ISTREAM TO INCLUDE NEW FUNCTIONALITYWhitehill Technologies Inc., Moncton, New Brunswick, announced new functionality in the IStream document automation suite, including IStream Publisher and IStream Document Manager. The IStream suite is designed to enable business users to create 'model documents' that control the language, layout and look of complex files, such as policies and contracts. IStream can be used to create and control virtually any kind of insurance document, from contracts to welcome kits to group booklets. New functionality includes add-ins for Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader, letting users create complex documents in a familiar, easy-to-use, interactive environment. As data or standard wordings change, users can automatically update their documents to reflect those changes. Leveraging industry-standard applications gives insurers the power to create and update documents easily as part of their normal processes.
SUN LAUNCHES DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL PORTAL WITH STP
Sun Microsystems Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., has introduced the Sun Distribution Channel Portal. The solution includes Sun servers, storage, services and software to help insurers reach new customers through non-traditional channels such as banks, supermarkets, post offices, kiosks, telephones and PDAs. The Distribution Channel Portal solution uses straight through processing (STP) capability to bring back office systems through to the front office. The system is designed to enable insurers to rapidly sell existing insurance products-and create, launch and manage new products-without adding IT processes that could delay the sales cycle. Operating 24/7 and accessible via an Internet browser, the portal presents a single customer view and covers all insurance products in any language and in any currency, through unlimited channels. It also delivers real-time performance monitoring of agents, products and channels, and offers first notice of loss (FNOL) to improve claims handling.
SEND SMALL COMMERCIAL APPS FROM AGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn., is launching a new tool to make it easier and faster for agents to place insurance using the information in their agency management systems from AMS, Bothell, Wash., or Applied Systems, University Park, Ill. The Hartford ExpressWay for Small Business, which has been in development for more than a year, is being provided initially to 150 agencies in six states before being rolled out to agents around the country. After entering a new client's information into the agency management system, or updating an existing client's information, agents simply respond to a few additional questions from The Hartford as the quoting process begins. Moments later, they receive a quote and the option for a proposal that can be printed out or forwarded to the client for a decision. By eliminating extra rekeying and input errors, The Hartford ExpressWay can even help improve the accuracy of the quote, says the company.
COMMON INFRASTRUCTURE FOR MANAGING DOCUMENTS
Exstream Software Inc. released Dialogue Live, software designed to provide a common infrastructure for managing the editing of all types of interactive documents across the enterprise. Fully integrated with Exstream's enterprise document automation Dialogue 6.0 software for high-volume and on-demand production of personalized customer communications, Dialogue Live is suitable for companies that want to provide customer-facing employees with the flexibility and autonomy they need to complete interactive, point-of-need, personalized documents for clients, while ensuring accuracy and costs are controlled through centralized production and fulfillment.
AMS SERVICES STRENGTHENS AGENT/CARRIER CONNECTIVITY
AMS Services, a Bothell, Wash., provider of insurance agency automation, released its latest connectivity transaction statistics. AMS' single-entry, real-time interface services platform TransactNOW showed a 58% increase in transactions for the first quarter of 2007 over the same time period last year, putting the company on track for more than five million transactions this year. AMS SETWrite, a real-time, multiple-company rating solution, is also breaking records, says the company, with a 483% increase in monthly real-time transactions over 2006. Users of AMS TransactNOW recently received an automatic product update that improves performance, usability and workflow. This new release includes a modernized user interface for easier navigation, new tabs that support different transaction types and support for the latest Microsoft technology. AMS SETWrite recently added Solutions at Quote powered by ChoicePoint. Integrated into AMS SETWrite, Solutions at Quote further reduces data entry by eliminating the need to enter vehicle and driver information including Vehicle Identification Numbers and drivers' license information.
ENHANCEMENTS TO SKYWIRE'S DOCUMAKER SUITE RELEASED
Frisco, Texas-based Skywire Software, a provider of business and enterprise customer communications management (CCM) software and services, released version 11.2 of the Documaker Suite, including Documaker Studio. The suite features more than 140 customer and market-driven enhancements, and has an updated look-and-feel based on Microsoft Windows themes using icons and user interface elements found in Microsoft Vista and Office 2007. Skywire Software began shipping Documaker in May. Among the software's new features are simplified navigation, additional drag and drops, new tools and improved wizards, enhanced reporting capabilities, including new impact and usage reports; improved workspace management, with pin-able, sliding windows; enhanced overflow capabilities with simplified triggers and mapping and the ability to "lockdown" resources by user or group.
