In 1999, when PwC Consulting formulated the blueprint for its Virtual Insurance Community (VIC), one dynamic that drove the initiative was its ability to provide insurance carriers with a pre-integrated best-in-class technology solution.The global management and consulting firm, a business unit of New York-based PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, developed VIC as a component-based e-business solution for property/casualty insurers-eventually to be offered to life, annuity and group health carriers. And while the Virtual Insurance Community offers best-of-breed solutions spanning a myriad of technology applications, carriers that adopt the program-via licensing or via an application service hosting model-will still be able to deploy various applications that they previously have built and mapped within their IT infrastructure.

The solution incorporates messaging and data translations so that a carrier can deploy an application that isn't part of the community. "The VIC system is all pre-mapped with the middleware layer in place so there doesn't have to be a rewriting of design documents," says Patricia Hamilton, management consulting services, PwC Consulting.

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