Operating three different fixed annuity administration applications on three different platforms presented a lot of challenges for E. P. Rogers, senior vice president and chief information officer at the MONY Group, Inc. (New York, $57 billion in assets under management).
"We not only had problems with servicing and training with the three different systems, we actually had three different business processes," explains Rogers.
Best of Breed
Having initiated the search for a solution to consolidate the three applications, Rogers found AdminServer, Inc., based in Malvern, PA, and was particularly impressed with the product's XML-based rules engine. "We felt AdminServer provided tremendous flexibility in terms of annuity product design," according to Rogers, who adds, "the ability to quickly build and alter products at a reasonable cost was a priority for the fixed-annuities group and for the new system."
As for competing vendor packages, Rogers notes that "AdminServer technology is leading edge; there is really nothing else on the market that can compare with it."
AdminServer was designed "from the ground up" by developers with significant insurance industry experience who were seeking to create a new type of insurance administration solution, according to Chris Doggett, chief executive officer, AdminServer.
He explains that AdminServer was designed to be "business-rule driven, 100 percent browser based, easy to use and highly flexible."
Although AdminServer was a new company, Rogers feels that "the founders had a vision, a lot of industry experience and understood-from a customer point of view-what needed to be changed from the legacy environment."
In the past, according to Rogers, "it could cost anywhere from a half a million to three quarters of a million dollars to request a modification to an administration product. But with AdminServer, it is possible to add changes very easily and inexpensively, without going to the vendor to request a change, because flexibility is built into the product."
Requiring only five months to implement the solution, AdminServer combines, according to Rogers, "the features of a customized solution with the benefits of a package solution."
Running on a Redmond, WA-based Microsoft Windows 2000-base and a Microsoft SQL Server database, AdminServer required a minimal investment on new hardware-approximately $25,000 to $30,000 for four new servers, Rogers says.
In terms of the benefits of the new fixed-annuity administration system, MONY expects that "AdminServer will significantly reduce our information technology expenses to support our fixed annuity policy base, as well as allow MONY to get new product to market faster," according to Rogers.
The system was implemented by a team made up of approximately 20 individuals from MONY's information technology organization, who were building interfaces and middleware and performing testing; eight individuals from AdminServer; and 20 staffers from the fixed-annuities business unit. Also, conversion of the legacy data from the three older annuity administration systems was handled by Universal Conversion Technology (UCT, Addison, TX). Going forward, Rogers estimates that MONY "will need only two people to administer the system on a regular basis."
Having gone live with AdminServer on July 7, so far Rogers is very impressed with the product, his experience of working with the vendor and user response to the new system. "Users love it," Rogers says, "because the AdminServer system is so intuitive, its GUI, and requires significantly less training than prior applications."
The MONY Group, Inc., New York,
$57 billion in assets under management.
LINES OF BUSINESS:
AdminServer's (Malvern, PA) AdminLife and Annuity Solution; Universal Conversion Technology (Addison, TX).
Reengineer fixed annuity admin system.