There are only a few days left to participate in Insurance Networking News’ and Celent’s seventh annual Vanguards in Insurance Practices (VIP) awards program, an assessment of the technology solution providers and services valued most by insurers across the property/casualty, life/health and reinsurer communities.

Insurance company executives and staff are encouraged to vote for their preferred technology and service providers across several categories, including Back Office Solutions & Technologies, Core Solutions, Customer Experience Solutions, Decision Support Solutions and Strategy Partners.

“Insurance technology professionals currently face a challenge of driving innovation while keeping the lights on. To do so, they depend on the relationships with solution and service providers and cutting-edge technology,” said Carrie Burns, editor-in-chief of INN. “This award program invites insurers to honor tech companies that anticipate and meet these technology and innovation needs, in addition to highlighting insurers’ successes in new technology applications.”

Insurance carriers, brokers, managing general agents and agents can begin voting for the software, and service providers that represent the “best of the best” in terms of the value they deliver, by visiting http://www.insurancenetworking.com/INNAwards/VIP.html/ . Voting participants will be entered into a drawing for one of three $100 American Express gift cards.

“This is an exciting and opportunistic time for carriers to take giant strides forward. Modern vendor solutions are providing a vastly improved customer experience, better integration solutions and opportunities to leverage data in new and high value ways,” says Benjamin Moreland, senior analyst in Celent’s Insurance practice. “We believe that new partnerships are evolving between carriers and vendors that will allow advances that we haven’t seen historically.”

Celent will conduct and manage the program’s survey distribution, data collection and analysis.

2013 Vanguards in Insurance Practices Categories:

- Back Office Solutions & Technologies: software and services that cross-functional boundaries to deliver enterprise value (e.g. SOA, networking, integration, and other technologies that support core solutions and decision support).

- Core Solutions: Software and support for solutions that drive core business functions (e.g., billing, policy admin, underwriting, etc.).

- Customer Experience Solutions: Front office technologies that drive customer loyalty, satisfaction and retention (e.g., social media, portals, customer service, distribution, agent, channel management, etc.).

- Decision Support Solutions: Software and support that manages data capture, storage, search, mining, sharing, and analytics used to improve business processes and decisions (e.g., BPM, workflow, BI, etc.).

- Strategy Partners: Firms that provide consulting, analysis, and delivery services in support of IT projects (e.g., third-parties, outsourcing, etc.).

- Emerging Technology Solutions: Software and support for non-core system emerging technology solutions (e.g., mobile, big data, social media, SaaS, local data, etc.).

The software and service providers receiving at least one vote in the first phase of the VIP Awards program will be invited in mid-December to participate in the second phase by nominating an insurance carrier as a "visionary" for a specific technology application and the role that ACORD data standards plays in their success. INN’s editors, Editorial Advisory Board, and Celent’s top insurance research analysts will review the entries and determine the top-ranked technology best practice in action.

All winners will be announced at www.insurancenetworking.com the week of May 6, 2013, and profiled in a special report published with the June/July 2013 issue of INN. They will also be celebrated at an exclusive award ceremony held in conjunction with the ACORD LOMA Forum in Las Vegas, May 6-8, 2013.

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