Tuesday Feb 23, 2016

Rules for Rules: Bringing Order and Efficiency to the Modern Insurance Enterprise

Business rules are everywhere throughout the enterprise. As insurers integrate their systems more tightly to support straight-through processing and other operational efficiencies, they also find themselves creating and managing an increasingly complex and interconnected web of business rules including enterprise processes, tasks, activities, or functions that are governed by rules. This web of rules spans insurers’ CRM, quoting, underwriting, policy administration, billing, document automation, and claims systems.

Many insurers need careful planning to manage their business rules efficiently as systems are becoming more and more complex and interconnected. Just because business rules are everywhere doesn’t mean you should treat them the same. Insurers need a framework to manage business rules in a way that all stakeholders can understand, and to enforce them within the IT infrastructure in a way that supports their traceability and facilitates their maintenance.

In many cases, the decisions to put what business rules in which specific systems are clear. For example, if the rules are associated with product rating such as premium calculation, then it makes sense to put this as part of enterprise rating engine especially if insurer has many policy admin systems. By putting the rules in one enterprise rating engine, instead of in many policy admin system, insurer can realize cost saving. However, there are rules where the answer is not as obvious and can vary depending on an insurer’s unique needs and environment. Effective navigation of such gray areas is essential to ensure consistency, avoid unnecessary complexity and optimize the power of business rules.

For more information on Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating, visit oracle.com/insurance.
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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 (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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Oracle’s solutions provide the modern, rules-driven flexibility insurers need to support Digital Insurance transformation, simplify their IT environments, and innovate to keep pace with changing demands.

For more information, visit oracle.com/insurance.


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