITOR

No Surprises in Insurance Industry's Mixed Reception for Treasury Department's Endorsement of Optional Federal Charter
Concerns about competitive advantage inspired not only the life insurance industry's welcome of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's call for an optional federal charter as part of broad regulatory reform proposals for financial services, but also the lack of enthusiasm from many property/casualty companies and independent agents.


VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE
Workforce Development
Insurance companies must compete with other industries for a diminishing supply of skilled workers. What role does carriers' IT play in attracting and retaining top talent, and how can companies leverage Web 2.0 tools to recruit qualified workers?

Aflac Empowers IT Professionals as Trusted Advisers
Amy Gigilio, Aflac
By treating IT professionals as trusted advisers to the business, Aflac provides them with more career opportunities and improved job satisfaction.

Insurance Companies Can Leverage Their Use of Cutting-Edge Technology to Attract Talent
Margaret Resce Milkint, The Jacobson Group
Insurers should publicize their technology innovation as part of their recruitment messages to attract top talent.

Carriers Are Challenged to Replace IT Expertise Lost to Retirement
Cindy Saccocia, Microsoft
As the workforce continues to age, insurance companies are challenged to attract new talent and replace lost expertise.

The Talent Pipeline for Insurers Is Diminishing
Michael George, Vurv
To attract top talent from the diminishing supply of qualified applicants, insurance companies must appeal to the values that are important to Gen Y.


CARRIER CONFIDENTIAL
The Hartford's P&C Division Enters Execution Stage of Transformational Effort
After four years of investment and organizational transformation, The Hartford's P&C division looks to execute its new strategy to provide better value to its business customers and end users.

The Hartford's Innovation Lab Unveils LIFT Initiative
The Hartford's Innovation Lab, headed by John Anthony, is piloting LIFT, a telematics-based research project aimed at finding the causes of repetitive back injuries common in its workers' compensation business.

Q&A With Gary Plotkin, CIO, P&C Operations, The Hartford
Gary Plotkin describes his role as CIO, P&C Operations, at The Hartford and discusses topics including enterprise architecture competency, project manager development and CIO-business partnership.