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News & Commentary
Content posted in February 2008
Vulnerability in Encrypted Info
News  |  2/26/2008  | 
Having just written about how insurers' view information security, I took special interest in a recent New York Times article, entitled Researchers Find Way to Steal Encrypted Data, that reported that a Princeton University group has discovered a frighteningly simple way to steal encrypted data stored on computer hard disks. You know, like the encrypted data that some insurance carrier employees have on their laptops.
Forget About Global Warming
News  |  2/26/2008  | 
At least up until 2005, global warming was often cited as the likely culprit of increasingly devastating Atlantic hurricanes, as with other weather and climate phenomena. Rising ocean temperatures were thought to provide more energy, powering increasingly powerful storms. It's a simple enough formula, and rising insurance claim costs seemed to bear it out. However, according to a recent announcement fr
News  |  2/24/2008  | 
The carrier's green ambitions grew out of its IT successes, according to Boyd. "As we saw the effectiveness of our imaging and workflow in establishing a truly paperless environment, we started thinking about work-from-home [arrangements]. It became obvious that many of our jobs could be done wherever a high-speed connection existed," he relates.
Novarica Survey Finds P&C Insurance CEOs' Tech Knowledge Wanting
News  |  2/21/2008  | 
Property/casualty CEOs in general fail to appreciate the technological sophistication of customers, and smaller P&C company CEOs are often unfamiliar with new technology areas, such as service-oriented architecture and Web 2.0.
Gueli Drives New Level of Performance at Nationwide Financial
News  |  2/20/2008  | 
CIO Susan Gueli's 2008 agenda includes making enhancements to an in-house developed life policy administration system in support of a robust new portfolio of life products rolling out throughout 2008.
For Insurers, Customer Satisfaction Is A Moving Target
News  |  2/19/2008  | 
Just when I'd forgotten that I've been with Insurance & Technology for a full year now, I discovered - in my e-mail inbox - the recently released American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report for the fourth quarter of 2007. Around this time last year, I wrote my first story for I&T on ACSI data from the fourth quarter of 2006.
Regence Implements Kryptiq Contract Management Suite
News  |  2/19/2008  | 
Kryptiq's Choreo Suite for contract management automation is helping Pacific Northwest and Mountain region health plan to become more responsive to changing market conditions.
Connective Technologies to Team-Up with Torrent
News  |  2/19/2008  | 
Connective Technologies has announced an exclusive alliance with Torrent Technologies.
American Republic Selects Callidus
News  |  2/19/2008  | 
American Republic Insurance will implement a suite of Callidus sales performance management solutions.
Banks Might Try Differentiation Through Honesty
News  |  2/19/2008  | 
Customers are responsible for their contractual relationships to their lenders and thus must exercise due diligence when it comes to the wording of their contracts. However, the message many banks are sending their customers is, "Don't take your eyes off me or I'll pick your pocket."
Practicing Web 2.0: Proceed With Caution
News  |  2/12/2008  | 
Thanks to its legal team, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey recently placed itself in the middle of a swirl of controversy about social networking Web sites and the privacy issues they create.
A TSA Blog With a Comments Section? Why Not Rename It "Kick Me, Please"
News  |  2/12/2008  | 
The appearance of the Transportation Security Administration's blog occasioned a great deal of mirth both within and beyond the blogosphere. The TSA has been reviled, justly or not, for greatly increasingly air travelers' inconvenience while not necessarily increasing their safety to a proportionate degree. The TSA's launching a blog and one, moreover, that accepted comments, was like pinning a "kick me" sign to one's back.
Regence Tackles Infrastructure Challenges
News  |  2/11/2008  | 
Regence also is in the midst of converting to a fully converged VOIP network that Kerry Goff, director of production delivery and support, says will be largely completed by the end of 2008.
Magna Carta Allows Agents To Choose Manner of Doing Business, CIO Says
News  |  2/11/2008  | 
Magna Carta allows its agents to submit business any way they want, including phone, fax, E-mail or U.S. postal mail, says CIO David Lawless.
DocuSign Professional 2.0 Released
News  |  2/11/2008  | 
DocuSign has launched DocuSign Professional 2.0, a Web-based electronic signature service.
Financial Institutions’ Risk Management Systems Are Challenged by Corporate Culture and Human Nature
Commentary  |  2/11/2008  | 
The Société Générale trading scandal illustrates that the competitive advantage of relying on internally developed risk management systems can be cancelled out by lax management oversight and fraud.
