NATIONWIDE MUTUAL ADOPTS APP TESTING SOLUTION

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Columbus, Ohio, implemented Voiyager Dynamic Application Discovery, Syntellect Inc.’s application testing solution designed to address comprehensive testing and quality assurance demands while reducing the time and effort required to design, deploy and maintain VoiceXML applications.

“Our backlog of updates and need to protect the long-term cost controls and ultimate sustainability of our applications were the leading drivers to invest in Voiyager,” says Mike Perrin of Nationwide’s NSC Operations. “This technology enables us to validate a far greater span of our applications’ call flows in a time frame that was impossible for us to attempt using the manual methods previously available.”

Voiyager is designed to provide a comprehensive set of testing and validation features that complement quality assurance and ensure that Nationwide recognizes maximum value from its investment. Voiyager provides 100% application analysis, according to Phoenix-based Syntellect.

LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP CONVERTS PRODUCERS TO CSC

Lincoln Financial Group, Philadelphia, converted a block of agents and producers to El Segundo, Calif.-based Computer Sciences Corp.’s PerformancePlus in conjunction with the launch of a new product portfolio. PerformancePlus stores and manages detailed information on distributors and their relationships and computes compensation based on a wide range of commission formulas. Its reporting capabilities are designed to enable managers to measure distributor performance and profitability, and identify and customize compensation plans to fit changing business conditions.

“At Lincoln Financial Group we take an enterprisewide approach to serving our producers, regardless of the business areas they represent,” says Charles Cornelio, CIO and senior VP of Shared Services for Lincoln Financial Group. “PerformancePlus gives us the flexibility to meet our distribution partners’ needs, and enhances our ability to deliver accurate and timely payments.”

INSURER IMPLEMENTS CLAIMS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

DaimlerChrysler Insurance Co. (DCIC), Farmington Hills, Mich., has implemented the iVOS system from Valley Oak Systems Inc., a San Ramon, Calif., unit of Chicago-based Aon Corp., as its “one-system” claims management solution. DCIC is a specialty insurance company offering property and casualty insurance programs to automobile dealerships.

“We have two primary lines of business—one for our car dealerships and another for other insurance programs. Previously, these businesses required two separate claims systems and two separate IT teams to support,” says Stephanie Sackfield, manager of insurance systems and support services at DCIC. “By moving to iVOS, we have now integrated our two businesses onto a single solution, enabling streamlined operations, simpler system maintenance, and one centralized data repository.”

The iVOS claims system is designed to offer a wide array of system capabilities to assist adjusters in processing claims, including diary, scheduling, document imaging, workflow management and automation tools. The system can be customized to meet an organization’s specific claims-management needs. Clients choose the modules essential to service their unique workflow, processes and business objectives.

Sackfield attributed the success of the implementation to the thorough business and system analysis performed by both organizations. DCIC and Valley Oak Systems launched a “deep dive” into business users’ needs. “This coordinated communication and sharing of information allowed our companies to become true business partners, working toward the same goals in a highly collaborative environment,” she says.

HEALTH INSURER SELECTS DATA MANAGEMENT PLATFORM

Vhi Healthcare, an Ireland-based provider provider of private medical insurance, selected San Mateo, Calif.-based Siperian Inc. to provide complete, real-time views of its customers, insurance product offerings and relationships. Siperian MDM Hub will be used to better understand the information requirements of Vhi’s 1.57 million members in order to deliver improved customer service, preventative healthcare information and insurance offerings. Supported from Siperian’s European operations, the insurer expects to significantly reduce call center response times and better address the needs of its private healthcare customers.

The deployment of Siperian MDM Hub will enable Vhi Healthcare to create unique member IDs, consolidate both patient and family data, and continue to offer quality, affordable healthcare to members.

Vhi Healthcare plans to deploy Siperian MDM Hub in stages to first streamline member communications and continually improve end-to-end customer experience. The company plans to extend the use of Siperian MDM Hub for online and self-service systems to provide improved access to members and healthcare professionals.

FARMERS MUTUAL DEPLOYS IMAGENOW

Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. chose Shawnee Kan.-based Perceptive Software Inc.’s ImageNow enterprise document management, imaging and workflow as part of an enterprise strategy to improve efficiencies.

By deploying ImageNow throughout its organization, Ellinwood, Kan.-based Farmers Mutual expects to save time and money in areas including claims management, policy administration underwriting, accounts payable and human resources.

