WHITEHILL ACQUIRES INSYSTEMSMoncton, New Brunswick-based Whitehill Technologies Inc. purchased InSystems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Register, Dayton, Ohio, Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The combined company's critical mass will be nearly 1,000 customers strong, including several hundred insurance companies and more than half of the world's largest law firms, according to Paul McSpurren, president and CEO of Whitehill Technologies. Current InSystems customers should expect business to continue without interruption, according to the companies.

IBM UNLEASHES DB2 VIPER

IBM Corp. has released its next-generation DB2 9 data server-code named "Viper," which is designed to deliver significant database technology enhancements. DB2 9 marks the culmination of a five-year development project at Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM that has transformed traditional, static database technology into an interactive data server designed to enable clients to better manage all types of information, such as documents, audio and video files, images, Web pages, and digitally signed XML transactions. IBM's new data server provides a seamless and simultaneous information flow of XML and relational data, regardless of format, platform or location. More than 750 software developers working out of eight countries contributed to the creation of Viper, which was developed and tuned to be the preferred information engine for SOA environments.

ORACLE INTEGRATES SIEBEL INSURANCE AND CONTENT DATABASE

In order to help insurance companies to streamline core insurance processes, such as policy issuance and claims management, as well as improve customer service, Oracle Corp., Redwood Shores, Calif., has integrated the Oracle Content Services with Siebel Insurance applications. Insurers can now manage diverse forms of content-including documents, e-mails, instant messages and images-directly from Siebel Insurance instead of having to access multiple systems. Now, a claims adjuster, for example, can enter all necessary claims information in Siebel Insurance and then access Oracle Content DB directly to upload documents associated with the claims. Insurers can then use Oracle Content DB features, such as access control, search and query, auditing and tracking to manage that content. The end result is a single claims file that includes up-to-date information about losses, policies, claimants, financial transactions and diverse associated documents that can be easily shared among all parties involved in settling a claim.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT BENCHMARK REPORTS AVAILABLE

Verint Systems Inc., a Melville, N.Y.-based provider of analytic software, has expanded its Opus performance management solution with a series of benchmark reports that identify key metrics for enterprise service performance. Through the delivery of performance improvement solutions for some of the largest names in the insurance, technology support and contact center markets, Verint Opus has amassed a large database of benchmark metrics that illustrate the evolution of customer-facing, technical support, and back-office performance trends within these segments. The new reports for property/casualty, life and health, tech support and contact centers offer more than 60 benchmark metrics for organizations to compare their performance to industry standards.

INSUREWORX KICKS OFF MULTI-MARKET STRATEGY

InsureWorx, headquartered in Oakland, Calif., has launched a series of initiatives to support a broadening market strategy. The introduction of the company's redesigned Web site at www.insureworx.com coincides with the rebranding of its flagship product set to PowerSuite (formerly PowerComp). In 2005, InsureWorx focused on managing the logistics of merging the operations of WorldGroup Consulting Inc. and Taliant Software LLP and launching the J2EE version of its workers' compensation policy and claims insurance software. The company's focus in 2006 is to establish a broader footprint across multiple lines of business in commercial property/ casualty insurance, while continuing to leverage and expand InsureWorx's enviable presence in the workers' compensation market or for any other reason.

REAL-TIME RATING

SETWrite 3.0, from AMS Services Inc., Bothell, Wash., enables agents to access rates from, and submit insurance data to, multiple carriers in real-time through single-entry transactions. With more than 30 carriers in production and 15 additional carriers in development, SETWrite provides broad real-time carrier connectivity. Agents enter information once into a single Web interface and receive rates and related information directly from participating carriers in real-time. This single-entry process is designed to allow for increased agent productivity and efficiency and a higher level of client satisfaction.

DOCUMENT SIGNING ON THE WEB

DocuSign can now be integrated directly into existing Web portals and e-commerce offerings with DocuSign In-Session Signing. Seattle-based DocuSign Inc. designed the service to enable customers to visit a Web site, complete a form and sign an application all in one visit. DocuSign is offered as an XML/SOAP Web service, which enables the customer to control all aspects of the document signing process via software.

