Thursday Nov 20, 2014

Oracle Insurance Product Configuration Helps Carriers Deliver Products to Market Faster

Anton Wiryawan, Insurance Product Strategy Director, discusses the topic below:

In today’s competitive insurance market environment, the key to gaining and retaining market share is to introduce new and innovative products faster than your competitors. However, many carriers are unable to do this because the way they define, build and launch new products is not consistent. In a typical carrier’s environment, product data is scattered throughout the organization in spreadsheets and multiple systems, making it difficult and costly for carriers to introduce new, innovative products and product changes to market.

Oracle Insurance is pleased to introduce a new product called Oracle Insurance Product Configuration that can help carriers deliver product to market faster. Oracle Insurance Product Configuration is a web-based insurance product modeling solution that centralizes product data and validation rule definitions while providing a single product schema reference for integrated external systems.

Oracle Insurance Product Configuration helps insurers improve agility by externalizing all product data and validation rules from multiple, hard-coded operational systems into a central repository, where products can be easily configured and modified. With product information centralized in Oracle Insurance Product Configuration, carriers can accelerate new product introductions and bring changes to the market faster.

Some features of the Oracle Insurance Product Configuration 1.0 are:

  • Product Configuration by business user – product data and validation rules are maintained in a central product repository where qualified business users can build and modify their own products with minimal IT support.
  • Model Inheritance – users can inherit reusable components to easily make changes to existing products or create new, customized products from a common product model base.
  • Approval Workflow – an approval workflow can be utilized if a product needs to be reviewed or approved prior to releasing.
  • Product Definition Specification – for each insurance product, a product specification XSD can be generated from the repository providing a blue-print for integration among systems adhering to the specification.

Some of the benefits Oracle Insurance Product Configuration provides are:

  • Creates a reusable hierarchical schema to define multiple insurance products that can be shared across multiple systems.
  • Provides a centralized location for information so users do not have to chase down product-related data stored in spreadsheets, folders, e-mails, and other fragmented sources.
  • Improves speed to market through a streamlined, consistent, and repeatable product development process.

What differentiates Oracle's offering from other Product Configuration in the market is integration with other Oracle products. For example in the first release, Oracle included Oracle Insurance Data Capture as part of Oracle Insurance Product Configuration. Oracle Insurance Data Capture (OIDC) is a web-based data capture application system built specifically for the insurance industry that streamlines data capture by allowing insurers to create and configure questions and rules through an intelligent front-end data capture web application. Both solutions allow your business users to easily define, make changes or add new products and create custom questions for those products. It allows you to build products in days not months, therefore improving agility for your organization and building competitive differentiation in the market.

To learn more about how Oracle Insurance solutions can benefit your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Friday Nov 14, 2014

Insurers Embrace Customer-centricity and Other Thoughts from the Recent Insurance Distribution Strategies Forum in Rome

I attended the 6th annual Insurance Distribution Strategies Forum for 2014 held in Rome last month. This event was organized by Fleming Europe and chaired by David Webster from Oracle. In the five years Oracle has been lead sponsor of the conference, it has grown from a European regional event to a much more global event that includes delegates from Africa, Indonesia, Russia and Eastern Europe and the UK. This year's forum had over 100 delegates in attendance and was a terrific success with some great speakers.

This was my third year as a speaker at the forum, and it was much different than the previous two years. In years past much of the conversation and presentations focused around product, pricing and distribution channels. This year’s forum was overwhelming dominated with presentations and discussions around customer centricity. During a breakout session we were asked "what are the top three take a ways from this forum?"

Read the full article for more... 

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Wednesday Nov 05, 2014

Live Webcast with LOMA: Time to Transform: Business Realities Demand Newer Core Systems

Facing ever-changing market demands, life insurance and annuity carriers must continue to adapt their product portfolios—and business processes—as regulations, industry, competitors, and consumer needs change. Unfortunately for many carriers, their aging, legacy policy administration systems prevent or inhibit rapid changes to products or processes. However, insurers can overcome these challenges by consolidating distributed policy administration systems.

Join Oracle and LOMA for this webcast on November 11, 2014 at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific. We will discuss the advantages that one integrated Policy Administration platform offers for the Life, Annuity, Wealth, Group, Worksite, and Health Insurance market, and how it can improve growth opportunities for the future. We also present case studies on how carriers larger and small, domestic and international, have increased business agility and reduced costs and are achieving transformational results from policy modernization.

