On occasion we receive letters and e-mails from our readers. I would like to encourage readers to voice their opinions on articles they read in this magazine, or on topics relevant to the insurance industry.Many of the industry leaders that we interview for articles are very willing to share their opinions. To the benefit of the entire industry, we welcome your feedback, whether you agree or disagree with the themes and issues we present on a monthly basis. If you would like to share your opinions with our readers, please send your comments to frank.cerne thomsonmedia.com

Letter to the Editor:

I was looking at the January issue of Insurance Networking News and I read your monthly letter and it really hit home with me. In dealing with my board of directors and senior management, I am always stressing the importance of new processes and employee productivity over ROI as our industry segment (long-term care insurance) is not yet a commodity-and competitive advantages in processing and service can drive value. On the other side, in dealing with our technologists, I need to remind them that it is the people who are creating and maintaining the technology tools that are the most important factor to determine success in IT.

Your letter helps to remind me to keep focused on both people and technology and not just technology.

Chris Valuntas
Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Co.

Letter to the Editor:

I read, with great interest, your article on Norcal Mutual Insurance Company's migration from their previous system to a Delphi package solution ("Norcal Takes The Path Of Least Resistance," March). I was particularly interested in the timeline in which they accomplished the feat-26 months start to finish.

I was also interested because CAMICO and Norcal had the same operating system, which we operated on for 15 years up until last July. We, like Norcal, had grown beyond the ability of that system and decided to replace it.

In October 2001, we entered into a preliminary scoping exercise with Infinity Systems Consulting to begin the process to verify our high-level requirements. We then signed an 18-month contract to replace our system. Infinity provided the technology, and we wrote the programmatic data conversion program and developed all forms and reports.

In July 2003, as planned, we went live on the new system. The timeline includes the successful conversion of 15 years' worth of claims/loss prevention data and five years' worth of policy history. Implementing a "packaged solution," along with solid planning and project management, enabled us to deliver this solution on time. This success was achieved at a time when our revenue grew 37%. Needless to say, we expect the new system will be one of the keys to our continued success.

Scott M. Webber
Director of Information Technology
CAMICO Mutual Insurance

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