Chicago - Chicago-based insurance broker Aon yesterday became the latest in a series of companies to participate in technology mergers as it announced its intent to acquire Valley Oak Systems (VOS), a San Ramon, Calif., provider of claims management software, services and support for the insurance industry. The acquisition reflects Aon’s desire to supplement its risk management portfolio. Valley Oak, winner of the IASA 2006 Technology Achievement Award, is best known for its iVOS system, which includes medical bill review, policy underwriting, case management, billing and event management capabilities. "Aon's acquisition of Valley Oak Systems continues Celent's predicted roll-up of the insurance software industry,” says Donald Light, senior analyst with Boston-based Celent, LLC. “While most acquisitions of independent insurance software vendors have been by larger software vendors, such as Milwaukee-based Fiserv buying Insureworx, Oakland, Calif., this time it is a major broker doing the deal.” The purchase InsureWorx, a policy and claims administration technology provider, gives Fiserv an end-to-end policy and claims administration offering for workers compensation. Other recent mergers in the insurance technology space include the San Diego-based Websense Inc., acquisition of PortAuthority Technologies, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., and Ra'anana, Israel, for approximately $90 million in cash. PortAuthority will combine its information leak prevention technology with the "ThreatSeeker" malicious content identification and categorization technology from Websense. The deal will create a single source for companies looking to prevent the unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential data while simultaneously protecting users and data from external malicious threats. The Aon-VOS merger will benefit Aon’s unique position as a large brokerage firm. By integrating and sharing data with RiskConsole, Aon’s RMIX offering, the Aon-VOS deal enables the Chicago broker to create what the companies claim to be the only end-to-end browser-based offering in the marketplace. The acquisition of VOS follows a similar deal cut in 2004 by Aon’s with Risk Laboratories, LLC (RiskLabs), Marietta, Ga. Aon expects to consummate the VOS deal by January 31, 2007. Light believes that, from a marketing and sales perspective, the acquisition makes sense. “Valley Oak's customer base includes a great many risk management units in large employers who self-insure workers' compensation,” he says. “Aon's brokerage business targets that same group of risk managers. Aon's challenge will be to give Valley Oak the resources and freedom to keep its offering fresh and valuable to self-insured employers, as well as other customers such as insurers and third party administrators."   Sources: Aon, Celent, INN archives    

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access