Unlike many insurance companies that reach a point of pain with old technology, Berkley Risk Administrators Co. LLC (BRAC) was not under duress when it decided to migrate to a new platform.

"We're not struggling with our systems," says Thomas Drake, CIO of the Minneapolis-based third-party administrator of casualty/property and workers' compensation programs. "So we can proceed at a pace that won't impact our business."

Still, he admits, moving to a new architecture will enable the company to implement "plug and play" technologies-such as imaging and document management-more easily and quickly. In addition, BRAC's decision to migrate was simplified because it can leverage the investment its parent company, W.R. Berkley Corp., has made in a new component-based platform.

"We can leverage what they have in place for base systems and deal with the customizing around it," Drake says. "Otherwise, we would be going through a huge ROI process of talking to vendors, looking at the costs, doing a gap analysis and cost-benefit analysis. The decision is much more simplified because we have a new system sitting there for us to use."

BRAC will begin implementing the claims component of the new system early next year in one of its offices that handles self-insured workers' compensation programs. "We didn't grab a huge bunch of business that could possibly impact our revenues," he says. "It's a small subset of our business that we can cut our teeth on."

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