The insurance industry is facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge: The leading companies need to invest in new technology simply to keep pace with escalating customer claims.But the cost of replacing policy administration, claims, product management, billing, producer management and customer/account information systems is more than any one company can bear. More importantly, it is a cost that the insurer's own customers will not fund.

Incrementally adding new functionality onto older legacy platforms has provided some relief. But that approach contains a hidden trap: Each incremental application that must be interfaced to existing legacy platforms adds complexity to the total solution and, therefore, increases maintenance costs.

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