IT INFRASTRUCTURE OUTSOURCING CONTRACTThe Netherlands subsidiary of Blue Bell, Pa.-based Unisys Corp. has expanded its relationship with long-time client REAAL Insurance through a new five-year outsourcing contract with a value estimated at $11.6 million (U.S). By managing the company's IT infrastructure, Unisys will provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to REAAL and its agents. REAAL hopes to achieve significant cost reductions through consolidating infrastructure outsourcing services under one vendor. REAAL will consolidate its hundreds of existing support contracts and suppliers to one central contract with Unisys, and will reduce the number of services suppliers from 20 to one.

BILLING AND CLAIMS ADMINISTRATION

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co., Grinnell, Iowa, has licensed Fiserv Advanced Billing and Claims Workstation, from Fiserv Insurance Solutions, a unit of Fiserv Inc., Brookfield, Wis. Both systems are Web-based and will operate in an integrated environment. A history with Fiserv led Grinnell Mutual to review the new solutions during a supplier review, according to Dennis Mehmen, chief information officer and vice president of business information services, at Grinnell Mutual.

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT

Currently expanding its service offerings to a widening client base, Barbados-based Sagicor needed to replace its existing document creation systems with a more flexible solution for generating both paper-based and electronic documents. The insurer selected the xPression suite of customer communications management software from Document Sciences Corp., Carlsbad, Calif., to automate the creation and production of policies and customer correspondence. Using xPression, Sagicor plans to deliver highly personalized customer communication to clients and agents via multiple distribution channels, including print, e-mail and the Web.

CONTACT CENTER TECHNOLOGY

ING Mexico, a provider of insurance, pension benefits and financial services in Mexico, selected an Intelligent Communi-cations solution from Avaya Inc., Basking Ridge, N.J. ING Mexico uses Avaya Customer Interaction Suite to automatically distribute incoming calls based on preset parameters. The new system provides routing and reporting tools to help balance calls among the staff, which, in turn, can be scheduled more efficiently to match higher-volume calling times.

BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT

Generali Insurance in Slovenia, a subsidiary of the Generali Group, one of Italy's largest insurance giants has deployed business process management (BPM) software from Metastorm Inc., a Baltimore-based firm. In three months, Generali implemented Metastorm BPM to automate and manage its car insurance renewal process, along with a variety of back-office processes that support these procedures. Generali clients can obtain quotes, request renewals and sign up for car insurance services through a Web portal and a call centre.

IDENTITY HUB SOFTWARE

Countrywide Financial Corp., a Calabasas, Calif.-based financial services provider, has selected Initiate Identity Hub software to provide on-demand search and recognition capabilities for its customer data. "The Initiate Systems software will help us enhance the services we provide to our internal business divisions and our customers by ensuring we have accurate and complete information," says Tom Baker, Countrywide's executive vice president of enterprise systems. Chicago-based Initiate Systems Inc. sells software that provides a real-time single view of people, households and organizations from data dispersed across multiple application systems and databases.

WEB SERVICES PLATFORM

Boston-based OneBeacon Insurance Co. has chosen the TRANSIT-Web Services platform from BCF Technology Inc., Charlotte, N.C., for new business processing. OneBeacon and BCF will implement the TRANSIT-WS platform to enable OneBeacon's insurance agents to process new business submissions and receive real-time quotes as part of their normal workflow. BCF developed its service-oriented architecture (SOA) solution for carrier distribution partners, lowering ongoing cost and the risk associated with disparate system integrations.

POINT-OF-SALE ILLUSTRATIONS

Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co., Frankfort, Ky., has selected COSS Development Corp., Mequon, Wis., to develop its point-of-sale life illustrations for the CrailHuntly Combosurance package. CrailHuntly is an independent insurance marketing company based in Overland Park, Kan. Investors Heritage will be one of four carriers to underwrite and issue life policies under the first Combosurance package called Basic Permanent. Combosurance enables consumers to simultaneously buy several policies from multiple insurance companies in one package. Consumers will have one application process, one underwriting process, and one premium payment each due date.

