Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

What’s New with Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating 4.9?

Insurers today are faced with highly competitive marketplace conditions that are forcing them to look for meaningful ways to increase revenue and reduce costs. Rating quickly emerges as a core process that can help carriers achieve profitable growth.  For those insurers able to implement unique, quality rating models more rapidly, they can expect to realize a competitive advantage which will result in increased revenue. If they are also able to efficiently simplify their rate management process by using higher quality business tools such as Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating solution, they can also expect lowers costs and improved rating accuracy.

Oracle is pleased to announce the new release of Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating 4.9. Continuing on the theme of innovation to deliver greater value, the Oracle Insurance Insbridge 4.9 release delivers a broad range of enhancements in many areas such as usability, productivity, performance and reporting. Several highlights of the new release are:

  • Improved Access to Rating Data – Rating/underwriting and actuarial/predictive analytics are at the center of many of the initiatives being pursued by insurance carriers to capture opportunities, enhance financial performance, respond to increased regulation and mitigate risk.

    In Insbridge 4.9, a new “Reporting” database that provides customers access to rating content in a relational data structure and format has been added to the RateManager database. With this feature, users now have the ability to use Oracle or third-party reporting application(s) to generate custom reports for further analysis from information received directly from the database.
  • Expanded Usability – We always strive to improve the ease-of-use in the product and increase the quality of user experience. In Insbridge 4.9, we added several new features such as:
    • Custom Constants are user-defined constant values that are used in algorithm development. Custom constants that can be created and utilized at the system level as well as at the line of business level.
    • Message Templates allow for system-wide message creation and program level variable substitution. This allows for messages that can be more easily maintained and adjusted to fit program-specific information.
    • New Mathematical Functions such as gamma and natural log are now available. These new statistical and logarithm step types let users create calculations that better reflect their rating process.
    • The Output Mapping screen has been enhanced with better sorting, searching, and filtering options. In addition, users can select to add or remove multiple variables, and reorder the output listing. This makes the Output Mapping screen more manageable, and easier to use.
    • A redesigned debug report layout allows for information to be presented in a single report format where summary information is presented first. Detailed views are shown when the summary is expanded. This change makes the debug report better organized and more easily viewed.
  • Increased Productivity – In Insbridge 4.9 we have added features that improve the time it takes to create and manage programs and increase user productivity.
    • Users can now copy global level variables to the local level within a subline. Instead of reentering a variable that already exists at the global level, users can now just copy that variable and specify what local program within the subline that this variable needs to go with.
    • The sequencing screen now allows users to select and move multiple items. Instead of moving algorithms, underwriting rules and driver assignments one at a time, users can select the items they need and either add or remove them all at once. This significantly reduces the amount of time needed to create a sequence.
  • Enhanced Performance – Improving system performance is a part of every release we do.
    • For release 4.9, we are updating to newer and faster platforms to increase performance and to reflect the systems and applications that our users have. Platform and application updates include support for:
      • Oracle WebLogic 12.1.3 (12c)
      • Oracle Database 12.1.0.1.0 (12c)
      • IBM WebSphere 8.5
      • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
      • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
    • Cache enhancements also have been added to the Insbridge SoftRater Server (IBSS) for release 4.9. Administrators can limit how much SoftRater Engine cache should be held in local machine memory. Additionally, administrators can specify how to purge the data once the limit is reached.

Today, the Oracle Insurance team is very excited to work with insurers to help reduce their operating costs while transforming their business processes so they can deliver products quickly to market and be more profitable in the future. Enterprise rating applications, such as Oracle Insurance Insbridge 4.9, can be the driving force behind that successful transformation.

For more information, visit the Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating product page.

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Wednesday Jan 07, 2015

Live Webcast with INN: Grow Business by Streamlining the Entire Opportunity-To-Quote-To-Application Process

The economic realities of today’s insurance market make it harder than ever to achieve profitable growth. There is a need for insurers to reduce costs while growing their business. The web has changed the landscape, and customers now expect products and services to be configured to meet their needs, as well as fast and accurate price quotes and fulfillment. Have you aligned your sales process with the way customers are now buying?

One of the key ways that insurers can grow their business is by optimizing the conversion of sales opportunities into revenue. Insurers can transform their business process by combining their configure, price and quote system with an enterprise rating solution. The result allows insurers to streamline the entire opportunity-to-quote-to-application process including product selection, configuration, pricing, quoting, application, and approval workflows. Learn how to:

  • Increase ease-of-use to dramatically reduce the rate creation and revision process
  • Enhance pricing discipline
  • Improve sales cycles and margins

Join Oracle and Insurance Networking News for this webcast to learn how today’s technology solutions can help insurers achieve profitable growth.

  • January 20, 2015
  • 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific
  • Register Now

For more information on how Oracle’s solutions for insurers and healthcare payers can be used to support your business, visit oracle.com/insurance.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2014

Impact Analysis to Help Insurers Sustain Profitable Growth

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

The economy is showing some signs of life, company balance sheets are stabilizing, and consumer and manufacturers’ confidence indices are trending toward the positive. All of these bode well for Insurance companies. In fact, according to Insurance Information Institute, Insurers’ profitability is at its highest level in the post-crisis era in 2013 as sharply lower catastrophe losses, modestly higher premium growth, improved realized investment gains and favorable prior-year reserve loss development push the industry’s return on average surplus to 10.3 percent, up from 6.1 percent in 2012 and just 3.5 percent in 2011.

However, on a more fundamental level, insurers have bigger challenges on their hands. In both personal and commercial lines, insurers are struggling to adapt to evolving customer demands and higher service expectations with more information sought and transactions conducted over the Web. It will be hard pressed for insurers to achieve more consistent and higher rates of growth going forward without system upgrades to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs, and shore up their financial results.

