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TMM/i-flex Deal Taps Partners

Industry newcomer i-flex solutions signs first insurance deal to deploy Castek-centered policy administration platform.

Industry newcomer i-flex solutions signs first insurance deal to deploy Castek-centered policy administration platform.

Following its insurance industry debut with the acquisition of Castek this spring, i-flex solutions (New York), which is owned in part by Oracle (Redwood Shores, Calif.), signed its first insurance customer, New York-based Tokio Marine Management (TMM; $385 million in gross written premium). TMM will replace its aging commercial lines policy processing platform with a comprehensive insurance solution centered on Castek's Insure3 policy administration platform.

"The overall long-term cost of those legacy systems was incentive for us to start looking for some new solutions," relates Aidan McManus, TMM's CIO. But a more compelling incentive, he adds, was the need to keep pace with market demands, which requires the ability to issue new products and make changes to existing product lines rapidly.

TMM considered more than 100 vendors, and coordinated the selection process with the development of business requirements, resulting in increasingly specific criteria, McManus notes. "Every two or three months, we had a new set of things we thought we needed to support our strategy," he recalls. "We would use that as a filter and hold it up to the remaining vendors to see who sieved through."

As TMM narrowed the list of potential vendors, .NET architectures and J2EE development frameworks became important criteria, McManus continues. "Those were the things that would allow the vendors to build the kind of flexibility we wanted into the systems," he says. According to McManus, the final three vendors were Hartford-based Insurity, with whom the carrier had an existing relationship; ePolicy Solutions (Torrance, Calif.); and i-flex. "Our final decision came down to what we thought was going to position us best for the greatest level of flexibility," he recounts. "That left us with i-flex and the partners they had brought to the table with them."

Partnering for Success

Those partners include Richmond, Va.-based Appix, which is providing P&C subject matter and project management expertise; Systems Task Group (New York), which is contributing its Renaissance billing and accounts receivable systems; Jersey City, N.J.-based ISO's Rating Services; and Document Sciences (Carlsbad, Calif.), whose xPression tool set will provide for printing needs and deliver industry standard forms. In addition to the core Castek component to the solution, i-flex is providing systems integration, implementation and program management services.

Implementation will begin with a pilot in two selected lines of business over the next six months, McManus relates. "The idea is to make sure all the pieces work as we expect them, and then the next 18 months will be plowing through the rest of the lines of business," he says. TMM intends to complete the project in about two years and expects to realize a return on investment in three and a half to four and a half years. McManus declines to discuss the cost of the project, but says, "It's our biggest project in the last 10 years, and, for the next couple of years, it will probably add about 65 percent to our regular operating annual budget."

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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