The California State Automobile Association (CSAA; San Francisco) has taken a major step in a multiyear systems transformation with the launch of its MemberPoint membership system, based on The Innovation Group's (TiG, Hartford) policy administration system. The system's launch is a milestone in CSAA's effort to provide seamless service to agents and customers by implementing a single system for its Automobile Club members and its insurance customer subset.
The decision to base the MemberPoint system on the TiG policy product was made in an effort to achieve flexibility in the management of both membership and insurance products in order to be more sensitive to member needs, market changes and competition, according to Marjorie Berte, vice president, CSAA, who is the business sponsor of the transformation initiative. CSAA's objective was "to replace old technologies that were hindering our business model, growth, product flexibility and our ability to serve customers, but also to create a more integrated business model operating platform that sits on one technology platform," Berte says.
Berte cites the parallels between the emergency roadside and other services offered by the AAA Club affiliate and its insurance offerings as a rationale for the integrated management of those product lines. "For us, it's the same customer for both, so we see a need to have an integrated business line," she says.
Through the single platform, Berte asserts, employees will be able to serve customers better by virtue of a "common view." The launch of MemberPoint will be followed by the implementation of a "wide but thin layer of CRM capability" later this year, Berte adds. "That common view will show up through CRM client view screens, and eventually [a resulting] 360-degree view at the point of customer contact will become critical to our strategy," she says.
Advantages to the TiG policy solution include its MemberLink functionality that supports membership and insurance customer data in one repository, and its service-oriented architecture, which eases integration with third-party rating, rules and eligibility systems. The launch of MemberPoint required migration of about 3.3 million membership records, which was done using TiG's Conversion tool. The migration was executed at a near 100 percent rate, according to Berte - only 152 individual membership entries required rekeying.
Berte notes, however, that that adaptation of the insurance technology product to membership was not easy. "It was more difficult than we thought it would be at the outset," she acknowledges. Nevertheless, she says, "It's a really excellent business strategy for us." One of the biggest advantages of the solution is TiG's "policy factory" ability to configure both membership and insurance products, according to Berte. "And the fact that we're able to put historically different lines of business on one platform leveraging a single client database is a tremendous business advantage," she says.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio