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News & Commentary
Content posted in May 2008
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SAS Offers Decision Support
News  |  5/30/2008  | 
SAS for Sustainability Management identifies strategies to achieve stakeholder objectives.
Thunderhead Introduces New Communications Solution
News  |  5/30/2008  | 
Insurance Correspondence streamlines the creation, delivery and management of customer correspondence.
First American Releases Flood Model
News  |  5/29/2008  | 
First American Spatial Solutions' U.S. Flood Catastrophe Model will aid in risk management.
Aetna to Electronically Deliver Care Alerts
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
Aetna is leveraging the NaviNet healthcare administration tool to deliver electronic quality-of-care alerts to its provider network.
WellPoint Launches Mobile Provider Directory
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
WellPoint has launched a mobile version of its online provider directory -- an early indicator of where the health insurance industry may focus customer experience initiatives going forward.
MassMutual Looks to Modernize
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
Roughly three years into a major modernization effort, MassMutual's IT team has equipped the carrier to put its customer-focused business strategy into practice.
Insurers Taking More Unified Approach to Compliance
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
Establishing a unified, enterprisewide approach to compliance not only can help insurers identify the right compliance technologies, it also can help proactively address regulatory requirements before they become a greater burden.
Q&A With Bob Casale, Deputy CIO, MassMutual
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
MassMutual deputy CIO Bob Casale discusses his role, sourcing strategies and his top priorities in 2008.
SoundBite Unveils Intelligent Communications Platform
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
SoundBite Communications has launched the Intelligent Communications Platform.
Enhanced Investment Systems Offer Better Integration of Data
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
Keeping pace with regulatory trends will require insurers to explore various options, such as outsourcing the accounting function, to take full advantage of improvements in technology.
Phoenix Selects CSC
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
The Phoenix Companies has selected CSC's Customer Service Accelerator Software
Business Intelligence Capabilities Transform Accounting and Financial Systems
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
The possible introduction of principles-based reserve requirements and an OFC will necessitate a new level of data collection and analysis.
New Technology and Functionalities Aid Compliance and Improve ROI
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
Governance, risk and compliance software allows insurers to address changing regulation proactively.
Accounting and Financial Systems: Technological Enhancements Offer Promise — and Questions
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
New accounting and financial systems offer increased automation, improved integration and more-powerful reporting.
News  |  5/28/2008  | 
Will a recent series of vendor acquisitions, including moves by HP and Oracle, have the power to drive further vendor consolidation?
IDBI Fortis Selects Mastek’s Elixir for Policy Admin
News  |  5/27/2008  | 
IDBI Fortis Life Insurance will launch its India-based insurance business on Mastek's Elixir Policy Administration System.
SunGard Releases Asset Arena Compliance
News  |  5/27/2008  | 
SunGard has unveiled Asset Arena Compliance, a new module within its Asset Arena solution suite.
News  |  5/27/2008  | 
Bob Worthington has been named senior vice president and chief strategy officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
Is Customer Service Strategic?
News  |  5/27/2008  | 
While C-level execs and front line customer service people agree about the importance of service to the brand, their opinions diverge notably as one moves into the details that contrast objectives and practices.
PPS Overhauls Business Operations With IBM’s Insurance Application Architecture
News  |  5/23/2008  | 
Professional Provident Society implements IBM's Insurance Application Architecture to overcome legacy system constraints.
Insurers Seek Energy Efficiency Through Virtualization
News  |  5/23/2008  | 
In the face of reduced energy availability, cost challenges and consumer pressure to be good corporate citizens, insurers are greening their data centers through server virtualization.
Infinity Automates Claims Management With SPSS
News  |  5/23/2008  | 
Infinity develops a scoring system and uses SPSS' predictive analytics tool to automate claims management.
New York Life Adds Interactive Features to Its Consumer-Facing Web Site
News  |  5/23/2008  | 
Building on its industry-recognized consumer Web capabilities, New York Life has added interactive and assistive functionality to its consumer-facing Web site.
Consolidation Within Insurance Technology Vendor Ranks Isn’t New -- But Still Creates Customer Anxiety
Commentary  |  5/23/2008  | 
The talk at the recent ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum in Las Vegas was less about standards and more about the implications for the insurance technology industry of two high-profile merger announcements: Oracle's intention to buy AdminServer, and HP's plan to acquire EDS.
AIG Wins With Reds in Moscow
News  |  5/22/2008  | 
It may be that annoying ads are effective as pleasing ones. However, I can't help thinking there's some advantage in the reassuring presence of Dennis Haysbert in the Allstate ads and the Cockney charm of GEICO's gecko. Similarly, one has to believe that AIG benefits enormously not just from the frequency of exposure that comes with a brand such as Man U, but also, as in the case of Accenture's Tiger Woods ads, the association with a winner.
Independence Blue Cross Renews DST BPO Relationship
News  |  5/22/2008  | 
Agreement continues data capture and claims processing services, and renews Independent Blue Cross' license for the vendors PowerMHS claims admin system.
