Balboa Insurance Group went through a vendor selection process that took four months. The carrier sent out requests for proposals (RFPs) to a short list of only four vendors."We were looking for a total solution. The WRQ Verastream suite of products gave us everything that we needed," points out Craig Korotko, CIO of Balboa Insurance Group Inc., Irvine, Calif.
Before selecting WRQ's Verastream software, information technology personnel from Balboa and a development team from its parent, Countrywide Financial Corp., went through a Six Sigma Improvement Process.
"We actually looked at how users interfaced with the applications," says Korotko. "We generated activity-based costs for each of our three discrete policy administration systems and their unique interfaces and codes. Training staff to interpret codes and access those applications through different screen processes had become very cumbersome and time-consuming.
"Now we have a Web-enabled front end that translates everything for the user and assists the operator through the process. The system determines what policy administration system to access as opposed to a claims adjuster or customer service representative trying to figure that out.
"To be able to take somebody and put them almost immediately into production versus going through weeks of training on how to access the system and how to interpret the codes is truly where the value of this system lies," explains Korotko.
Moreover, Balboa previously couldn't extend the customer knowledge locked up in its legacy systems to its external business partners and claims adjusters. "We couldn't do that because it was impossible to train them," explains Korotko. "Now we can extend that information to partners through the Web because the information is very user friendly and written in plain English."
The Balboa team selected the Verastream technology in June 2002 and through an extensive development effort installed both the Siebel 7 CRM package and the Verastream middleware in six months.
The integrated system has been running live since the beginning of 2003. The Verastream product runs on Windows 2000 and Compaq server technology.
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