Documents are scanned or imported into ImageNow, stored in a secure repository and linked to the insurance company’s insurance and business applications. By embedding access to ImageNow functionality within the screens of existing software, users can retrieve documents with a single click. Farmers Mutual employees will have the ability to view relevant documents the moment they are needed, instead of waiting hours or days as with manual processes.

SOUTH AFRICAN WORKERS’ COMP SELECTS FINEOS

Road Accident Fund (RAF) of South Africa will use FINEOS Claims to manage bodily injury claims. The system from Ireland-based FINEOS Corp. was selected following a world-wide review of market-leading claims solutions and will be used to streamline the entire claims management operations at RAF by automating processes, improving customer service and enforcing best-practice rules.

The RAF is the government body that operates South Africa’s compensation program for people injured in road accidents or the dependents of people killed in accidents arising from the negligent driving of a motor vehicle. After an in-depth internal review of its IT systems, human resources, service delivery, and communications, RAF agreed that a new business model was needed to secure the long-term future of the RAF and enable it to achieve its strategic objectives. A key component of the plan was the introduction of a new claims management system. “The new solution is intended to replace the legacy system within the RAF, which continues to fail our accident victims and does not lend itself to efficient processing of claims,” says Jacob Modise, CEO of RAF.

GROUPE MUTUEL SELECTS ILOG FOR ITS SOA INITIATIVE

Groupe Mutuel, a Swiss group of 14 private health insurance companies, chose ILOG JRules, part of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based ILOG Inc.’s Business Rule Management System (BRMS) product line, to automate its claims management processes. The solution will be used as a core component of Groupe Mutuel’s new service-oriented architecture initiative.

Groupe Mutuel, which provides services for the health, accident, life, death and disability insurance sectors, began an SOA initiative to overhaul its IT systems and unify the systems to enable better quality of service and improved competitiveness. According to ILOG, ILOG JRules will be used initially to automate its claims management processes by checking health care invoices to determine eligibility for reimbursement.

Currently, about 6 million health care invoices are processed each year by Groupe Mutuel staff. With numerous types of invoices, payments, internal policies and special agreements negotiated with suppliers, invoice verification is the most labor-intensive task, Groupe Mutuel reports. ILOG JRules will help automate the majority of this task, leading to fewer errors. the company says. In addition, Group Mutuel’s business specialists can quickly define, deploy or disable rules. ILOG JRules was fully integrated in Groupe Mutuel’s new application, and will ultimately replace all existing black-box decision logic used in their previous IT system, ILOG says.

HOLDING COMPANY CONSOLIDATES OPERATIONS

Torchmark Corp., a holding company specializing in life and supplemental health insurance for middle-income Americans, whose subsidiaries include Globe Life and Accident, American Income Life and Liberty National Life, licensed the Lawson Software S3 Human Capital Management, Enterprise Financial Management and Enterprise Performance Management Suites in addition to the Lawson System Foundation 9 technology platform to support its long-term growth.

“We wanted to consolidate our different financial reporting, payroll and human resource systems into an enterprise-wide state-of-the-art system, making it easier and more cost effective for us to manage these functions for our existing companies and any companies we might acquire in the future,” says Danny Almond, chief accounting officer, Torchmark. “Moreover, the Lawson Strategic Ledger module will allow us to store insurance policy data from all of our subsidiaries in one system. This will give our actuaries more time to conduct trend analysis by eliminating the need to manually reconcile information across multiple policy databases and shorten the month-end financial close cycle by one day. We also wanted to work with a vendor we could depend on to maintain the system long after implementation. Lawson’s reputation as a long-term partner and its flexible, Web-based applications made it the best fit.”

The insurer will use Lawson S3 Human Capital Management from St. Paul, Minn.-based Lawson to reduce the time employees spend on repetitive tasks, such as check processing and benefit administration. Lawson Professional Services will provide implementation services. Once implemented, the Lawson system will interface with third-party check writing, policy master file and claims processing systems.

INSURER CHOOSES PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS SOLUTION

Distinguished Programs Group LLC, a New York-based provider of property, general liability, high-limits umbrella and directors and officers liability insurance, will use EagleEye Analytics Inc.’s Insight, a Web-based predictive analytics solution that uses advanced technologies to identify insurance risk characteristics that relate to profitability. Insight enables insurers to implement improved underwriting, pricing and marketing strategies that result in lower loss ratios and higher net gains from operations, according to the Columbia, S.C.-based predictive analytics and data information service provider.