Google Launches Its Own PHR
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
Why insurance carriers might ultimately be the key to success for Google's newly launch PHR initiative.
Guidewire Signs Beazley Group
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
British P&C insurer will use Guidwire's ClaimCenter to process claims for all of the carrier's lines of business.
ICW Group Chooses SAP
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
San Diego-based P&C insurer believes that SAP's integrated platform will result in higher quality service for its customers.
Accenture Contracts Announced
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
New clients include CNA, Safeco and Southern Farm Bureau Life.
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
From the perspective of a journalist meeting vendors and analysts, the show can't fail to be a success, and so it was for me and my colleagues at I&T. However, I also had an outstanding experience in terms of the number and rank of insurance executives I happened to see. Several were old friends but some were new people I was very happy to have the chance to meet.
Skywire Unveils Ingage
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
Skywire Software has introduced Ingage, a Web-based data capture application.
Pitney Bowes Group 1 Expands Wind Pool Data
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
Pitney Bowes Group Software has enhanced the Wind Pool Data bundle of its Risk Data Suite.
HCL Launches Underwriting Solution
News  |  5/20/2008  | 
HCL Technologies has launched Penstock InsureWrite, an SOA-based policy underwriting system.
New John Hancock CIO Allan Hackney to Drive Productivity, Build Staff
News  |  5/18/2008  | 
Hackney's strategic mandate includes development and execution of strategies that increase productivity and efficiency, improve operating risk management, and build greater technical bench strength across the John Hancock enterprise. He will also be expected to increase the value derived from the company's investment in staff, technology and service providers.
How the NYSE Achieves Low Latency
News  |  5/14/2008  | 
Yesterday HP and EDS confirmed that they had signed a definitive agreement under which HP will acquire EDS for approximately $13.9 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the calendar year.
Health Insurance Consumer Demand Could Shift Towards Mobile Functionality
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
There has been no shortage of health insurers who have made news over the past few years by embracing a more customer-centric business strategy and, as a result, rolling out several customer-facing online tools. The next step though, I believe, center around how insurers make those tools available to members (and, in some instance, potential members) on mobile devices.
Big Vendors Affirm Insurance Opportunity
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
As if to validate last week's Editor's Note, major horizontal vendors have demonstrated its introductory hypothesis, perhaps best summarized by the words of the notorious Willy Sutton. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton famously replied, "That's where the money is."
CEOs to Watch: Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Allstate CEO Thomas J. Wilson seeks to reinforce differentiation through improved service to distributors and novel product and service offerings to consumers.
CEOs to Watch: Edmund F. Kelly
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Liberty Mutual CEO Edmund F. Kelly has driven rapid growth for its independent agent-driven business through the acquisition of Ohio Casualty and Safeco.
CEOs to Watch: BlueCross BlueShield’s Vicky Gregg, Liberty Mutual’s Edmund Kelly, and Allstate’s Thomas Wilson
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
From driving product innovation and acquisition activity to the greening of the business, these CEOs are likely to be in the spotlight in the coming year.
Darwin Professional Underwriters Flourishes in Competitive Specialty Liability Segment With High-Tech, Low-Cost Strategy, Says President and CEO Stephen Sills
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Stephen Sills' mission when he launched Darwin Professional Underwriters five years ago was to effect change in the specialty liability insurance segment by bringing straight-through processing and self-service to a traditionally unautomated, paper-bound business.
Oracle Will Acquire AdminServer
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Deal forecast to close within the first quarter of 2008.
SOA Can Deliver On Promise With Right Strategies In Place
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Insurers are discovering that a service-oriented architecture -- guided by the right governance and cultural change management strategies -- can deliver on SOA's promise of a more agile IT organization.
Mountain West Selects MSB’s IntegriClaim
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Laramie, Wyoming based Farm Bureau Mutual will provide the estimating technology to all of its field adjusters.
Versata Acquires Clear Technology
News  |  5/13/2008  | 
Clear Technology will operate as a standalone entity within Versata's financial services business unit.
HP In Talks to Acquire EDS
News  |  5/12/2008  | 
Companies are said to be in "advanced discussions" but decline to comment further until discussions have been concluded.
The Test of Relevance: Ed Zore, Northwestern Mutual
News  |  5/6/2008  | 
Edward J. Zore, Northwestern MutualAnthony O'Donnell, Senior Editor of Insurance & Technology, speaks with Edward J. Zore, one of I&T's 2008 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about the need to balance opportunism and prudence in technology investment in pursuit of business success.
The Virtues of Virtual: Ron Boyd, Midwest Family Mutual
News  |  5/6/2008  | 
Ron Boyd, Midwest Family MutualAnthony O'Donnell, Senior Editor of Insurance & Technology, speaks with Ron Boyd, one of I&T's 2008 Tech-Savvy CEOs, about his role in driving paperlessness and remote work while expanding Midwest Family Mutual's geographic business footprint.

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