Outsourcing is a business strategy that many corporations have used for decades. Although not on the scale of their banking counterparts, insurance companies have adopted IT outsourcing as a means to support system maintenance, application development and improvements to their technology infrastructures.In February, Insurance Networking News hosted a two-day conference in Tampa, Fla., which addressed the merits of IT and business process outsourcing. Executives from life, health and property/casualty insurance companies gave presentations on topics ranging from developing partnerships with outsourcing providers to considerations when selecting a provider.

Bruce Coates, a vice president with GE Commercial Insurance, kicked off the conference with a keynote presentation that focused on how the company is using outsourced solutions to support two separate business ventures: CyberComp, an online tool for workers' comp insurance, and Jupiter, an online system for the company's MGU commercial program business.

One of the program's highlights was an engaging presentation by Pat Hatfield, a partner with Lord, Bissel and Brook LLP, who spoke about ensuring that service-level agreements and termination provisions are written into outsourcing contracts. Hatfield's session and participation on a panel discussion elicited numerous questions from the audience on structuring outsourcing deals and managing outsourcing relationships. To review the Forum's agenda, visit www.tmconferences.com/agenda.html?conf=IOF04&iter=1

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