PPS SOFTWARE SUITESkywire Software, a Frisco, Texas-based provider of software products for the insurance industry, announced the availability of a reporting tool for PPS, its policy production system for managing general agencies and wholesalers.

The new reporting tool is designed to enable insurers to extract data residing within the smart archive of PPS to create Lloyd's Bordereau and other reports. Its export and import capabilities enable unlimited data exporting, flexibility in data exporting to Excel, Access, XML format, as well as visual mapping of forms and fields to data columns for simple report creation, the company says.

WEB-BASED MARKETPLACE

AMS Services, headquartered in Bothell, Wash., announced the general availability of its Web-based Marketplace, AMS Prevail Network.

The AMS Prevail Network is a free, agent-oriented marketplace designed to provide insurance agents one-click access to multiple premium finance offerings. More than 200 agencies currently use the AMS Prevail Network for financing needs, according to AMS.

Agents can launch the network from within their AMS Services management system and quotes, based on advanced finance matching rules, return in real time.

WAUSAU OFFERS ENHANCED REMOTE CORPORATE CAPTURE

Mosinee, Wis.-based Wausau Financial Systems Inc.'s current release of its Web-based Remote Corporate Capture solution, WebDDL, includes expanded ACH capabilities designed for enhanced decisioning and ease of integration. This offering also includes new options for remote wholesale lockbox processing, with enhanced optical character recognition technology, featuring full-page document scanning capabilities for invoices and customer correspondence that may accompany a customer payments. An expanded Web-based training tool with an interactive multimedia simulation for application and scanner functions is also provided. This feature is designed to enable corporate clients to be more independent and reduces training support calls for the institution.

AGENT INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE UPDATE

Database Solutions Ltd., a Toronto-based solutions provider for the insurance financial industries, announced the release of Agent Intelligence version 4.0 on-demand software.

Agent Intelligence v.4.0 on-demand software includes numerous features within a new segregated fund and mutual fund module. This added module is designed to increase efficiency in tracking client business, the company says. Additional features include updated carrier XML feeds that enable for real-time detailed policy updates.

CONNECTURE GOES SMALL

Connecture Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of Web-based sales, service and process automation solutions to the health insurance industry, is targeting health plans with less than 250,000 members with their InsureConnect EZ product.

InsureConnect EZ is designed to offer a standardized solution to complement the more highly configurable InsureConnect product suite.

InsureConnect EZ is a turnkey sales automation solution that includes standard functionality, implementation and rollout methodology, and hosting services. InsureConnect EZ includes the same modules as InsureConnect: sales automation, quoting, rating, underwriting, enrollment and installation, policy administration and renewals.

SCORECARDS FOR HEALTH PLANS

Asparity Decision Solutions, a Durham, N.C.-based provider of data solutions, announced the use of scorecards to provide employers information about their health plans.

The scorecards use the data generated from Asparity's decision support tools on health plan selection. Employers can view how their health plans' performed during the preceding enrollment season and use the scorecards to improve results from their health plans, says Asparity.

PREMIUM BILLING SOLUTION

SunGard Data Systems Inc., based in Atlanta, announced the launch of SunGard iWORKS Premium Billing Solution (PBS), an enterprisewide billing system for the property/casualty industry.

SunGard iWORKS PBS is designed to be used as an independent billing solution for one or more policy systems, or can be integrated into policy processing systems. It provides comprehensive commissions, code and rules-based payment plans and fee structures, as well as XML system-to-system integration, according to SunGard.

The SunGard iWORKS PBS is the rebranded version of the recently acquired Maxim Insurance Software Corp. (Maximsoft) Ebenezer premium billing system.

REMOTE CONFERENCING

Ring2 Conferencing, a provider of audio-conferencing solutions for remote control of calls from a mobile device, announced the North American debut of the Ring2 Conference Controller for BlackBerry smartphones from Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion.

Users of Ring2's service still dial into their calls from any phone, but can take remote control of the call from their BlackBerry for enhanced visibility, security and control.

