CONNER STRONG SELECTS VIRTUAL IT INFRASTRUCTURE

Conner Strong, a Cherry Hill, N.J.-based insurance and employee benefits brokerage, selected Rochester, N.Y.-based PAETEC Holding Corp. to deploy a virtual IT infrastructure. The network consists of geographically diverse data-center locations and customer premises equipment and is spread out over 10 sites.

Conner Strong expects to quickly and cost-effectively achieve a secure, fully redundant and scalable solution by using PAETEC's Class-A Customer Data Centers and private IP MPLS (Internet Protocol MultiProtocol Label Switching) network. The deployment also includes Cisco Systems Inc.'s Cisco Call Manager IP phone system acquired through PAETEC's Equipment for Services program, which can subsidize equipment costs as part of a broader network services contract.

"As a private company, Conner Strong has the flexibility to make decisions that best serve our clients, and we wanted an equally flexible communications solution that can scale with us as we continue to grow," says Tim Casey, CIO, Conner Strong. "After a thorough evaluation, we selected PAETEC as our single-source networking provider based on the breadth and total value of their solutions."

TENNESSEE BLUES Automates New BUSINESS PROCESSING

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) and Connecture Inc., Atlanta, entered into an agreement in which BCBST will use Connecture's InsureConnect EZ software to help the health plan automate new business processing in the individual market. InsureConnect EZ was released last year, and is a packaged version of InsureConnect, Connecture's sales automation software for health plans.

Chattanooga-based BCBST was seeking a tool to help them enhance their existing sales process by improving efficiencies in both their broker-facing and direct-to-consumer channels.

"We've been in the individual market for some time," says David Marckel, director of corporate systems development at BCBST, "but Connecture has helped several carriers automate individual product sales online and, after speaking to a few of their customers, we felt they would bring great value to our sales experience."

The implementation of InsureConnect EZ will be in two phases. Phase one will include implementation of InsureConnect Products: quoting, rating, enrollment and installation, and sales automation. Phase two will encompass going into production with InsureConnect underwriting. At the completion of phase two, all of BCBST's commercial, medically underwritten individual products will be automated online.

LLOYDS TSB SELECTS VALUE & PRICING OPTIMIZATION

London-based Lloyds TSB Insurance, a division of Lloyds TSB Group, has signed a multi-year agreement with Earnix Inc., New York, to provide pricing optimization and advanced analytics software solutions for its personal lines insurance business. Earnix Optimizer will be used by the underwriting division of Lloyds TSB General Insurance as well as Lloyds TSB Insurance Services, an insurance broker.

The Earnix Optimizer predictive analytics platform is expected to help Lloyds TSB Insurance determine appropriate customer pricing strategies. Providing real-time quotations to call center operators, branch agents and on the company's Web site, Earnix will enable Lloyds TSB Insurance to deliver the power of optimization to all points of customer interaction, according to the provider.

"Earnix enables us to optimize pricing for our entire portfolio of branch network customers and for our broker business, including real-time quotes for new business, mid-term adjustments and renewals," says Phil Loney, managing director of Lloyds TSB Insurance. "In addition, the system will enable us to upgrade our use of analytics in the area of customer interactions, realizing the great benefits best-practice analysis could bring."

AMICA MUTUAL DEPLOYS GUIDEWIRE CLAIMCENTER

Amica Mutual Insurance Co., a Lincoln, R.I.-based direct writer of personal lines insurance, has fully deployed Guidewire Software Inc.'s Guidewire ClaimCenter as its new claims system. ClaimCenter handles all new claims for Amica's auto, homeowners, marine and personal excess liability lines of business. Amica has a total of 2,500 active ClaimCenter users in-production with the system, including underwriters, support teams, and 1,100 claims professionals. Amica implemented ClaimCenter to upgrade its technology foundation and claims handling capabilities. This has enabled Amica to further enhance policyholder service, gain more visibility into its claims operation and enhance the capabilities of its claims professionals, says the company.

Amica claims handlers now use one Web-based system for all of their claims handling activities, and both claims handlers and claims management have gained real-time visibility into claims operations allowing Amica to quickly fine tune additional areas of improvement, according to the San Mateo, Calif.-based provider.

(c) 2008 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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