Faced with uncertain growth prospects, many carriers have looked at the use of predictive analytics (modeling) to help optimize products and prices to meet corporate goals such as profitability, retention, and premium growth. Rating/underwriting and actuarial/predictive analytics are at the center of many of these initiatives. Unfortunately, in many cases, in-place rating systems are not able to do some of the “what if” analysis requirements well.

Carriers need a modern rating system that provides the ”what if” analysis out of the box. Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating system is built from the ground up to handle carriers’ complex rating requirements. It provides an Impact Analysis module that enables carriers to test the impact of “what if” scenarios on their book of business before it’s launched in the production environment. It allows carriers to fine tune their product and pricing and optimize their revenues. Such a valuable tool is needed to sustain carriers’ growth in the market.

To learn more about how your business can benefit from Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating and its Impact Analysis module, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Tuesday Sep 09, 2014

What’s New with Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating 4.8?

Insurers today face many challenges such as competitive pressure, aging IT systems, and inefficient business processes that make it difficult to achieve profitable growth.  Among all of the processes that insurance carriers must focus on, rating and pricing is arguably the most critical process to ensure business success.  Rating impacts revenue, is fundamental to new product offerings, and is the key to carriers’ competitive differentiation.  For insurers to maximize the benefits of their rating technology, they must deploy stand-alone, best-of-breed systems, such as Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating (OIIER) 4.8—giving carriers increased flexibility and the ability to handle more advanced rating methodologies.

Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating 4.8’s latest enhancements include:

  • Increased Understanding of Premium Calculations:  OIIER 4.8 includes a new rating worksheet that provides a detailed, step-by-step view of all premium calculations insurers might use in a policy.  To meet various format requirements, users now have the flexibility to include or exclude program elements from the rating worksheet—providing clear visibility into the rating process and allowing users to manage risk more effectively
  • Reduced Integration Cost:  OIIER 4.8 now includes a mainframe adapter that is specifically designed to integrate with an IBM mainframe running zOS 1.12 or later to reduce the development effort needed to integrate the system with mainframe applications.  Further, the new version adds batch capability for IBSS for Java and offers five different options for batching large volumes of policies—improving batch performance and scalability.  Finally, Extended Services Interface (ESI) capabilities has been expanded to enable users to build a tree view of the application—making it easier to integrate OIIER with other custom built, front-end interfaces
  • Improved Usability:  New sequencing features help users to increase productivity with better sorting and searching, capabilities to add and delete elements, and the ability to reorder algorithms.  Additionally, new naming standards allow for insurers to enforce a uniform naming structure on system elements and programs—improving consistency and making records easier to locate
  • Increased Security:  Oracle has added a new security feature to its Insbridge SoftRater Server (IBSS) engine, ensuring user authentication based on the users’ preference (i.e., a user may choose to set up a password, if desired)—limiting access to IBSS to authorized users and enabling maximum security

Through its advanced rating features as well as its open and integrated architecture, Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating 4.8 can quickly consolidate and modernize a carriers’ rating and pricing strategy.  This provides business agility, reduces total cost of ownership, and increases speed to market.

For more information, visit the Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating product page.

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Friday Jul 25, 2014

The Case for Stand-alone Rating System

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

Recently, I was at the IASA conference in Indianapolis. Oracle had a large booth with several demo pods, and I was showcasing Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating. An attendee stopped by our booth and had questions about how to decide on a rating solution. His company is looking to modernize their IT infrastructure and one of the systems that they want to replace is the policy administration system. So his question was: do they still need to invest in a stand-alone rating system or can they just use the rating components that come with the new policy admin system?

Historically, carriers have relied on policy admin systems to provide all functions to manage the policy lifecycle from quick quote to application to underwriting to policy issuance and even servicing the policy. Even today, in markets outside North America such as in Europe and Asia, many carriers are still relying on their policy admin systems to handle everything. However, over time, there are vendors that now specialize in one particular function of the policy lifecycle (i.e. rating, underwriting, etc.) and deliver more robust systems to address that one specific need. Now, carriers have more options and need to choose between standalone systems that perform one function very well or one integrated system that offered modules for each function, but with varying degrees of functional depth.

According to Celent through their conversations with many carriers and vendors, the central consideration in choosing best of breed or best of suite is one of architecture. The stand-alone rating solution enables carriers to centralize all product and rating information in one place. Rates can be built once by business users and distributed to any application that needs it. This will position carriers with a more agile business, reduce total cost of ownership, speed time to market and improve distribution management.

Because of the benefits of stand-alone rating solution architecture, many policy admin system providers are now offering their rating functions in a stand-alone manner. So should you buy rating solution from these policy admin vendors? We believe that even though these vendors position their rating as a stand-alone solution, the reality is the rating system is somewhat tied into their policy admin offering, and often customers might need to install some of the policy admin components to make the rating module work. Rating users might be impacted by policy admin system inefficiencies and scalability issues.

A better alternative is to invest in a stand-alone rating solution to achieve the architecture benefits mentioned above from a vendor that built the rating system from the ground up (i.e. not part of the policy admin system). The vendors that provide a true stand-alone rating solution have resources that are dedicated to delivering more advanced features for rating only and not for other policy admin functionality. Using modern technologies, these vendors make their stand-alone rating solution open and more easily integrated to different systems.

If you want to know more about the true standalone rating solution and its benefit, you can download a white paper.

Related Resources

  • White Paper: Stand-Alone Rating Engine: Leading Force Behind Core Transformation Projects in the P&C Market

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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 more information, visit oracle.com/insurance.

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