A data systems' conversion can often be approached with trepidation by insurance carriers due to the uncertainty that surrounds such an endeavor. The compilation of large amounts of customer account data-much of it sitting across multiple databases-can turn a conversion into a painful and protracted process.Addison, Texas-based Universal Conversion Technologies (UCT) as developed a series of software tools that are touted for removing much of the discomfort that often accompanies a data conversion initiative.

The provider's Data Conversion Engineer (DCE) is a multilanguage "black box" upgrade of the company's trademarked Conversion Case Tools solution. DCE accomplishes complex data conversions by automatically creating conversion code from data maps created with plain English commands. All functionality from the original Case Tools has been retained in DCE so nothing is lost from work already completed-including data maps.

"As more and more insurance companies migrate to multiplatform environments-supporting both host, client/server and Internet architectures-the Engineer is going to answer their needs," says Dan O'Hara, CEO of UCT.

Although O'Hara calls the Engineer a robust solution, the company has a next-generation tool that is expected to be offered to end users as soon as UCT conducts additional beta testing to make the solution more robust. This product will be marketed as Data Conversion Architect (DCA).

O'Hara, whose firm performs more than 90% of its projects remotely rather than on-site, says that DCA enables a user to segue from one data system to another through emphasis on reusable components. The solution offers an archive of extensions from past conversions to save time and effort.

It also offers automatic code generation to leverage against the business rules that the end user has created-fostering compatibility between business analysts and programmers. "The tools and methodology are self-documenting to foster a better understanding of the data flow," adds O'Hara.

Data Conversion Engineer

Universal Conversion Technologies

16775 Addison Road, Suite 410

Addison, TX 75001-5199


Price: A licensing agreement can range

from $150,000 to $650,000.

Availability: Currently available

Number of Financial Services Users: 35 to 40.

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