FEE REDUCTION FOR INSURANCE SERVICESThe Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation's (DTCC) Insurance Services New York business reports its first fee reduction in history, reflecting growing usage of its services. Insurance Services has automated linkages and data exchange between carriers and their broker/dealer, bank and other distributor partners who market insurance products.
Effective July 1, the fee reduction affects positions & valuations, Insurance Services' most heavily used service. Positions and valuations automates and standardizes the transmission of annuity and life insurance contract details from carriers to distributors, providing them with information on all assets under their management, including key contract data, current values, service features and parties to a contract. It is also used as a tool by the industry to comply with regulatory requirements, such as anti-money laundering and "Know Your Customer" statutes.
The fee reduction follows Insurance Services' record year of performance supporting the annuity and life insurance market, with volume for this service alone reaching 2.7 billion transactions in 2006, an 18% increase over 2005 and a 50% increase over 2004. DTCC predicts the fee reduction will save the insurance industry in excess of $2 million during the first 12 months.
WEB-BASED QUOTING FOR BUSINESS INSURANCE
Columbus, Ohio-based State Auto Insurance is making business policy quoting easier with its new Web-based quoting system, bizXpress.
Requiring only a PC, Web browser (Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher) and an Internet connection, the system will initially facilitate quote and policy issuance policies for small- to medium-sized business prospects. Rating/issuance for commercial auto and workers' compensation prospects should be available by the end of the year. Created and developed with input from agency focus groups, bizXpress several agency pilot groups also tested the system to ensure proper performance and accuracy. Available on State Auto's AgentSite extranet for agents, bizXpress is designed to give users the ability to print proposals and completed applications and to request policy issuance electronically.
AUTOMATING BOOK OF BUSINESS TRANSFERS
AgencyPort Insurance Services, a Boston provider of P&C Web-based solutions, released BookSmart, an automated solution for processing book of business transfers. The product integrates with company rating and policy systems to move book data electronically, without re-keying.
By using AgencyPort's AgencyConnect adapters, it can plug into agency vendor system export services (Transformation Station, TransactNOW, and SIS Weblink). BookSmart stores data in ACORD XML, so at any point within the book transfer evaluation, data can be sent by policy or in bulk to company systems or rating engines.
It provides users with an easy-to-use, flexible means to evaluate, edit and report on data that resides within the book roll application.
BookSmart also enables carriers to make adjustments to policy data, transforming coverage codes or other values specific to the prior carrier before moving the policies into the carrier's policy processing systems.
EMAIL CAMPAIGN AUTOMATION TOOL
Gammadyne Corp., Overland Park, Kan., issued a revision of its Gammadyne Mailer, version 30.0 mail program, a tool designed to automatically manage a mailing list by processing sign-up, opt-out, and bounce-back email. This latest version includes new support for IMAP4, session-level SSL, interface enhancements, an improved help file, and minor bug fixes.
The new version gives users the ability to add, remove, and change recipients, and includes personalized messages, HTML, recipient filtering, multi-tasking, auto-responding, forwarding, list-serving, follow-ups, wizards, tutorials, a thorough manual, and more.
INTELLITACTICS SECURITY MANAGER FEATURES NEW EVENT MANAGEMENT
Reston, Va.-based Intellitactics Inc.'s latest release of Intellitactics Security Manager v5.6 is designed to add more capability for speedy implementation and simplified use so more companies can benefit from effective compliance combined with proactive event management. Security Manager is a single source of security information: logs from a number of devices, millions of events transformed into high-priority alerts, incident investigations and comprehensive reports provide daily automated value to any organization.
The version can now produce more reports. Graphical reports provide information for detecting and isolating attacks. From an anti-virus event, the user clicks to anti-virus activity reports that combine details on top virus types, actions taken, updated errors and more in less time than it takes to search the logs. Investigative reports provide a productivity tool-reporting events by malware, activities by individual accounts, and host activity as source or target. And, management reports combine operational activity summaries and trends to provide a concise snapshot of information to be used as decision support.
