For years, insurance executives have been striving to introduce more streamlined procedures and technologies to improve their financial management and analysis capabilities. One of the primary end goals of these efforts has been to deliver more accurate and timely reporting.From an enterprise resource planning (ERP) perspective, this goal has eluded carriers due to the massive amounts of widely dispersed source data, which often is housed in stand-alone legacy systems that lack flexibility, consistency and transparency.

The same experts who encourage companies to avoid the pitfalls of ERP deployments now recommend portal strategies and solutions as enablers of efficient and effective reporting and analysis. Within this context, a "portal solution" can be defined as a Web-based information center that enables users to access and produce reports for decision-making purposes.

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