The reports delineate between document creation solutions, which are those that are primarily concerned with the composition and creation of documents (policies, forms, customer and claims correspondence and account statements) and document management solutions, which are concerned with managing documents received from outside the insurance enterprise (applications, underwriting requirements, claims materials).

Yet, complicating things for carriers looking for either a creation or management solution is the ongoing cavalcade of mergers and acquisitions in the vendor space. In this year alone, well-regarded providers such as Lexington, Ky.-based Exstream Software Inc. and Frisco, Texas-based Skywire Software LLC have been acquired (by heavyweights Hewlett Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif., and Oracle Corp., Redwood City, Calif., respectively). Despite this maelstrom, insurers still have a bevy of solid options, Matthew Josefowicz, director of the insurance practice at Novarica and lead author of the reports, tells Insurance Networking News.

Rather than affecting the products themselves, Josefowicz notes, the mergers and acquisitions are affording the acquired companies better delivery and service resources. “It’s hasn’t changed the products directly, but in some cases they are being more directly integrated,” he says.

Moreover, with the exception of the 2007 acquisition of Conyers, Ga.-based ImageRight by Bothell, Wash.-based Vertafore Inc., many of the acquiring companies are horizontally focused. “The interesting thing about the M&A in this marketplace is that many of these solution providers are horizontal–they cross multiple industries, at least other financial services verticals,” he says. “It’s more the bigger companies filling out their portfolios with different solutions.”

Irrespective of whom they buy from, insurers must make document management a part of any workflow optimization strategy, Josefowicz says. "Insurers need to make sure that their critical case documents—especially those related to underwriting and claims—are accessible to any staff that may need to access them, when they need to access them."

Likewise, he says document creation needs to be a priority. "Insurers also typically invest in document creation solutions as part of improvements to their policy issuance capabilities, so that speed to market is not impacted by the inability to get new policy documents set up in a legacy administration and issuance system."

Sources: Novarica, INN archives

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