The Ring2 Conference Controller pushes remote control capabilities to the user at the exact moment they need to use them. As soon as the first invited participant dials into the conference, the call leader's BlackBerry is alerted, both acting as a reminder and also enabling one-click access to the remote control application.

NEW VOIP SOLUTIONS

CTI Group, an Indianapolis-based provider of telephony solutions, announced the integration of its traffic analysis solution, emPulse, and call-recording solution, SmartRecordIP with the hosted key system solution provided by Natural Convergence, a supplier of hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) software for service providers.

This interoperability extends the Natural Convergence service offering with the benefits of providing both traffic analysis and call recording.

Ottawa-based Natural Convergence provides a carrier-grade hosted VoIP application software designed to enable service providers to address the needs of the underserved small business market. Natural Convergence's application, Silhouette, is designed to enable small businesses to easily manage their phone services with easy to use IP phones and a user-friendly interface.

VERID RATCHETS UP SECURITY IN REAL TIME

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Verid Inc.'s latest software, IdentityEvent is designed to spot suspicious identity activity and enhance authentication security in real time. The IdentityEvent module checks for indications that someone is researching an individual's background or identity on the Internet, and adjusts the authentication process accordingly.

IdentityEvent also examines external resources, including the velocity of failed authentication attempts, online background checks and data breach information, according to Verid. Verid process responses can include avoiding questions about information that is likely to be known by others or raising the level of authentication, depending on the security preferences of Verid's customer. The latest version is designed to integrate customer proprietary information, enabling companies to use the Verid process for routine authentication and replace shared secrets or customer service representative dependent solutions.

RISK MODEL FOR FLU PANDEMIC RELEASED

Risk Management Solutions Inc. (RMS), Newark, Calif., released the RMS Infectious Disease Model, a probabilistic model for assessing the risk of influenza pandemics across multiple countries. The RMS model is designed to enable life/health insurers and corporate risk managers to quantify mortality and morbidity from nearly 2,000 potential pandemic influenza scenarios, taking into account factors such as likelihood of the pandemic occurring, infectiousness and lethality of the pandemic, demographic impact, location of outbreak, pandemic lifecycle, vaccine production and national counter measures. The model covers 31 different countries that collectively comprise more than 95% of the global life insurance market, according to RMS.

Insurers can incorporate detailed analysis of their own specific portfolio, enabling the characteristics of their respective policyholders to play an important role in the risk assessment process. Similarly, the model can also be leveraged to enable risk managers to understand the operational impact and estimated economic loss associated with a range of pandemic scenarios at the company-specific level, such as casualty estimates and calculation of work days lost due to staff sickness and staff caretaker duties, according to RMS.

REPORT COMPILES DATA, PROFILES, ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

Research and Markets, Dublin, Ireland, published Insurance: Global Industry Guide, a resource for top-level data and analysis covering the insurance industry. The guide includes detailed data on market size and segmentation, textual analysis of the key trends and competitive landscape and profiles of the leading companies. Research and Markets' report also provides analysis on a global, regional and country basis, including information on Europe, the Asia/Pacific markets and 11 individual country markets. A five-year forecast of the industry also is provided.

MSB, EMB PARTNER ON RISK-BASED MODELING

Los Angeles-based Marshall & Swift/Boeckh (MSB), an MDA company, formed an alliance with San Diego-based P&C actuarial consultants EMB America LLC. The partnership will develop and build an industry-wide model for a property risk-based scoring designed to help individual carriers develop risk segmentation to more appropriately reflect their actual exposures to loss.

MSB's risk-based modeling solution will deliver scores based on correlations of detailed home characteristics that are predictive of loss experience, both "good" and "bad." Scores will be provided for each of six perils plus one composite score, enabling individual carriers to add to existing pricing models, create new pricing models or develop underwriting rules.

PAYMENT FRAUD SOLUTION

CONIX Systems Inc., a Manchester, Vt., provider of payment processing solutions to the financial services industry, released version three of Dupe Detective, a system that protects both financial institutions and customer accounts from double postings of payments.

