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SAP's Cummings: Camilion Acquisition Adds Value for U.S. Clients

Robert Cummings, head of SAP's insurance business unit, says that the acquisition of Camilion helps fill holes in the company's insurance suite that had kept it out of the U.S. market.

SAP announced plans to acquire Camilion, a product development engine with ISO automation capabilities, yesterday. Insurance & Technology chatted with Robert Cummings, head of the company's insurance business unit, on what value is added to SAP's insurance suite by the acquisition.

Insurance & Technology: What attracted SAP to Camilion?

Robert Cummings: We weren't really in sales cycles for policy administration in the US market -- we couldn't crack the content piece. We always built for the back office, and that last mile to the broker portals and underwriting was not very strong. We've had OEM agreements where we embedded product management into our policy admin, and we never saw a product engine as powerful as Camilion. They also have a unique capability to integrate directly to ISO content.

I&T: ISO integration was spotlighted in another acquisition story this week -- why is it so important for the U.S. market?

RC: All policy admin systems can handle ISO, but it's the automation piece that's a big plus for Camilion. There's hundreds of circulars that come out from ISO -- Camilion will compare your content to them and you can accept or reject changes like you're tracking changes in word. Most vendors will give you forms for doing it manually.

I&T: SAP has been pushing aggressively on Hana in-memory computing -- how does that fit in with the product development piece of Camilion?

RC: The key word in all of that is simulation. If you were able to, on the fly, use simulations and make changes -- to, say, a variable or a rate -- it would look over the content you've done up to now so you can see the difference.

We're going to do book of business analysis. It's similar to some interesting things we're doing in fraud detection, but it's not sinister patterns, it's sales patterns. You can track in the underwriting process which combinations of things have sold more frequently, like what you see in Amazon.

I&T: Are these the kinds of capabilities customers have been asking for in order to meet new market needs?

RC: If you look at some companies we're engaged with right now, the huge value proposition is that it's got to be very easy to make new products and go to market with new product ideas. Camilion isn't the biggest piece [of the insurance suite], but it's that final piece to make it all harmonize and work together. It was like a car without the battery. We think we can go to the install base Camilion has and go to our install base, add the final pieces and offer the market a true all-in-one suite.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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