SECURENT INTEGRATES WITH SUN MICROSYSTEMS' IDENTITY MANAGEMENT PORTFOLIO
Securent Inc. has enabled integration of its flagship product, the Securent Entitlement Management Solution (EMS), with Sun Microsystems' identity management portfolio. This is part of an effort to provide Sun customers with fine-grained access control to help them meet compliance needs.
Securent EMS is now interoperable with Sun Java System Access Manager, an identity and access management solution designed to extend security for Web applications and Java technology applications to federated and Web services environments. This enables customers to take an authenticated identity credential from Sun's Java System Access Manager and use it to enforce fine-grained access control across disparate applications. As a result, customers can benefit from a seamless end-to-end solution for protecting their information and resources with consistent authentication and unified access control.
In tests conducted by Securent at Sun's labs, EMS scaled to more than a million active users, with greater than 10,000 concurrent users under peak load for an extended time period.
HURRICANE MODEL UPDATE ENABLES ESTIMATING BUSINESS INTERRUPTION
The newest version of Boston-based AIR Worldwide Corp.'s U.S. Hurricane Model features an enhanced methodology for estimating business interruption (BI) losses, which accounts for both building and business characteristics when estimating total BI downtime and includes indirect losses from sources other than physical damage to the insured building. Version 9.0 also includes enhancements to the model's demand surge function, the vulnerability of residential contents and pool enclosures, and incorporates research by AIR meteorologists and climate scientists into the link between elevated sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) and U.S. landfall activity. The model now estimates indirect business interruption losses-those stemming from sources other than physical damage to the insured building-such as utility service interruption, actions taken by civil authorities, dependent building damage, and extended period coverage.
AIR is also providing an update to Version 9.0 of the U.S. Hurricane Model's near-term catalog, which incorporates an additional twelve months-and several man-years of research by AIR meteorologists and climate scientists into the link between elevated SSTs and U.S. landfall activity.
TOWERGROUP LAUNCHES VENDOR SELECTION ANALYTICAL TOOL
The TowerGroup Vendor Selection Processor (VSP), from Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup is a software-based, analytical tool designed to streamline the scoring phase of a vendor selection initiative.
The tool is used to store vendor evaluation criteria, manage scores from those engaged in the selection process, and then analyze and report the results. At the end of the process, the VSP identifies the vendor best-suited to a financial institution's budgetary and business needs.
Using an automated tool to manage this process may make it easier to evaluate a new vendor or benchmark an existing vendor against industry best practices. Moreover, it gives financial institutions transparency into a vendor's strengths and weaknesses to establish a strong negotiating position and manage operational costs, according to TowerGroup.
SECURITY TOOL'S FUNCTIONS INCLUDE FIELD-LEVEL ENCRYPTION
The newest version of CoSort, a data manipulation package for Unix, Linux and Windows from Melbourne, Fla.-based Innovative Routines International Inc., is also designed to encrypt and protect files with private personal information down to the field level.
Instead of protecting sensitive data by encrypting entire files, databases, disks, or laptops, CoSort V9 is designed to apply different protections to each field as needed: anonymization, encryption, de-identification, filtering, obfuscation or pseudonymization-rendering data theft futile/profitless. CoSort users can employ (and audit) these protections as they manipulate and report from many large files. CoSort V9 integrates these security functions into its data transformation and presentation language (called SortCL).
REMOVABLE MEDIA SECURITY PROTECTION
EndPoint Security, the latest release from UK-based secure e-mail and Internet gateway security provider Marshal, is a policy-based enforcement solution designed to allow only authorized removable media devices to connect to corporate desktops, thereby preventing data leakage and theft. The solution is the result of Marshal's strategic partnership with endpoint security specialist, Centennial Software, also based in the United Kingdom. Marshal EndPoint Security is designed to enable organizations to monitor and control what information goes in and out of the company via their removable media devices. In addition to managing which staff members are able to access different types of portable storage devices and even wireless connections, Marshal EndPoint Security features the option to automatically encrypt (using advanced 256-bit Blowfish or AES ciphers) all data legitimately copied to devices such as USB memory sticks.