HIPAA TRANSACTION MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SUITE
Emerging Health Information Technology, a Yonkers, N.Y. provider of healthcare professional services and IT-based solutions, announced the availability of a new suite of HIPAA transaction management services designed to provide enhanced visibility and greater control over the entire claim processing lifecycle, from intake and adjudication to tracking, payment and reporting. The new Transaction Exchange and Knowledge-based Services (TREKS) help healthcare organizations lower operating costs, reduce accounts receivable, improve cash flow and enhance the efficiency of front and back office billing operations, says the company. The TREKS services suite combines Emerging Health's software applications and consulting services to meet the specific claims management needs of each individual client. The suite of services works in conjunction with a client's existing computer platform and financial billing systems and is a hosted single source solution that meets all HIPPA regulatory requirements.
Emerging Health provides the TREKS SmartClaims application, which accepts claims from the healthcare provider's system and processes the claims through a fully integrated x12 processing engine called the TREKS central knowledge hub. The hub contains the HIPAA transaction datasets, rules and logic to handle claims translations, claims scrubbing, claims reconciliation and reporting.
DATABASE AUDIT SOLUTION
Lumigent Technologies, Acton, Mass., released a data auditing, compliance and security solution that addresses all of the standard data auditing and security approaches, such as native database auditing, log analysis and network traffic captures, in one unified solution.
Lumigent Audit DB 6.0 is designed to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data; capture insider activity and provide alerts immediately when fraud is detected; provide an organizational view of compliance and alerts when policies are violated; provide auditors with evidence of control over information assets; ensure controls and policies for data security are working; provide granular "before and after" details to support cause-and-effect resolution; and help comply with SarbOx, HIPPA, PCI and other regulations
STORM SURGE REPORT
CDS Business Mapping, LLC a Boston-based provider of online hazard mapping, has added a new storm surge report to its RiskMeter online, real-time, natural hazard risk report service. The RiskMeter Online Storm Surge report is based upon the well known SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) storm surge model. This report will let users know if a property falls within an area likely to flood from a hurricane of a specific strength, as well as the maximum storm surge height for each category of storm. The report also improves on flaws with existing storm surge models, providing insurers with an easy-to-use tool with more information. Although flood maps approximate storm surge levels, RiskMeter's storm surge reports provide more detail and provide users with a more realistic assessment of coastal flooding, claims the company.
SHARE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE CONTENT
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services' Insurance Compliance Solutions group, Waltham, Mass., has added additional functionality to its Web-based regulatory research tool, NILS INSource, to help insurance compliance professionals access information faster and share it more efficiently.
NILS INSource, which provides online access to complete statutory and regulatory information, terminology indexing, line-of-business searching, and compliance-topic and subtopic categories to help access the most specific content needed, now allows users to link directly to recently researched content and post shared user notes on their account.
Compliance professionals can log in and quickly return to the books and documents they were working in. NILS INSource displays the last 20 books and 20 documents that the user has viewed, presenting the resources in chronological order so materials can be accessed faster.
COVERAGE DISPUTE GUIDE
Research & Markets, Dublin, released "Insurance Coverage Disputes," a comprehensive, chronologically organized guide to the issues that can arise at every stage of a coverage dispute, from the initial inquiry into whether a policy exists to complex questions of law, evidentiary matters, procedure and strategy.
The authors explain aspects of litigating insurance coverage disputes in detail, including the varieties of policies and coverage, obligations of policyholders and insurers, and the nuts and bolts of proving or disproving coverage, from pretrial motions through settlement. Topics covered include case management, venue, parties, discovery disputes and privileged documents, insurance policy interpretation and construction, bad faith and extra-contractual claims, and a trial of an insurance coverage dispute. The book also includes a series of ready reference charts summarizing the controlling law of each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on a number of key liability insurance issues.
