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News & Commentary
Content posted in April 2008
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Telepresence Solutions Help Organizations Enhance Customer Service, Performance and Operations
News  |  4/30/2008  | 
As vendors continue to broaden the telepresence portfolio, real-time video communication will become increasingly standard, improving the pace of doing business.
In an Increasingly Global World, Insurers Who Leverage Telepresence and Videoconferencing's Capabilities Put Themselves Ahead of the Curve
News  |  4/30/2008  | 
The continued evolution of virtual communication has made telepresence and videoconferencing feasible as an integrated part of a firm's unified communications, driving more efficient and cost-effective operations.
New Telepresence and Videoconferencing Technologies Offer Strategic Front-Office and Back-Office Benefits
News  |  4/30/2008  | 
How can telepresence and videoconferencing technology help insurers enhance customer satisfaction, improve distributor performance and optimize operations? What are the requirements and success factors insurers should address to maximize the value of their investments in telepresence and videoconferencing solutions? And what are some of the future capabilities that the technologies may offer?
Insurance Web Portals and Online Self-Help
News  |  4/29/2008  | 
Sites such as Barnes & Noble's Quamut show that there's growing demand on the Web for trusted, expert advice. Why couldn't a carrier leverage its brand recognition and create a Web site for trusted insurance information?
Predictions: More Hurricanes in 2008, Ice Age to Follow
News  |  4/29/2008  | 
"Companies should not be resting on their laurels when developing risk management strategies and determining prices. Instead, insurers need to factor in issues surrounding climate change and must look to incorporate long-term weather trends into their pricing," says Tom Hettinger, managing director, EMB America.
RSA Insurance Ireland Selects Agiliance
News  |  4/29/2008  | 
RSA Insurance Ireland has selected Agiliance IT-GRC 3.0 for its compliance initiatives.
WSI Unveils Hurricane Forecast Service
News  |  4/29/2008  | 
WSI Corporation has introduced LiveCat Forecast, a service to predict the path and intensity of upcoming hurricanes.
Knight Drives the BASICs at Chubb
News  |  4/29/2008  | 
Chubb's new enterprise CIO Jim Knight will work towards bringing the carrier's IT organization to new levels of capability.
Unum Group's Simply Unum Initiative Taps Technology's Capability to Provide Flexibility, Balance and Momentum
News  |  4/28/2008  | 
Unum's Tom Watjen, one of I&T's 2007 Tech-Savvy CEOs, describes how the success of the carrier's Simply Unum initiative is driving further IT/business alignment.
BlueCross BlueShield's Vicky Gregg Embraces IT's Ability to Transform Health Insurance
News  |  4/28/2008  | 
Investment in data management technologies and adoption of "green" business principles are among the ways Vicky Gregg, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, is trying to change the way health insurers do business.
PMA Insurance Group Follows Vendor to Java-Based Platform
News  |  4/28/2008  | 
PMA Insurance Group weighed ease of use, the merits of a single reporting platform and cost-effectiveness in deciding whether to follow Hyperion's migration to a Java-based platform.
NFS Standardizes Reporting on WebFOCUS
News  |  4/28/2008  | 
Nationwide Financial moves to consolidate enterprise operational reporting onto a single platform, leveraging the latest release of Information Builders' WebFOCUS.
I&T’s 2008 Tech-Savvy CEOs Know How to Leverage IT to Flourish in Tough Economic Times
Commentary  |  4/28/2008  | 
Although financial services CEOs are generally pessimistic about the current economic and business environment, the insurance company CEOs featured in Insurance & Technology's 2008 "Tech-Savvy CEOs" report have succeeded by championing the use of technology as a means for innovation and differentiation.
Liberty Mutual to Acquire Safeco
News  |  4/23/2008  | 
Liberty Mutual Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Safeco and significantly expand its Agency Markets business unit.
MassMutual Creates New Workplace Environments To Match IT Transformation Effort
News  |  4/22/2008  | 
Greetings from Massachusetts, where I've just completed a series of face-to-face interviews with several technology and business executives at MassMutual for an upcoming Carrier Confidential feature. The Springfield, Mass.-based carrier is in the midst of an ambitious and far reaching technology tra
MassMutual Launches New Recruitment Web Site
News  |  4/22/2008  | 
MassMutual has launched a new video-intensive Web site aimed to recruit potential employees and agents, especially those currently based outside the financial services industry.