REVISED RADMIN SOFTWARE CONTROLS REMOTE PCs
A new version of Radmin (Remote Administrator), a remote control solution used by more than 40% of Fortune-100 list companies, is available, says Moscow-based Famatech International Corp. The new Radmin 3.0 is fully compatible with Windows Vista and works with other Windows operating systems, beginning with Windows 2000.
Its DirectScreenTransfer technology, or Video Hook Driver, provides speed with minimal CPU usage. DirectScreenTransfer receives data directly from Windows before it gets to the video RAM. This increases the screen update's per-second rate, while diminishing CPU usage and thus decreasing the need for computer resources.
UPGRADE TO DOCUMENT GENERATION PLATFORM
Thunderhead v3.5, is the latest document generation platform upgrade released by Thunderhead, a UK-based provider of enterprise communications software. The new Thunderhead platform brings together ad hoc, high-volume batch and real-time document generation functionality to deliver a single, scalable solution designed to address multi-channel business communication requirements across the enterprise.
Thunderhead v3.5 is designed to deliver an intuitive template comparison utility and full support for internationalization. The new version includes a Web-based reporting module that provides critical management information and statistics for document-intensive business operations.
Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Secaucus, N.J., introduced its latest semi-rugged, wireless-ready desktop replacement notebook, the Panasonic Toughbook 52. Built on Intel's new Santa Rosa chipset, the Toughbook 52 offers the processing power of a desktop replacement notebook in a form factor engineered for mobility from the ground up. The notebook incorporates a new shock-mounted widescreen, additional security features, a new carrying handle and optional embedded access to next-generation wireless data networks from major wireless carriers.
The Toughbook 52 is constructed of magnesium alloy and includes an easily removable hard drive for extra physical data security. With battery life of approximately 4-6 hours, depending on use environment, the semi-rugged Toughbook is certified to the MIL-STD-810F standard, tested to withstand drops of up to 2.5 feet on all six sides. The hard drive itself is tested to withstand a drop of 3 feet.
AMD's ATI FireG V3350 workstation graphics accelerator features 256MB of frame buffer memory, and provides an upgrade strategy for enterprise customers planning a move to Windows Vista. The ATI FireG V3350 is designed to deliver entry-level performance and advanced features for workstation users running OpenGL and DirectX based applications for Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Digital Content Creation (DCC) applications.
The workstation accelerator utilizes ATI Avivo technology-the reference for image quality that enhances the detailed display of 3D models, complex data sets and high definition textures. Utilizing a 10-bit display pipeline, the ATI FireGL V3350 is capable of producing more than one billion colors for the most vibrant visual fidelity available.
ORACLE INTRODUCES GOVERNANCE, RISK AND COMPLIANCE HELP FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance (Oracle GRC) for Financial Services, an initiative Oracle introduced to address key GRC issues specific to the financial services industry, is designed to help financial institutions gauge the effectiveness of governance policies, manage enterprise risk and future-proof compliance spend across Basel II/IA, MiFID, RegNMS, Solvency II, Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), PATRIOT Act, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), Fraud Prevention and other regulatory mandates.
Traditionally, GRC activities have evolved independently, both in the risk and control functions, according to Oracle. The result is that the impacted business units have created disparate short-term reactive approaches related to risk and compliance. Oracle GRC is designed to deliver oversight functions that can gauge the effectiveness of governance policies and procedures as driven by internal and external directives. Business functions can track and enforce compliance related to respective lines of business.
DATABASE PLATFORM INTEGRATES BI AND QUALITY DATA ASSETS
Experian Information Solutions, Inc., a global information services company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, launched BizSource, a new master commercial database, and TrueSearch, an advanced search and match technology designed to produce the industry's most complete view of a small business. BizSource is designed to enable clients to maximize their small-business relationships by managing risk while reducing research time.
The referential matching technology in TrueSearch provides persistent tracking of a company to deliver a complete view of the business over time.
The matching system combines all variations of a business's name and address into a single record, helping to increase file data depth and provide a more comprehensive profile or score. This enables a more accurate picture of the business's overall credit- worthiness in one view rather than in fragmented pieces.
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