DECISION ENGINE

Strata Enterprise, an enterprisewide, customer-based decision engine from Montreal-based CGI Group Inc., is enabling business users to create and manage business rules. The Strata Desktop is an intuitive user interface that enables business users to and modify business rules for scoring, underwriting and exception processing without engaging additional IT resources.

AGENT PORTAL

Agent Portal from Irvine, Calif.-based Portellus Inc. provides CRM, policy management and decision management tools at the point-of-sale. Agent Portal extends various decisioning functionality to the Web using its Enterprise Rules Management (ERM) system, which house carriers' unique business rules and underwriting guidelines. While on the phone with a prospective policyholder, agents can enter key data points and submit it to the ERM system to instantly return rating, eligibility and automated underwriting approvals, facilitating fast and accurate policy decisions. The site is also designed to deliver event triggers on up-sell and cross-sell opportunities and allow agents to manage renewals, policy changes, billing, claims reporting and more.

MAPPING AND HOME VALUATION TOOL

Marshall and Swift Boeckh (MSB), Los Angeles, has integrated MSB Hazard Express, an exposure look-up and mapping application, into its Web-hosted "total component" home valuation tool, MSB Express with RCT (Residential Component Technology). After an address of a property is entered into the application, the address is standardized and validated as a proper property location. Next, the Hazard Lookup system geocodes the address by latitude and longitude and displays the location on a map. After determining the property's known hazards calculating the distance to nearby hazards or features (e.g. wind pool and premium tax zones), Hazard Express displays the distances, plots the hazards on a map and provides a detailed report.

ENTERPRISE REPORTS FROM CENTRAL WAREHOUSE

PatchLink Corp., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based provider of patch and vulnerability management solutions, introduced Enterprise Reporting Server (ERS) 3.0, which integrates with PatchLink Update to provide enterprisewide data analysis and reporting on the status of vulnerabilities and remediation across an organization's IT infrastructure. Benefits include reduced costs, efficient data management, and streamlined reporting capabilities across multiple regulations, guidelines and policies. Some features of ERS 3.0, designed to operate with any existing reporting platform, include open data warehouse, report customization and automation, advanced reporting capabilities and enhanced installation and documentation.

MOBILE MESSAGING FOR LOTUS

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Good Technology Inc.'s Good Mobile Messaging for IBM Lotus Domino provides Lotus Notes users access to enterprise-class mobile collaboration and computing capability, with secure wireless access on the Motorola Q; the Cingular 8125 Pocket PC; the Palm Treo family, including the new Treo 700w and Treo 700p smartphones, the Nokia E61 and other Windows Mobile devices. The interface includes continuous two-way, push-based wireless synchronization of all Lotus Domino functions, including e-mail, calendar, contacts, journals and to-do lists. Mobile Messaging for IBM Lotus Domino is also available with Good Mobile Defense, which scans for the presence of IT-mandated applications and blocks network access until these applications are present.

ERM WITH LIFECYCLE PLANNING AND ANALYTICS

Algo Risk, an enterprise risk management tool from Toronto-based Algorithmics Inc., combines product lifecycle planning with day-to-day analytics and was recently enhanced to incorporate insurance liabilities along with investment assets for enterprise risk analysis. Algo Risk provides stochastic valuation models for variable annuities with both living and death benefits. The models are customized to cover dynamic lapses and partial withdrawals. Coupled with the existing asset models and what-if functionality, the tool is designed to provide a way to analyze the risk in variable annuity portfolios.

DESIGN TOOL ON OPEN SOURCE PLATFORM

XA-Suite 4, from Colorado Springs, Colo.-based XAware Inc., includes XA-Designer design tool as an Eclipse Ready plug-in. This new version also packages XAware applications into portable and deployable XAware archive (xar) files. "This new release of the XA-Suite allows SOA initiatives to be developed much more efficiently," says Darin Black, product manager for XAware. "This gives our customers the ability to condense multifaceted development efforts into one easy-to-use design environment." The Eclipse Foundation open source platform is a foundation for constructing and running integrated end-to-end software development tools, and was developed for building integrated development environments (IDEs). The open source platform consists of software components that allow vendors to construct solutions that plug in to integrated software workbenches.

