ACORD STANDARDS ROI TOOLSTo help members better analyze and report their returns on standards investments, ACORD released a set of Return on Investment (ROI) analysis tools. Through the tools, members can examine and report, in numbers and graphs, the overall benefits and savings from ACORD data standards implementations. Available in two versions, the Full Version enables users to take an in-depth look at their organization, expenses, standards implementations, and cost-benefit analyses for up to five years. It requires the user to have detailed company information and forecasting data. The Lite Version is a subset of the full tool and examines ROI on implementing an interface between organizations and their trading partners, or between internal systems, when using or not using standards.


A new service offering from HCL Technologies' (HCL) Global Insurance Practice, New Delhi, India, provides insurers with a scorecard of their IT application portfolio based on several dimensions, such as functional quality, technical quality, management and process quality, outsource ability, offshore ability, maintainability, etc. Called Application Portfolio Optimization, the service delivers actionable recommendations and a program management plan for implementation.


Combining document scanning and indexing with newly developed intelligent folder technologies, a new offering from Xerox Global Services, Stamford, Conn., is designed to accelerate the time it takes insurance carriers and agents to process policy applications. The offering includes a range of hosted repository services, document scanning and indexing services, "intelligent folder" technology, and Xerox DataGlyphs technology. The newly developed intelligent folder technology turns traditional static electronic folders and documents into active folders, dynamically adapting to and advancing the policy application whenever new data or documents are entered. The folder automatically alerts carriers and agents when other required forms, such as health forms and credit reports, are at risk of being late or have not yet been collected. Once all of the documents are collected and all of the conditions and constraints are satisfied, the intelligent folder notifies the carrier or agent that the application is approved for underwriting.


Napersoft, Naperville, Ill., released WebDemand360 version 3.2 customer communications management software that enables managers to monitor and audit the effectiveness of their communications. Designed for call centers and Web-based self-service applications, the product extends Napersoft's Business Process Manager to on-demand call center correspondence and outbound pieces generated by back office applications.


AQS Inc., Hartford, Wis., has released AQS/advantage Product Manager, a self-maintenance tool that allows carriers to update and manage core functions within its Web-centric AQS/advantage commercial policy administration system. Product Manager utilizes ISO IntegRater, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) electronic delivery system of loss costs and rating factors. ISO IntegRater provides updates directly from ISO-eliminating the re-keying of factors and loss-cost information from ISO Circulars, which can help reduce errors, increase speed to market and facilitate compliance. NCCI rates and rules for worker's compensation are also available within AQS/advantage Product Manager. AQS/advantage Product Manager supports all commercial lines of business for all states and allows clients to manage and update rates, rules and documents within their AQS/advantage system. Within AQS/advantage Product Manager, users can make changes to documents right in the Adobe PDF file, allowing them to improve quality by previewing the updated document and immediately verifying changes onscreen.


Dublin, Ireland-based Allfinanz Inc., a provider of intelligent automated underwriting and new business processing software products for the life insurance industry, launched Release 3.5 of its xpertBridge Web-based, rules-driven automated underwriting software. The software uses straight-through processing inherent in xpertBridge's Home Office environment to enable companies to support 100 percent of new business cases on a single platform, regardless of product or application submission method-paper-based or electronic-based applications. New functionality, such as electronic signatures, advanced MIB support, and enhanced eForms support for disconnected agents, enables underwriters to handle both manual and referred cases more effectively.


Duck Creek Technologies Inc., a Bolivar, Mo., a provider of rating and policy administration software, announced the summer 2005 release of a 50-state commercial lines rating, underwriting, and policy processing offering. Commercial Lines Templates are off-the-shelf products that support ISO and NCCI-based rating, underwriting, policy processing, statistical coding, and forms generation. The templates can be customized though EXAMPLE Author, a user-friendly product definition environment that enables the carrier to adjust the ISO and NCCI standard rates, rules, and workflow, resulting in a customized, carrier-specific product. Customers can utilize the templates in a "black box" rating environment or as part of a full policy processing system. The company is also working to test general liability, workers' compensation, property, auto, crime, and inland marine.


InSystems, Markham, Ontario, released its Calligo Doc Services 3.1, an enterprise document automation software solution that provides a set of integrated services specifically engineered to automate document-intensive business processes. The product can satisfy event-driven requests, such as new policy fulfillment requests, which trigger a range of activities, including retrieving documents from multiple sources; assembling personalized, complex documents and document packages; rendering them in multiple file formats (Microsoft Word, PDF, PCL, HTML, TIFF and postscript); and delivering them to multiple recipients via preferred channels (mail, fax, e-mail, the Web). Able to run on a single Windows server and use open source technology, the product is now offered in two editions: InSystems Calligo Doc Services and the new InSystems Calligo Doc Services Express.


Whitehill Technologies Inc., Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, unveiled Whitehill Layout Designer, the latest in its portfolio of document composition and data transformation software. An easy-to-use graphical interface for the creation of stylesheets that control the presentation of XML data, Layout Designer can be run as a standalone application or used as a component part of Whitehill XML-Transport, the company's data conversion and distribution software. Layout Designer creates documents by assigning the contents of an XML file to placeholders on a page and using formatting styles to give the document a professional, customized look.


Fiserv Insurance Solutions, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa unit of Fiserv, Inc., has released version 2.0 of its Fiserv Advanced Billing (FAB) software. FAB is a J2EE-based system that supports premium billing, cash-to-application management, collections, electronic viewing and payment of invoices, and other key billing processes for insurers. In the new version, import interfaces have been enabled as Web services, providing flexibility for insurers needing real-time access and ease of interoperation with .NET- and J2EE-based systems.


Version 7 of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based GlobeNet Technologies' FireStorm Compensation Suite includes new functionality as well as a full .NET implementation. The release was developed in conjunction with a contract from Fireman's Fund Insurance Company to deploy FireStorm across its entire agency management field organization. Built on the Microsoft platform, the software was implemented by Fireman's Fund in partnership with BearingPoint, McLean, Va., to support three Fireman's Fund business functions: agency administration, agency business planning, and incentive compensation management. FireStorm provides a single comprehensive system to manage independent agency networks, conduct business planning at both an agency and enterprise level, and automate the agency compensation process.

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