ENTERPRISEWIDE ACCESS TO UNDERWRITING TOOLS
Toronto-based Tritech Financial Systems Inc. enhanced it's General Insurance Management System (DIMS) offering to integrate with third-party providers of MVRs, auto & property claims histories, and property replacement cost calculators. Using real-time technology based on SOA to transfer data between Tritech's GIMS and a third-party supplier, the software enables users to sign on to each tool without having to leave the GIMS.
Agents, CSRs & underwriters can access these underwriting tools while entering the policy data and interacting with clients & prospects. Links to the services are automatically triggered while the user is entering the policy data, the requests are submitted and include the necessary data from GIMS so the user does not need to re-enter this data to complete the requests. The returning data from the third-party provider automatically floods to the appropriate designated fields in the GIMS database and displays on the appropriate underwriting screens, further eliminating duplicate data entry. Users can make immediate system rating and underwriting acceptance decisions or route to an exceptions list based on predefined business rules.
Suitable for call centers and agent Web portals (point of sale) environments where a client can be advised immediately if they meet an insurer's underwriting guidelines after a verbal authorization has been given to proceed with a quick quote, the new service is being made available to all of Tritech's clients in Canada and the U.S. where similar real time data availability exists.
PARTNERSHIP CONNECTS RISK, CONTENT MANAGEMENT
Content software provider Hyland Software Inc., Westlake, Ohio, will partner with Boston-based Delphi Technology, Inc. (DTI), an established provider of technology solutions to the risk management and P&C insurance markets, to provide integration between DTI's OASIS software and Hyland's OnBase enterprise content management (ECM) software suite. DTI's OASIS insurance software solution is used by insurers, third-party administrators and self-insured employers specializing in P&C areas such as medical malpractice, workers' compensation, general liability, automobile and property lines. The OASIS suite of products includes incident reporting, central information system, policy, claims, reinsurance and financial management applications.
Hyland's OnBase ECM solution is designed to enable users to manage and distribute disparate information (documents and related data) regardless of format within a single solution. By leveraging OnBase, insurers can reduce the time and cost of performing business functions and achieve regulatory compliance through the management, control and sharing of digital content.
CONSOLIDATED PLATFORM FOR SINGLE-POINT SERVICE
The Insurance Service Bridge is a new single-point service framework that consolidates carriers' disparate systems and processes. Designed and developed by India-based software and solutions provider MajescoMastek, the Insurance Service Bridge uses ready components and frameworks to bring together information from multiple unconnected legacy systems and other peripheral applications onto one consolidated platform, maintaining consolidated information in one location for easy access by carriers and their customers and distributors.
BILLING SUPPORT FOR .NET AND J2EE
New York-based Systems Task Group International (STG), a provider of enterprise-class software solutions for the P&C industry, will release its Renaissance Billing solution on the .NET platform beginning fourth quarter of 2007. STG currently offers its billing solution on a J2EE platform as a standalone version as well as an integrated version.
The company will continue to support the J2EE platform but will also offer it on the .NET platform, claiming to be the only vendor to support both technology stacks.
RISK DATA SUITE AVAILABLE FOR WEATHER, DISASTERS
Thanks to a partnership with WSI, an Andover, Mass., provider of weather-driven business solutions, Pitney Bowes MapInfo, Stamford, Conn., now offers complete access to weather and natural-disaster related risk data, as both historical datasets or real-time feeds. The company's Risk Data Suite, datasets featuring historical information (updated annually) on weather and natural disaster-related occurrences, is designed to enable P&C underwriters, actuaries and risk managers to make better decisions in areas such as underwriting policy analyses and rating; custom rating territory creation and maintenance, and more. The data, available on a state-by-state basis, is compatible with the Pitney Bowes MapInfo complete line of risk data, geocoding and mapping applications, such as MapMarker Plus, ParcelPrecision, MapInfo Professional and the Envinsa enterprise location platform. This data is also available via Web service calls to the MapInfo Envinsa Online Services.
Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), El Segundo, Calif., introduced Product Accelerator, a software system designed to simplify the creation of life insurance and annuity products. Unlike other product configuration software, includes a comprehensive library of insurance product types that together are designed to help carriers reduce the time needed to launch new products from months to days.
