As the newly appointed technology leader for Northbrook, Ill.-based Encompass Insurance — a division of Allstate Insurance Co. ($161 billion in assets) — Steve Miller says he will drive the rollout of "quicker, more intuitive technology" in support of the personal lines carrier's independent distribution channels. "Our focus is on intuitiveness and speed going forward, providing a set of no-training-required systems to our independent agencies," he explains. "Technology should be an enabler, not a stumbling block."
Toward that goal, Miller, assistant VP of IT, currently is overseeing investments in the rollout of a new user interface for independent agents; as well as interfaces to comparative-rater and management systems for agencies and national accounts agencies, aggregators and brokers. Miller says his organization also is working on technology to serve policyholders better as well as to allow the company to expand its product portfolio in support of its long-term goals of profitable growth. "I want to develop the technology arm of this organization into something that drives the success of the business," he comments.
Recent work has gone a long way toward stabilizing Encompass' technology in preparation for strategic improvements, according to Miller. "Our uptime is in the 99.5-percent-or-greater range, and we've also made significant quality improvements, including process refinements," he reports. "Our goal is to get to a flawless execution model."
Miller adds that he also will focus on making Encompass' technology organization an enviable career destination. "I want to make this a place where employees feel valued and connected so that they feel they're getting a good deal from working on the Encompass brand within the [Allstate] corporation," he declares.
Miller arrived at Allstate in 1999 after a career in consulting, but says his formative work was for the Department of Defense. "I spent a number of years working on critical software projects for them and really cut my teeth in software engineering, processes and solid delivery back then," he relates.
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