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Extending Grange’s Legacy

Many CIOs are brought in to overcome the drag of legacy systems, but new Grange Insurance (Columbus, Ohio; approximately $1 billion in revenue) CIO Michael Fergang has a different kind of legacy problem. Fergang's challenge is to keep alive the legacy of an award-winning, agent-friendly technology organization following former CIO Charlie Carter's retirement. "Grange has continuously been the number one technology company in independent studies" by the Professional Insurance Agents association, Fergang says. "That's the good news; the challenge is to continue to be a leader in the marketplace we serve."

Fergang's preparation for that challenge includes having served as both assistant vice president and VP of application development since he joined Grange in 2001. He has also held CIO positions at Bisys Fund Services (Columbus, Ohio) and Ocwen Financial (West Palm Beach, Fla.).

Among the initiatives Fergang will drive are accelerating automation efforts for commercial lines products. "We have all the small commercial products and are now in the throes of rolling out our package products," he says. Another goal is to drive out business intelligence functionality to agents.

On a more long-term basis, Fergang says Grange will be extending business intelligence for claims management and build out capabilities for policyholder self-service on agents' Web sites. "Our goal is to alleviate some of the transactional processing from the agents and afford them the opportunity to do more networking and relationship management," Fergang says.

--Anthony O'Donnell

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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