ChoicePoint Acquires Optimal Decision Group
News  |  2/11/2008  | 
ChoicePoint has purchased Optimal Decision Group (ODG), an advanced analytics and software firm.
Regence Group’s Goff Embraces Infrastructure Challenges
News  |  2/10/2008  | 
Among the challenges Kerry Goff's group faces is coping with aged data centers in an era when data proliferates at a tremendous rate. "We are about 95 percent sure that the majority of our data centers will be hosted rather than internal, and that presents a significant challenge with respect to the execution of data migration in a cost-contained manner," Goff says.
Insurers Ponder IT Security as a Competitive Differentiator
News  |  2/8/2008  | 
Innovative carriers are nurturing a new kind of customer loyalty by establishing themselves as IT security stalwarts.
Successful Product Development Focuses on People, Process and Technology
News  |  2/8/2008  | 
Addressing product development challenges involves a three-pronged approach focused on people, process and technology.
Early Engagement With IT Necessary For Product Development
News  |  2/8/2008  | 
Early discussions about product development with IT can help shape the possible solution and steer clear from complex, expensive efforts down the road.
Speed To Market Is A Potentially Misguided Pursuit
News  |  2/8/2008  | 
Achieving speed to market is one way companies are leveraging their improved product development processes for competitive advantage, but speed is only one dimension of that process.
Agility in Product Development Can Improve Speed to Market
News  |  2/8/2008  | 
Streamlining product development processes, building "product chassis" of common components, adopting agile enabling technologies, and modifying organizational structure to support product innovation all are ways to improve speed to market.
Zurich Appoints Axel Lehmann To New Risk Officer Role
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
As Zurich Financial Services Group's new chief risk officer former CEO of Zurich North America Axel Lehmann will also take responsibility for IT.
Data Breaches Increasingly Costly, Especially in Financial Services
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
Data breaches have become more expensive for companies, particularly those in the financial service sector, according to a recent Ponemon Institute study.
CNA Builds Out Underwriting Data Marts.
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
Using Business Objects XI, CNAA is driving its massive, multiyear Merlin business intelligence initiative into the underwriting data realm to the enterprise data warehouse by creating its sixth data mart, this time for the P&C carrier's property book of business
Insurers Seek Competitive Edge Through Underwriting Analytics
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
Insurers that can solve the inherent data challenges and secure the necessary expertise are using analytics both at the micro level of pricing and at the macro level of product-portfolio and line-of-business performance to carve out competitive advantage in an increasingly commoditized business.
Ektron Powers Penn National Intranet
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
Ektron's CMS400.NET system allows Penn National to maintain a continuous flow of content on the carrier's intranet and extranet, both for routine use and crisis communications.
Nationwide Consolidates Finance Data
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
Nationwide taps old tech partners and new friend Kalido to create a single financial data platform.
Univé Deploys AmberPoint SOA Management Tool
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
Univé untangles SOA interdependencies with a new breed of specialized management tools.
News  |  2/6/2008  | 
As recent acquisitions in the content management space by HP and EMC demonstrate, in a Web-based world, solutions that focus on the end product rather than the storage location of content are becoming a focus of enterprise-wide content management solutions.
Insurers' Competition For Young Workers Extends Outside Industry
News  |  2/5/2008  | 
As I've written about in the past, the pending retirement of the baby-boom generation continues to be major force in shaping the hot topics for discussion in the insurance and technology sector. Gartner touched on the topic this Tuesday when it released its list of top predictions affecting insurance in 2008.
Virtual Universe, Real World Troubles
News  |  2/5/2008  | 
It's ironic that we rely on the global Internet for the transmission of vast amounts of accurate real-time information and yet we can't get reliable information about the infrastructure that enables it.
Guidewire Unveils BillingCenter 2.0
News  |  2/5/2008  | 
Guidewire has announced BillingCenter 2.0 for all lines of property and casualty insurance.
As Chief Risk Officer, Zurich’s Lehmann Oversees IT
News  |  2/4/2008  | 
Zurich has underscored the increasing importance of risk management and IT by appointing Axel P. Lehmann to the post of chief risk officer and elevating that role to executive committee status. In his new role, the former CEO of Zurich's North American Commercial division will also oversee Group IT.
News  |  2/1/2008  | 
Majestic Insurance Company will use the iPartners Insurance Scorecard business intelligence (BI) system.
Perceptive Software Introduces ImageNow ESB
News  |  2/1/2008  | 
Perceptive Software has launched its ImageNow Enterprise Service Bus solution to enable SOA.

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