Recent deals for technology software and services

NEW ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK

Bel Air, Md.-based Harford Mutual Insurance Cos. has selected the new Insurance Analytic Framework (IAF) from New York-based Moore Stephens Business Solutions LLC (MSBS).

Designed for insurance carriers, brokers and MGAs, the IAF is a pre-built, insurance-specific solution that delivers performance metrics for analysis by insurance professionals. The IAF is capable of integrating with core insurance administration platforms and existing data warehouse, data mart and reporting infrastructures. Built using Online Analytical Processing Technology (OLAP) provided through Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, the IAF integrates with leading business intelligence platforms, including Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, Cognos and Business Objects, permitting the rapid deployment of scorecards and dashboards, as well as sophisticated analytic environments.

"We realized we needed consistent, standard data and reporting across our organization with real-time drill-downs," says Stephen Fabian, AVP, information technology at Harford Mutual. "We chose Moore Stephens because they had a product built specifically for the insurance industry."

BPO DEAL FOR WILTON RE

Wilton, Conn.-based Wilton Re has chosen Falls Church, Va.-based Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) to provide a full range of business process outsourcing (BPO) services. The 10-year agreement, awarded to CSC during the company's fiscal 2009 third quarter ended Jan. 2, 2009, has an estimated value of $90 million.

CSC will provide full back-office administration services for an additional 270,000 life policies, and convert those policies to its CyberLife policy administration system. Leveraging CSC's consolidated global processing environment, Wilton Re says it will gain a more predictable and scalable cost structure, and access to advanced application software, business processes, and insurance and technology management best practices.

AUTO CLAIMS SOLUTION

Columbus, Ohio-based SafeAuto Insurance Co. has renewed its deal with San Diego-based Audatex North America Inc., a provider of software and services for the automotive claims processing industry.

Under the agreement, SafeAuto will implement Audatex Insight, a business analytics solution designed to deliver real-time data to claims personnel, enabling them to make better decisions. The companies say the addition of Audatex Insight is the next logical step in creating an intelligent system to manage the SafeAuto repair program across 14 states.

"Audatex Insight is a great new resource," says Rob Huebner, material damage claims manager for SafeAuto. "You can quickly drill down by individual appraisers and see claims and repair processing times. We can flag any needed areas for improvement early to avoid problems."

SafeAuto staff will also manage auto claims and repair workflow with Audatex Claims Manager, and vehicle total loss settlements with Autosource.

ESURANCE SELECTS HSG FOR CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

Esurance, the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, has chosen HSG, a P&C insurance claims management company, based in Eau Claire, Wis., as the sole provider to process all of their auto glass claim invoicing. HSG is one of the largest third-party administrators in the insurance industry, providing auto glass claim management solutions for insurance and fleet customers.

"As a company, Esurance is always looking for ways to innovate and continually enhance our policyholders' experience," says Joe Laurentino, material damage director for Esurance. "After an extensive review, we felt that HSG provided a customer-centric vision that aligns most closely with our own. In the end, we feel this is an exciting partnership that will allow the two of us to grow and develop as organizations."

HSG offers an open, free-market business model. Auto glass shops are able to compete for non-preference claims based on their service and value, without conflict or bias since HSG does not manufacture, sell or provide labor for auto glass. HSG then manages the claim and the performance of the shops according to industry standards. A shop report card is produced that helps providers understand how to improve in order to earn more claim assignments.

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

The Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies have selected the iWorks investment management solution from Wayne, Pa.-based SunGard.

The companies say the product will help the Waco, Texas-based providers of auto and property insurance manage more than $1 billion in invested assets by providing investment accounting, reporting, portfolio analytics and decision support. SunGard is also providing consulting services to help the Companies optimize system configuration, maximize the efficiency of resources and minimize risk.

"We turned to SunGard because of its valued expertise and understanding of complex regulations and NAIC rules," says Mike Gerik, EVP of the Companies. "We trust SunGard's ability to deliver a comprehensive solution that can help us transform our business operations through the new functionality iWorks provides, as well as its ability to help us make better use of existing resources."

SATELLITE-ENABLED mobile CLAIMS SERVICE

Erie, Pa.-based Erie Insurance is using Connexstar satellite communications services from McLean, Va.-based Spacenet Inc. for its mobile claims center.

The companies say that by utilizing a specialized first-response vehicle with custom integration of satellite services, Erie Insurance can bring their mobile claims center virtually anywhere their customers would require. The solution utilizes Spacenet's part-time Connexstar Performance series for transportable satellite services to support voice-over IP (VoIP) and high-speed data.

"Our mobile claims vehicle, utilizing Spacenet's satellite services, provides us with technology and service to support reliable and rapidly deployable communications," says Matt Myers, Erie Insurance SVP and division officer of claims. "It ultimately helps us respond more efficiently to our customers' needs in crisis or emergency situations."

DISCOVERY INSURANCE SELECTS RAVELLO

Discovery Insurance Co., a Kinston, N.C.-based provider of non-standard personal auto insurance, has selected Atlanta-based Ravello Solutions' Web-based policy administration suite to manage their entire policy administration, claims management and billing processes. Ravello is a provider of software solutions to property/casualty insurers.