“As we continue to expand our real estate programs, we believe that it is critical for us to understand the key underwriting profit drivers for each class of business we target,” says Jeremy Hitzig, CEO of Distinguished Programs. “Using EagleEye’s Insight tool, we were able to quickly develop underwriting and pricing insights that have already been put into action. While these insights are always important to any underwriting business, they take on particular significance as the soft market progresses.”

PENN MUTUAL SELECTS INTEGRATED PLATFORM

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., Horsham, Pa., has selected ForeSight from Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Insurance Technologies LLC to support its sales force and drive new variable annuity business. The system is expected to provide Web-based illustrations for annuities with living benefit riders.

“We’re impressed that ForeSight utilizes a single code base for Web and desktop systems. This enables auto updating and auto synchronization—and with this unique feature, ForeSight’s technology can be customized to help meet our goals,” says Dave O’Malley, senior VP, Product Management at Penn Mutual. “Specifically, Insurance Technologies will assist us in getting products to market quicker, lower distribution costs, and expand relationships with our producers, an important part of our producer value commitment. Most importantly, ForeSight will help our producers present often complex financial solutions to their clients in an easy-to-use format.”

ForeSight’s integrated platform and Web- and desktop-enabled illustration system is expected to enable Penn Mutual’s producers, customer service representatives and other associates to quickly create and distribute compelling illustrations.

REGENCE AUTOMATES PROVIDER CONTRACTING

Hillsboro, Ore.-based Kryptiq Corp., a provider of healthcare connectivity solutions, announced that The Regence Group, a not-for-profit health insurance carrier in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain State regions, which includes Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah and Regence Blue Shield (in Washington), implemented its Choreo Suite. Regence is using the Choreo Suite to increase contracting efficiency, improve management of alternative contract language and enable rapid assessment of contract compliance across its entire network.

The Choreo product suite is designed to provide information transparency and workflow process automation necessary to competitively grow and manage provider networks. Choreo automates the way contracts are created, negotiated, amended, viewed, analyzed, managed, distributed and audited, according to Kryptiq.

With Choreo, Regence was recently able to create 23,000 contracts and 4,000 amendments, while maintaining a complete audit history of all contracts activities, according to Kryptiq.

“Since implementing Kryptiq’s Choreo Suite, we’ve seen an improvement in our ability to produce, store and query contracts and amendments supporting our core business,” says John Wagner, VP of network strategy, provider operations and dental programs for Regence.

Regence users now have instant access to critical contract information and the organization as a whole is better able to respond to changing market conditions.

“The most significant impact of Choreo is the ability to manage contract compliance to our dynamic business,” Wagner says. “As an organization, Choreo is enabling us to be responsive to regulation, nimble to meet changing market conditions and confident in our business processes.

INSURER AND SATELLITE PROVIDER ENTER AGREEMENT

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Charter Lakes Marine Insurance and Ottawa-based Guardian Mobility Co. announced an agreement that would provide a discount on premiums paid by boat owners who install a Guardian Seatrax unit for many of their current programs.

Seatrax is a GPS-enabled satellite transmitter designed to automatically monitor the location of a vessel and protect it from theft. When a boat is moved from its berth, for any reason, the Seatrax unit begins sending location signals, which are then relayed to the boat owner and the authorities. With this information, the boat can be easily traced whatever its location and appropriate action taken to recover it.

“The Seatrax product has proved that it has real value for boat owners,” says Dan Longman, president of Charter Lakes Marine Insurance.

BCBS/AL Chooses HP’s BladeSystem

Hewlett-Packard Development Co. LP (HP), Palo Alto, Calif., announced Birmingham-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBS/AL) chose its HP BladeSystem to increase hardware utilization, improve energy efficiency and control data center costs.

BCBS/AL is Alabama’s largest healthcare provider and insurer, with more than 3 million customers and more than 4,000 employees, according to HP. BCBS/AL needed more computing power to manage its current workload plus additional new contracts and services. BCBS/AL was concerned that adding more physical servers to the 500 it already had would make data center management cumbersome and send power and cooling costs soaring. BCBS/AL turned to HP to install 48 HP ProLiant BL460c and six HP ProLiant BL480 server blades in HP BladeSystem c3000 and c7000 enclosures.

BCBS/AL improved its server utilization by converting to a bladed infrastructure, running 165 virtual machines on HP ProLiant server blades. “[BCBS/AL] had unique business challenges, yet recognized the cost, time and energy advantages of a bladed infrastructure,” says Mark Potter, VP, BladeSystem, HP.

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