  • November 11, 2014
  • 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific
  • Register Now

For more information on Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity and how Oracle’s solutions can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

Thursday Oct 16, 2014

Market Value Adjusted Annuities

Changes in market conditions are leading carriers to make changes to their product offerings. “A lot of annuity carriers already have MVAs, but those that don’t are busy adding them to their products right now,” says Danny Fisher, president of the Fisher Agency, a Dallas brokerage general agency. The carriers are persisting on securing MVA approvals largely because of concerns about the interest rate environment, Fisher says. Today’s fixed annuities are paying very low interest rates, he explains.

MVA Annuities on the Rise

Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the MVA annuities market. Last year, while MVA annuity sales were up 88 percent over second quarter compared to fixed-rate non-MVA products were up 71 percent, income annuities were up nearly 19 percent, and indexed annuities were up 10 percent, according to Beacon’s third quarter report.  Similarly, when compared with third quarter performance of the previous year, MVA annuities in third quarter 2013 were up by staggering 131 percent, while fixed-rate non-MVA gains were less than half, about 61 percent.

$2.5 billion worth MVA sales in third quarter were up from $1.3 billion in second quarter. That growth says a lot about the current direction of the MVA segment: Sales are chasing rates. With this level of growth, carriers will need tools to help them manage this business in an efficient way.

Selecting the Right Core Admin Solution to help with MVA Annuity Management

Generally,  MVA annuity is treated as a fund that tracks the prevailing rate. Some products use calculated values stored in fields on the policy in lieu of a fund. A good life insurance policy administration system that maintains MVA annuity products should be:

  • Configurable to allow each carrier's version of MVA
  • Calculations should be customizable based on their product's profile
  • Be able to carry out a series of calculations using the results of each prior calculation, so as to arrive at the finalized; Cash Surrender Value after the MVA factor and then MVA has been calculated per set formulae.
  • Capable to quickly apply any changes/modifications to the formulae.

With the consistent growth in sales of Market Value Adjusted annuities, inevitable indications with various surveys have lead to suggest that Market Value Adjusted annuity products can boost growth in business for carriers of any size. Oracle Insurance Policy Administration provides a highly configurable and flexible platform that enables the carriers to quickly build and sell various custom products including Market Value Adjusted annuities with record speed-to-market times leveraging the highly customizable calculation capabilities and pre-built templates.

To learn more about Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity and how Oracle’s solutions can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Leveraging New Technologies to Improve Customer Engagement

Social media and new technologies dominate the marketing landscape, which means consumers’ attention spans are shorter than ever.  New apps, call-to-actions, and other customer communications tools are being thrown in consumers’ faces each day.  The task of attracting an audience’s interest and maintaining it for the long term is a daunting one.  If your company can’t attract an audience’s attention from their very first visit, you risk the chance of them never returning. Customer Communications Management systems allow institutions to effectively monitor customer engagement and transform that data into results.

Guest blogger A.D. Kent, Managing Partner for DocVentive, discusses the topic in today’s post:

In a world where everything is interconnected with information at your fingertips, technology is fundamentally changing how consumers engage content. The rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets affords convenience and control over content, while easy access to social media sites creates an unprecedented sense of community and engagement at the touch of a button. In short, consumers are demanding information that is contextually relevant with their interests and provides an experience that they can interact with.

So, what does this mean if you're an Insurer or Financial Institution looking for a competitive advantage? Well, you should view each piece of correspondence with your customers as a chance to engage and monetize through personalized content. This means looking for opportunities to gather information with each encounter, and using that information to refine targeted messaging and content on the next communication event. This also necessitates reliance upon a robust Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform capable of delivering on these goals – an exercise that isn't exactly native to the present-day CCM vendor solutions. Nonetheless, through this continual refinement of correspondence, you can empower and satisfy the consumer in ways that fit the social patterns and behaviors that they desire most.

Click "Read More" to view the rest of the article. 

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Oracle's flexible solutions can help insurers navigate the change necessary to meet today’s challenges and have the business agility to be prepared for the future.

For mor information, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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