Dupe Detective mitigates fraud risks by using customer-defined business rules and a smart review station that integrates with all existing IP scenarios, the company says. Version three of Dupe Detective, which enables the elimination of duplicate payments during Day 1 processing, includes a greatly expanded business rules engine, and suspect review station improvements.

SECURENT SYNCS WITH SUN

Mountain view Calif.-based Securent Inc., announced it 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 their compliance needs.

In addition, Securent announced the results of rigorous benchmarking tests conducted on the Solaris platform at Sun's labs. Securent's results demonstrate that EMS can scale linearly on the Solaris 10 operating system to support customers' most demanding performance and scalability requirements.

TASK MANAGER AND SECURITY FOR VISTA AND XP

Innovative Solutions, Bucharest, Romania, released Advanced Task Manager 4.0, a task manager and security application for Windows Vista and Windows XP. Advanced Task Manager is designed to keep computers secure and find and disable spyware rapidly by showing the user which programs are running on the computer, including all the hidden processes, with full details about each one of them.

Advanced Task Manager is also designed to prevent loss of data and valuable computer work by detecting rogue programs long before they act. Based on analyzing technology, Advanced Task Manager detects the endangering potential and calculates a security rating for each running process. The security rating indicates the likelihood of a program of being a virus, spyware or trojan.

RMS AUTOMATES PROCESSES FOR COMPLIANCE

Returned Mail Solutions Inc. (RMS), Naperville, Ill., has initiated a new process, Confirm, that mitigates risks associated with the validation of address update changes and "Undeliverable as Addressed" issues.

The process combines a proprietary technology for data integration and validation to mitigate the risks associated with address updates and critical outbound mail communications. The solution also is targeted toward identity theft.

RMS will continue to add technology options to the Confirm process to enable customers to validate address update information through multiple technology channels.

REAL-TIME ANALYTICS DATA

A new version of Gainesville, Fla.-based iWebTrack Holdings Inc.'s iWebTrack 3.0 Beta (V3), a hosted analytics solution, is now available. iWebTrack schedules daily e-mail management and SMS/text reporting as well as accesses statistical reports through AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Users send commands to iWebTrack over AIM and receive instant, real-time statistical summaries.

Additionally, iWebTrack LITE is a version of iWebTrack's Web interface designed specifically for postable devices such as Palms, iPAQs, Blackberrys, cell phones or any PDA that is accessible to the Internet.

USB PERIPHERAL HUB

Ultra Products' 7 Port Buddy Hub has seven USB 2.0 ports that shares connected peripherals between two PCs. The Buddy Hub has A|B buttons on the top of the unit for users to control which computer will use specific peripherals while dual LEDs allow users to see which computer has access to each peripheral.

The Buddy Hub works with most USB-compatible devices, including digital cameras, iPods, thumb drives, cell phones, Blackberrys, PDAs, Web cams, scanners, printers and mice.

OUTCOME-BASED SOFTWARE PROVIDES OPTIONS

Valtech, a Dallas-based software and product development solutions provider, is creating a new category of business transformation that involves outcome-based software outsourcing anchored by agile/lean innovation. As part of this new strategy, the company will introduce the OnDemand family of business transformation options.

The first component of OnDemand-ValueStream OnDemand-aligns the business and IT relationship by clarifying and quantifying the value proposition for a project and, in turn, measuring them against business value streams. Software OnDemand, a second component, eschews traditional software outsourcing, off-shoring and staff augmentation models by allowing customers to pay for outcomes rather than staff. The final component, Performance OnDemand, encompasses learning opportunities and an overhaul of business processes to help extend the development process into the company culture.

PARTNERSHIP ENHANCES INTEGRATION

Hyland Software Inc., Westlake, Ohio, developer of the OnBase enterprise content management (ECM) software suite, has partnered with U.K.-based Sapiens International Corp. N.V. The partnership will provide insurance clients with tighter integration between Sapiens INSIGHT, a Web-based insurance administration suite, and Hyland Software's OnBase ECM software suite.