The selection of the Web-based software will position Discovery for expansion into new lines of business, reports Ravello, and is designed to provide significant efficiency gains and shorter time to close claims through the automation of many tasks.

"Finding the right partner was key to us," says D. Stuart Lindley, president of Discovery. "We wanted an organization that brought considerable experience and expertise to the table. Ravello fit the bill perfectly."

Lindley adds that "the overall power of the Ravello solution and the vast experience of the implementation team on policy processing, billing and claims is exactly what we needed to help Discovery move to the next level and beyond. Ravello differentiated itself by its ability to learn about our particular needs, and to then configure a solution for us."

Discovery will start by implementing the Ravello claims solution, expected to go into production in the late third quarter of 2009, followed shortly thereafter by Ravello's policy and billing components.

WESTERN WORLD INSURANCE GROUP SIGNS WITH INSTEC

Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Western World Insurance Group, which provides commercial general liability, professional liability, product liability and commercial auto coverages, penned an agreement with INSTEC, a provider of rating and policy administration software for the insurance industry, for INSTEC's rating and policy administration software, QuickSolver 3.0, a rich Internet application.

Western World will implement QuickSolver 3.0 as a black-box component behind their proprietary Web portal using INSTEC's Web services. The interface project to link QuickSolver and the company Web portal will be led by Western World with consultation and documentation provided by INSTEC. Further integration with in-place document management and back-end systems is expected as well.

"INSTEC provides a flexible solution that allows the organization to rate our various classes of business within a common architecture while supporting the different needs of our agents and internal underwriting staff," says Thad DeBerry, SVP, information technology. "Their overall stability, industry expertise and execution capabilities make INSTEC an ideal development partner as we enhance our rating infrastructure."

Western World, which specializes in underwriting classes of business that are not easily placed in the standard insurance market due to their complexity, high hazard or unusual nature, will make it possible for its appointed wholesale agents and brokers to use the company portal to quote and administer company policies, while internal staff will leverage the native QuickSolver interface. Both constituencies will operate using a shared architecture and database. A multi-phased approach will be used to deliver multiple lines of business and three separate rating companies, which comprise both admitted and non-admitted business.

BUILDERS INSURANCE SELECTS DRC'S DECISIONMAKER

Irvine, Calif.-based Builders Insurance Services LLC (BIS), selected the DecisionMaker Suite from Honolulu-based Decision Research Corp. (DRC), a rating and policy processing software solution provider to the property/casualty insurance industry.

The suite, which includes DecisionMaker Quote, Rating, Policy, Billing and Claims, will provide policy administration for BIS's Contractor General Liability (CGL) program. BIS selected the DecisionMaker Suite due to the system's configurability, ease-of-use and speed of implementation for automating the insurance process. DecisionMaker will enable BIS to easily model and manage its lines of business while offering the ability to expand, not only in the Western region, but also across additional states, says DRC.

"We chose the DecisionMaker Suite because of its flexibility and scalability, which will allow us to easily model our business processes and automate workflows to accommodate existing and future business," says Steve Tvedt, VP information systems, Insco Insurance Services Inc., the controlling member of BIS. "Coupled with DecisionMaker Rating Enterprise, our subject matter experts will be able to seamlessly manage the rates and underwriting rules with minimal assistance from our IT teams."

INSURER REACHES OUT TO BROKERS WITH PORTAL

Mercy Health Plans, the insurance subsidiary of Chesterfield, Mo.-based Sisters of Mercy Health System, will implement a broker Web portal using technology from eHealth Inc., Mountain View, Calif.

The portal will enable brokers and agents in Arkansas and Missouri to prepare quotes and submit applications for coverage. Individuals also will have the option of going online to search for health insurance on their own. The software is hosted by the vendor, and delivered via the application service provider computing model.

BLUES PICK TECH PARTNER

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Chicago has named Upp Technology Inc. as a preferred vendor of information technology services for the association and member plans.

The Downers Grove, Ill.-based company provides IT staffing services and specialized software development. It claims core competencies in such areas as enterprise systems, Medicare and Medicaid, infrastructure support, data management, business intelligence, and security/compliance.

Under the alliance, Upp Technology will provide "competitive pricing," rapid response times and access to more than 25,000 IT professionals, according to the vendor.

LANIER UPSHAW SELECTS SOCIAL NETWORKING PLATFORM

ProspX Inc., an Austin, Texas, provider of on-demand sales collaboration and automation solutions for the commercial insurance industry, announced that Lanier Upshaw, a Lakeland, Fla.-based broker, selected the ProspX platform to connect expertise within and across the company's broker, partner and carrier network to boost sales productivity and efficiency.

"Our mission was to find a CRM solution that could not only help us manage our sales contacts and opportunities, but could specifically address the collaborative, multi-party nature of our industry's sales process," says Ryan Deeds, VP and director of information technology at Lanier Upshaw. "The ProspX platform is the first system we have come across that is specifically designed to make our producers' jobs easier, giving them instant access to the people and resources that are relevant to any business opportunity they are working on."

The Software-as-a-Service solution is designed to combine enterprise social networking, search engine and CRM technology, connecting commercial insurance agents, brokers and carriers at the initial point of opportunity, as well as throughout the sales cycle.

(c) 2009 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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