ON-DEMAND PRODUCER PRESENTATIONS

American National, Lincoln Benefit Life, and Mutual of Omaha are the first life insurance companies to take advantage of the partnership between iPipeline Inc., Exton, Pa., and Brainshark Inc., Waltham, Mass., by integrating Brainshark's on-demand presentations into iPipeline's insurance product database. By doing this, these carriers can present product knowledge, sales tips, and advanced marketing concepts to more than 750 general agents, broker dealers, banking institutions and other distributors who use iPipeline's platform. iPipeline provides Web-based point-of-sale tools with access to an aggregated content databases containing more than 1,200 annuity, disability, life and long-term care insurance products.

RATING COMPONENT IMPLEMENTATION

Great American Insurance Group has selected the EXAMPLE Platform from Bolivar, Mo.-based Duck Creek Technologies Inc. The EXAMPLE Platform rating component is an integral element of Great American's plan to replace its entire legacy infrastructure with a variety of component solutions. With a need to develop and deploy products quickly, while also effectively scaling the business, Great American Insurance Group chose Duck Creek's EXAMPLE Author, EXAMPLE Server and EXAMPLE Templates for commercial lines to deliver the policy application and quote process. The initial implementation will focus on rating for Great American's insurance subsidiaries in Cincinnati.

DOC MANAGEMENT SERVICE

Universal Insurance Co., a member of The Seibels Bruce Group Inc., Columbia, S.C., has selected EasyLink's document capture and management service to provide workflow services for its most critical business processes. Universal Insurance chose EasyLink Services Corp., Piscataway, N.J., to digitize, store and index faxed insurance documents related to underwriting and policy administration. The service will provide the insurer with a document image database and secure Web viewer for customer service representatives to search using specific indices.

RATING, RULES AND UNDERWRITING SYSTEM

Kingsway Financial Services Inc, Mississauga, Ont., has expanded its relationship with Skywire Software, Frisco, Texas. Kingsway is now using Skywire's InsBridge. a Web-based rating, rules and underwriting system designed for all lines of business to enable users to create, manage and deploy rates and rules. Kingsway was already using Skywire's business intelligence and data warehousing system, INSsight. Several top 100 insurance companies use InsBridge to improve speed to market and provide consistent rates, according to Skywire.

WEB-BASED UNDERWRITING AND ISSUANCE

Pan-American Life Insurance Co. is adding Web-based WriteNow point-of-sale underwriting and issuance technology to its installed Simple Life bancassurance product. WriteNow, designed by Parsippany, N.J.-based MFX, qualifies, rates, quotes, binds and delivers policy documents in any language, in minutes. WriteNow will enable the New Orleans-based carrier to control product rates and business rules and underwrite cases by exception. Simple Life was developed on the WriteNow platform to provide Pan-American's distributors with real-time access to account information.

DOCUMENT GENERATION PLATFORM

International Catastrophe Insurance Managers LLC (ICAT), North American catastrophe insurance brokerage based in Boulder, Colo., selected the U.K.-based Thunderhead Ltd.'s platform to power the multi-channel generation of its insurance policies, policy endorsements and cancellation notices. ICAT will initially deploy Thunderhead's document generation platform to scale its insurance operations to enable high-volume production and delivery of its business communications across multiple channels, including print, Web and PDF.

ELECTRONIC CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

Property Damage Appraisers Inc. (PDA), Fort Worth, Texas, signed a license agreement for Rochester, N.Y.-based Scene Genesis Inc.'s (SGI) SceneAccess e-claims management system. SceneAccess will replace PDA's current system, which serves more than 5,000 clients. Assignments will be entered in SceneAccess and automatically routed to appraisers, who will upload the completed claim to PDA via SceneAccess.

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