Northwestern Mutual CIO Schaefer Drives Greater Maturity
News  |  4/22/2008  | 
Tim Schaefer will leverage the experience of a wide-ranging career within Northwestern Mutual to shepherd the carrier's IT organization to new levels of maturity.
Lincoln General Selects Valen’s UnderRight Solution
News  |  4/22/2008  | 
Lincoln General Insurance Company will implement UnderRight, Valen's predictive analytics solution.
Alignment From The Top: Great CEOs and CIOs
News  |  4/22/2008  | 
As much progress as CIOs have made over the last decade in making their mark on strategic direction, their ability to bring their influence to bear remains dubious. That being the case, "it is critical that the ultimate strategic leadership of the insurer -- the CEO -- understand the potential enablers IT brings, since they are often the only leader that can get past the tyranny of the ROI model," says Chuck Johnston of Oracle.
MassMutual Attracts New Agents, Dispels Common Insurance Myths Using Web Site
News  |  4/15/2008  | 
A new MassMutual web site is using videos featuring real insurance professionals to dispel the negative connotations that surround jobs like insurance agent.
Survey Says Wall Street Likes Insurance IT Spend
News  |  4/15/2008  | 
Among the survey's surprising findings were P&C and life insurance analysts' bullishness on operational efficiency or "transformational" programs - which at 77 percent ranked only slightly behind share buybacks (83%) and well ahead of product and service innovations (56%) in respondents' identification of important uses of capital.
CCC Information Services And Mitchell International Announce Merger
News  |  4/15/2008  | 
CCC Information Services and Mitchell International will combine in a $1.4 billion merger-of-equals transaction.
FirstBest Systems And INSTEC Form Partnership
News  |  4/15/2008  | 
FirstBest Systems And INSTEC have formed a strategic alliance and will look to develop joint underwriting solutions.
AMS Connectivity Services Rolls Out Download Certification
News  |  4/15/2008  | 
AMS Connectivity Services (ACS) has rolled out Download Certification for the exchanging of information through any of the vendor's various agency management systems.
ClaimCenter Gives FCCI Simplicity and Vendor Independence
News  |  4/14/2008  | 
Guidewire's 30th customer replaces three legacy claims systems and begins a line-of-business rollout scheduled for completion in 2009.
Q&A With Gary Plotkin, CIO, P&C Operations, The Hartford
News  |  4/9/2008  | 
Q&A With Gary Plotkin, CIO, P&C Operations, The Hartford
Garth Resigns from ACORD
News  |  4/8/2008  | 
An ACORD spokesperson says that Garth cited her desire to "pursue other opportunities."
Fiserv Incorporates Valen’s Underwriting Analytics
News  |  4/8/2008  | 
Users of Fiserv's P&C product suite will gain real-time predictive underwriting capabilities.
Allstate's Savvy Online PR
News  |  4/8/2008  | 
Allstate has not only made use of the preferred communication channel of anyone likely to care about these matters but has done so while releasing a staggering amount of internal documentation. That will make a positive impression on those who will dig no further, as it makes the material available for those who will dig and sets a precedent for greater corporate transparency at a time the public is clamoring for it.
No Surprises in Insurance Industry’s Mixed Reception for Treasury Department’s Endorsement of Optional Federal Charter
Commentary  |  4/3/2008  | 
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.
Keys to BPM Success
News  |  4/3/2008  | 
The Hartford's P&C Division Enters Execution Stage of Transformational Effort
News  |  4/2/2008  | 
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.
Insurers Seek Balance in Web 2.0 Projects
News  |  4/2/2008  | 
As insurers embark on Web 2.0 projects and initiatives to engage consumers, they need to balance their own goals with the desires and expectations of their customers.
Medical Mutual of Ohio Seeks to Discourage Fraud Before It Occurs
News  |  4/1/2008  | 
Medical Mutual of Ohio leverages ViPS' Star Sentinel software to identify potentially fraudulent