The Sapiens INSIGHT suite of insurance applications helps insurers keep pace with changing economic and insurance market conditions, including increasing customer demands and the growing effects of globalization and regulatory change. Built on a rules-based system, Sapiens INSIGHT provides policy, billing, claims and reinsurance management and can be used modularly or as an integrated suite.

"Our insurance clients rely on Sapiens INSIGHT's rules-based engine to streamline business processes throughout the organization," says Rami Doran, chief operating officer of Sapiens. "The ability of OnBase to seamlessly integrate documents and other electronic content across the enterprise enhances the functionality of the Sapiens INSIGHT suite."

Hyland's OnBase ECM solution enables insurance companies 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 important business functions and achieve regulatory compliance through the management, control and sharing of digital content with employees, business units, remote offices, insurance agencies and customers, says the company.

DEAL AIDS P&C, LIFE, ANNUITY SECTORS

Teradata, Dayton, Ohio, a division of NCR Corp., has partnered with Purchase, N.Y.-based DFA Capital Management Inc. (DFA) to bring an innovative enterprise risk and capital management solution to the primary carriers and reinsurers in the P&C, life and annuity sectors for North America and Europe.

The joint solution is designed to provide companies with a competitive advantage through greater accuracy in strategic decision-making, regulatory and ratings agency compliance, and the allocation of capital and resources, says the companies. The integration of DFA's Advanced Decision and Value Simulation Engine (ADVISE) and General Economic and Market Simulator (GEMS) with Teradata's data warehouse technologies and capabilities marks a major breakthrough for fulfilling stringent compliance requirements, claim the vendors.

TEMPLATE TO CREATE SECURITY POLICIES

Janco Associates Inc., Park City, Utah, released Version 6.1 of its Security Manual Template. This electronic document contains more than 215 pages and can be used in the creation of security policies and procedures for any size entity. All versions of the Security Manual Template include a business and IT impact questionnaire and the threat and vulnerability assessment tool (both were redesigned to address Sarbanes-Oxley compliance).

The Security Manual Template Premium Edition contains 16 detailed job descriptions that apply specifically to security and Sarbanes-Oxley, ISO 17799 and HIPAA. New with version 6.1 are two audit checklists-one to validate compliance with HIPAA and the other to validate compliance with ISO 17799. The template includes everything needed to customize an Internet and IT security manual to fit specific requirements.

TOOL AUTOMATES DATA EXCHANGE ROUTINES

Usov Lab, Ashburn, Va., released the latest version of Allway Sync, a tool that automates data exchange routines across multiple computers. Compatible with most Windows versions, the application enables synchronization of multiple files/folders stored in one or multiple computers and keeps them updated regularly. Synchronization can be performed in one or both directions, via a network connection or removable drive, including USB keys, flash drives, CDRW disks, etc.

Allway Sync features an interface with two path selection fields for building a sync association between two folders. Once the association is set, the user can use the program to analyze what files has been modified recently and propagate the modification to their counterpart in other folder. The user can view existing synchronization jobs, their current status, and synchronize them all. A sync algorithm doesn't depend on the system clock accuracy, so data synchronization is enhanced for reliability, accuracy and speed, says the company.

ESTIMATING PRODUCT PROVIDES PRICES AND PROCESSING POWER

Xactware Solutions Inc., Orem, Utah, unveiled Xactimate 25, the latest release of its estimating product, Xactimate 25, which provides published pricing data for more than 460 different economic areas in the United States and Canada. Xactimate 25 is updated at least once per quarter and serves as a field component of the full-cycle assignment process.

Enhancements to Xactimate 25 include the integrated XactCentral communication program that provides improved functionality and simplifies the full-assignment workflow; the Xactimate Dashboard window, which enables users to add new projects, open recent projects and access XactNet; new sketch wizards; enhanced summary reporting; optional language packs; the ability to take multiple estimates from various participants and merge them into one final estimate; and a new coverage design.

