In a word, OptaComp's legacy policy administration system was "unstable." But really, it was worse than that. Over the years, what was originally an agency management system had been highly customized for workers' compensation rating and quoting. That and its advanced age led to it no longer being supported by its manufacturer. Plus it wasn't capable of supporting Web-based services, which OptaComp's independent agents were starting to see from competitors.

"The people who worked on it, who did the customization were long gone," explains Tom Royal, IT and solutions lead on the replacement project. "If we had a system outage or a crash, they could get us up and running, but we weren't able to make any updates to the system, or further changes, or anything."

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