HUGHES OFFERS EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS

In light of 2006 hurricane predictions and experience from the 2005 hurricane season, Washington, D.C.-based Hughes Network Systems LLC developed a range of emergency communications offerings:

  • Access continuity service: a private satellite network with pre-installed terminals that automatically switch-over in the event of primary path failure;
  • Emergency network restoral: a pre-established private network with satellite terminals deployed rapidly following an incident; and
  • Emergency business Internet: expedited installation of satellite terminals providing broadband Internet access to affected locations.

MAINFRAME SOA FOR Z/OS

The Webify Industry Fabric and Webify SOBAs, from Austin, Texas-based Webify Solutions Inc., are now available for IBM z/OS, which runs on the IBM zSeries mainframes. The Webify Industry Fabric virtualizes the business and application layer of IT assets, creating a flexible and adaptive ecosystem of loosely coupled service-oriented business applications (SOBA). The Webify Industry Fabric and SOBAs are multiplatform products, available for mainframe, Intel-based and IBM power series-based hardware.

ACCELERATION ON-DEMAND FOR ENTERPRISE APPS

Stampede Technologies Inc., a Dayton, Ohio-based provider of enterprise acceleration software, released a new client software technology that provides Acceleration On-Demand for enterprise applications. Compatible with Stampede's previous HTTP/HTTPS client that required software to be installed on client devices, this new technology does not require remote devices to be touched or installed with new software. Acceleration On-Demand automatically adds the necessary client software into the proper Web pages, and functions with either the Stampede Application Acceleration Series or the Stampede Web 2.0 Acceleration Performance Series.

CUSTOMIZED VIEWS OF THE ENTERPRISE

Q.Know Version 2.1 from Q.Know Technologies Inc., Reston, Va., enables users to customize the presentation of company-wide information within Microsoft Outlook by using intelligent tagging tools to file, retrieve and organize information according to its context. Unlike software that requires electronic information to be segmented based on application, V2.1 users do not have to move between application-specific file stores, as it can accommodate many file types within discreet working projects. Within the same company, information may be organized differently for each workgroup, such as marketing, HR, finance, etc. Individuals can organize their views of information according to the information's priority and relevance in keeping with the user's preference. Company-wide controls can be maintained at any level to ensure compliance requirements are met and best practices followed.

AUTOMATED RATING AND ANALYSIS

DecisionMaker Rating Enterprise Edition, from Honolulu-based Decision Research Corp., integrates all of the features of DecisionMaker products-Rating, Analyzer and Assistant. Enterprise Edition leverages Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 reporting and analytical services to view and drill into the rating composition. DecisionMaker Rating enables product managers and actuaries to build automated rating and underwriting services from existing Excel spreadsheet models. DecisionMaker Analyzer helps carriers to rerate books of business, conduct impact assessments on their book of business at the policy/coverage level and study the effects that hypothetical changes will have on revenue. DecisionMaker Assistant is designed to relieve underwriters from the need to explain, illustrate and communicate underwriting business rules to the IT staff.

ECM AND DATA PRIVACY

Decru Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based Network Appliance Inc. company, and Costa Mesa, Calif.-based FileNet Corp. teamed up to provide enterprise content management to enhance privacy for sensitive and regulated data. The combination of FileNet's P8 platform and Decru DataFortÝ storage security appliances is designed to enable user-transparent, granular encryption by document group, selectable security policies and secure lifecycle management for virtually any type of content. Decru's contribution offers high-speed encryption and security for data at rest on virtually any storage device. FileNet provides the ability to organize and selectively manage all categories of documents within an organization and apply appropriate process, content and storage management policies.

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