CSC's Product Accelerator provides a single source for product definitions and documentation across the entire product lifecycle. By moving the description of product features and calculations from a company's software code into Product Accelerator's centralized repository, business and marketing users gain greater control over new product introduction, reports the company. The software's modeling tools allow users to combine and customize reusable components to quickly configure unique products. The resulting tables, rates, rules and calculations can then be used by all systems across the enterprise, including policy illustration and printing systems, new business processing systems and policy administration systems. The software's configuration console also enables seamless collaboration between a company's marketing, actuarial and information technology (IT) departments.
WEB SERVICES, DATA STRUCTURES STANDARDIZE COMMUNICATIONS
Software AG, a Darmstadt, Germany provider of mission-critical software infrastructure solutions, has launched iServices, a system that uses predefined Web services and data structures to standardize communication between different IT systems across business boundaries. These pre-defined services and data models are customizable to support multiple lines of business, new sales channels and changing market requirements. iServices' centralized XML data structure processes information from transactions with brokers, agents, policyholders, hospitals and other external parties in addition to online premium calculation, claim notification, policy administration and electronic application processing. The system integrates proposal, claim, payment and customer-service application data so insurers can more easily manage business processes, end to end.
POLICY ADMIN FOR P&C
Camilion Solutions, a provider of insurance product development solutions, launched a next-generation policy administration system developed specifically for the P&C arena. Leveraging SOA and the Camilion ProductAuthority product configurator platform, the software supports the entire policy lifecycle including application data capture, qualification, rating, quote management, bind and issuance and all the required policy endorsement functions. Authority Suite automates the entire underwriting process through a user-friendly, consolidated underwriting workstation and provides straight through processing (STP) for online sales. Authority Suite is designed to simplify integration to other enterprise systems by providing open accessibility through a Web services interface.
NEW BILLING MODULE
Insurance Data Processing Inc. (IDP), Wyncote, Pa., added a new billing module with table-driven, object-oriented architecture and functionality that includes account bill, and user-customizable reports to its VISION 21 P&C integrated insurance system. The new module, which replaces a module that employed more traditional coding methods, is currently being delivered to all existing VISION 21 clients and will come as standard with the lease of VISION 21 to new customers.
The VISION 21 billing module has the flexibility to rapidly change or add pay plans, installment fees and reinstatement fees, and to implement options such as intent to cancel and supplemental billing. When used in conjunction with IDP's AgentXpress suite of Web-enabled processing capabilities, VISION 21 permits agents to view billing status and images of invoices via the Internet in real time.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE ENHANCED WITH ETL ENGINE
InsFocus Systems Ltd. a London-based provider of business intelligence solutions for insurance companies, today announced a new version of InsFocus BI, the company's end-to-end business intelligence solution. InsFocus BI is designed to enable users to gain insight into their business performance and profitability by delivering clearly analyzed and focused information to business executives and professionals in the marketing, underwriting, claims, reinsurance, actuarial and accounting domains. The new version includes a data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) engine, based on Microsoft's SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). The ETL engine takes the insurer's raw data as is, performs a full range of transformations, calculations and control processes, and loads the results into InsFocus BI's data warehouse. The ETL engine contains complete built-in insurance business logic, including support for slowly changing dimensions (SCD), unearned premiums and outstanding losses calculations and more. A unique feature supports changes in the organizational structure of distribution channels, including automatic generation of portfolio transfer entries. The new version also includes an advanced visual reports library, displaying miniaturized images of the reports, thus enabling easy and prompt visual search of any report.
ALTERNATIVE AUTO PARTS USING REAL-TIME SEARCH
Mitchell International Inc., a San Diego, Calif., provider of performance management solutions to the automotive insurance claims and collision repair industries, has integrated online software that provides real-time inventory searches and procurement for alternative parts called PartsNetwork from APU Solutions, Overland Park, Kan., with Mitchell's UltraMate Premier Suite estimating solution. The combination enables insurers and repair shops to be able to conduct real-time searches from within the estimating application of APU's alternative parts suppliers' inventory management systems, the two companies report.
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