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As part of a migration from legacy systems to best-of-breed components, Providence Washington has chosen Metaserver's P/C Carrier Integration Solution for business process integration (BPI).

As part of a migration from legacy systems to best-of-breed components, Providence Washington (Providence, RI) has chosen New Haven, CT-based Metaserver's P/C Carrier Integration Solution for business process integration (BPI). The product is built on the vendor's Metaserver 4.0 core product and includes predefined business processes that manage ACORD transactions and pre-built connectors that interact with intermediaries such as IVANS (Old Greenwich, CT) and back-end or external applications.

In seeking a solution to effect interfacing communication among components, "I decided I didn't want to go down the road of building proprietary interfaces to all of the subsystems, so I chose the strategy to use ACORD XML Web services as the major interface," says Ed Leveille, CIO, Providence Washington. "Looking ahead to the fact that I was going to have a lot of transactions types, a lot of different traffic from various internal systems as well as external businesses, I was looking for a business process manager."

The search for an effective solution settled on Metaserver's offering, according to Leveille, because "It was XML-ready; it had a fairly powerful and easy-to-use transformation engine to transform one format to another; and it had a very good graphical interface for building process flows and to easily add more components in, as I get new components or new business partners to communicate with." Leveille also cites the prospect of an 18- to 24-month return on investment, which he calculates "not only in true dollars, but also in soft dollars representing work I will not have to do."

Still in the implementation phase, the new application functions by taking an ACORD XML data feed from the carrier's independent agents, through IVANS Transformation Station in to a Software AG Tamino database, which is being used as temporary store for the XML feeds, according to Leveille. The Metaserver solution "picks up the trigger that a transaction came in, and depending on what the transaction does, goes ahead and translates to that format and automatically sends to the target system," Leveille explains. "I would have had to build all of that middleware infrastructure myself if I didn't have these products. I guess the gain is that if I tried to do that manually myself, I'd probably be looking at something like a nine- to 12-month implementation, and from beginning to end in this project -- and we're pretty much on schedule -- it's something like a four-month total implementation."

Metaserver is assisting in building the application and in performing knowledge transfer to the carrier's resources, as well as working with third-party vendors IVANS and Software AG. "What I can say about support and service is that it is top-notch," Leveille says, adding that kudos are due to all three firms.

Commenting on the Providence Washington contract, Metaserver's CEO Richard Schultz says, "the insurance sector is a key area for us because of the applicability of BPI in that market." In addressing the industry's needs, "our solution greatly simplifies the interaction between the different groups involved in an insurance transaction. We are excited about our new solution because we know we can make a direct impact on carriers' bottom lines by helping improve customer service and generate new business."

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

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