It’s halftime between the major spring insurance shows (ACORD LOMA and IASA), and here’s a scoring breakdown:

* Optimism leads Pessimism by a score of 13 to 2. The Pessimism coaching staff is still plotting its comeback at IASA, but I have to say that the odds of getting Pessimism into the win column are very low.

* Las Vegas oddsmakers agree, as they are shifting the action away from Optimism’s likely win to a discussion of how soon Optimism can deliver benefits from specific projects. Our take, from many conversations at ACORD LOMA, is that compressing the project benefit timeline to 9 to 12 months (down from 12 to 18 months previously) is a high priority for many carriers.

* The strongest players for Optimism were Core Systems Renewal and Improving The Customer Experience. Fans of these players seem to be coming out of the woodwork rapidly, and Celent expects game jerseys with these names on the back to be hot sellers for the balance of 2011.

* Of course, BI and Analytics are making strong contributions as well, which is a continuation of the game summary from last season. Many carrier general managers have their scouts out looking for more data sources and the tools to help BI and Analytics perform better on the field, so this story should continue to develop. (Our upcoming Data Mastery report is looking at these trends closely.)

* Three rookies–Mobility, SaaS, and Social Media–all had strong contributions at ACORD LOMA, and they appear to be fresh and ready for IASA as well. Carriers who were prescient and bought the rookie cards for these three probably may find those cards to be quite valuable, sooner than later.

As usual, Celent was an active participant at ACORD LOMA, and we’ll be at IASA in force as well. (See us online at http://celent.com/news-and-events/events/iasa-2011-educational-conference-business-show.) Expect a full game summary after the show!

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