FINEOS DELIVERS FLEXIBLE CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

Dublin-based FINEOS Corp. Ltd., a global provider of software solutions, is currently offering FINEOS Claims, which provides claims management, decision support and straight-through processing based on organization-specific business rules and best practices.

The FINEOS Claims solution is a customer- and case-centric, rules-driven solution for comprehensive claims management. Built on the FINEOS Enterprise Platform, the solution helps drive operational efficiency, minimizes operational risk and improves customer service. It also delivers business process management capabilities that enable users the flexibility to make changes or modify processes as their workflows evolve and are optimized.

HEALTHCARE INSIGHT DEBUTS DENTAL FRAUD SERVICE

DentalClaim Insight, a combination of code editing and fraud identifying software from HealthCare Insight LLC, Salt Lake City, Utah, is designed for dental payors to reduce costs, ensure claims payment accuracy and identify fraudulent provider activity.

DentalClaim Insight is a combination of the Dental Code Corrector and Fraud Finder Pro software, which is supported by hands-on clinical review of suspect claims by dental coding specialists, AADC-certified dental consultants and fraud analysts. The product evaluates claims prior to payment to assess coding accuracy and legitimacy, as well as the clinical appropriateness of the combination of services rendered.

In addition, provider utilization and billing practices are compared to peer patterns to ensure payment accuracy and to identify outliers that could represent instances of fraud or abuse.

PRODUCT PERFORMANCE BLUEPRINT ANALYZES PROFITABILITY

Cognos Corp., Burlington, Mass., a provider of business intelligence and performance management solutions, has launched a new performance management product designed to help insurance companies optimize forecasting and reporting of business segment and insurance product profitability.

Co-developed with Australian-based Suncorp-Metway Ltd., the Cognos Insurance Product Performance Blueprint enables insurers to create income statements and balance sheets at the business segment level by product line, product and brand. This functionality enables business analysts, product managers and finance executives to report and analyze profitability and plan initiatives to improve business segment results.

The Cognos Insurance Product Performance Blueprint is the third financial services industry-specific solution launched by Cognos in the past year, joining the Cognos Branch Performance Blueprint and the Cognos Customer Segment Performance Blueprint.

SOFTWARE MONITORS BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Accountability, business metrics and company communications can all be managed by the Process Based Leadership (PBL) ScoreCard, a Web-based customized software program from Alpharetta, Ga.-based Competitive Solutions Inc.

PBL ScoreCard utilizes the non-negotiable processes of process-based leadership, drives business metrics and accountability at all levels, and provides a communication platform that tracks meetings, action registers, corrective actions and performance management.

Color-coded visual graphics enable managers to monitor performance across the organization by tracking key business focus areas, and individual team self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology objectives by highlighting areas of deficiency and accessing the required corrective action plans.

APPLICATION IDENTIFIES PRECEDENTIAL CLAIMS

Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), El Segundo, Calif., introduced Precedent ID, a Web-based application designed to enable adjusters to search an insurer's closed-claims database for potentially precedential claims to support assessment and negotiation.

The software incorporates new technology to analyze the relationships and constraints surrounding injuries, treatments, prognoses and loss payments. The commercially available software integrates information across claims evaluation, negotiation and resolution.

After analyzing a company's closed claims, Precedent ID provides adjusters with a catalog of similar closed claims. This relevant closed claim data supports the assessment phase of a new claim by giving the adjuster one more method to support valuation. Precedent ID also assists in the negotiation phase by increasing the confidence of the adjuster by providing access to specific facts of the precedent claims.

Precedent ID complements and expands CSC's P&C claims and legal offerings, which include the Legal Solutions Suite, Claims Desktop, Exceed Claims Administration, POINT IN Advanced Claims Administration, Colossus, Independent Adjuster Manager, Fraud Evaluator and Fault Evaluator.

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