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--> New England Financial selects Biznews24's Biznews Media room... --> CNA Life launches interactive customer Web site... --> Benefitfocus launches its Consumer-Driven Health Plan application...

MetLife subsidiary New England Financial (Boston) has selected Bedford, NH-based Biznews24's Biznews Media room, a rich media content portal, to provide its 3,200-person sales force with 24/7 access to company marketing and training resources over the Internet. Known as NEFDistanceLearning, the implementation of NEF's Biznews Media Room is part of its corporate initiative to foster culture of inclusive training that integrates sales concepts, sales processes, product information and personal development, according to Biznews24, a provider of Internet-based business communications services. Sales representatives have immediate access to all the resources they need to be productive and profitable, claims NEF, from new product and sales concept presentations to interactive NASD compliance training and testing applications.

CNA Life (Nashville), the life insurance business unit of the CNA Companies, has launched a new interactive customer Web site where visitors are able to learn how CNA products can help them meet their financial needs throughout the stages of their life, according to the company. Information is state-specific and offers personalized life and long-term care insurance solutions. Consumers can calculate their needs, get a quote, find an agent or research specific products.

Allstate Financial Group (Northbrook, IL) selected Pivot/Info-One (Campbell, CA), a provider of annuity sales information products and services, for its Pivot/Info-One VARDS Web-based annuity research, analysis and customized hypothetical illustration capabilities. With the VARDS platform, Allstate will be able to run fixed, immediate and variable annuity illustrations for its distributors, representatives and wholesalers directly from the Allstate Web site, and through its network of contracted VARDS-enabled broker-dealers, according to Pivot/Info-One, a unit of Charlotte, NC-based Wachovia Insurance's Capital Management Group. "Pivot/Info-One provides Allstate with the ability to reach out to our distributors with efficient Web-based custom hypothetical illustrations for variable annuities, ensuring that we consistently deliver the best annuity products for each client," according to Joe Tomalavage, director, distribution channel support, Allstate Financial Group. "By leveraging VARDS, Allstate is able to provide our representatives with an end-to-end solution to easily research and illustrate annuity and life insurance products."

Benefitfocus (Mount Pleasant, SC), a provider of employee benefits software for use via the Internet, launched its Consumer-Driven Health Plan (CDHP) application for health insurance carriers and large corporations. CDHP is designed to support the rapid adoption of consumer-driven health plans and supports everything from the basic offering of a few health plan choices to the complex product offerings of an employer-funded Section 105 cash account, an employee-funded Section 125 account, and a diverse product selection of group-based health plan options, according to Benefitfocus. All employee elections are gathered in an Internet or kiosk-based application, along with a collection of plan information and cash account functionality. The CDHP application electronically transmits the member elections directly to carrier systems, as well as to corporate payroll and HRIS systems for appropriate payroll deductions.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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