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Where Are They Now? 2011's Elite 8 Continue To Hone Digital Capabilities

As mobile and digital technologies continue to reshape the insurance industry, Insurance & Technology caught up with some of the 2011 Elite 8 to see how the changing expectations of consumers, employees and partners are transforming their focus.
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A Well-Deserved Reputation

Robert Buchanan, SVP of Information Systems and Technology, Auto-Owners Insurance Co.

When Bob Buchanan of Lansing, Mich.-based Auto-Owners Insurance Co. received the Elite 8 honor in 2011, he was SVP of information systems and technology. In the past year, Buchanan was promoted to CIO at the firm, which has a reputation for claims experience excellence and for the ease in which agents do business with the company -- due in large measure to the efforts of Buchanan and his IT team.

Despite the promotion, Buchanan says, his job responsibilities haven't changed -- he still remains proactive in upgrading and modernizing his firm's systems. In fact, he is currently knee-deep in several systems-related initiatives, including the implementation of the Guidewire ClaimCenter solution, replacing Auto-Owners' legacy collection system with SAP, and migrating one of the firm's databases to DB2. And his team recently completed the implementation of the ImageRight content management and workflow solution.

In the coming year, Buchanan says, his department will complete the Guidewire claims system implementation and also implement a new life policy administration system. "We are now evaluating a new replacement policy administration system for our life company, and we'll make that decision in the next few weeks," he says.

[SVP Bob Buchanan Builds IT-Business Success at Auto-Owners Insurance Co.]

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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Innovation? Check. Core modernization? Check. Security? Check. Today's insurance IT challenges don't stump this year's Elite 8.