Monday Feb 10, 2014

Finding Peace of Mind in the Midst of Rapidly Changing Dynamics in Life and Annuity

There’s no doubt that the Life and Annuity industry has had its fair share of challenges over the years with new regulatory requirements as well as stiffer competition from within and outside of the insurance industry, but there are signs of life as carriers tackle more strategic planning and attempt to deliver more innovative products.

Dave Shively, Oracle's Senior Director of Life & Annuity Policy Administration, discusses the topic below:

Even with new signs of life, there still remains the age-old challenge of getting new products to market quickly and managing those products across multiple systems. So why don’t insurers just bite the bullet and tackle the monumental task of replacing their legacy systems to support growth? I believe that sometimes what’s needed isn’t a complete overhaul, but a simple solution to a big problem. Here’s a prime example of the problem: the calculation of product pricing duplicated across multiple systems including New Business, Illustrations, Underwriting, Actuarial and Commissions. If a carrier wants to modify the pricing for the product they need to make changes across all of these applications.

And as if the IT challenges weren’t enough, the overall industry is still experiencing high expectations around growth rates as well as the need for improved profitability, customer service and competitive differentiation.

Here at Oracle, we love solving pressing challenges which is why we created the new Oracle Insurance Calculation Engine for Life and Annuity. The purpose-built software provides Life and Annuity carriers with a single engine on which to standardize their rules and calculations – without a complete policy administration transformation.

Oracle Insurance Calculation Engine for Life and Annuity enables carriers to gain a competitive advantage and accelerate time to market with a single environment for managing, maintaining and reusing complex calculation algorithms.  The highly configurable solution allows carriers to centralize their calculation algorithms on a single rules-based platform for use across lines of business by enabling the setup, copying, modifying and maintaining of calculations through configuration without additional costly and time-consuming code development.  The platform also enables users to test and debug their calculations without having to create complex test scenarios in legacy environments. 

So for insurers who aren’t ready for a total policy administration transformation, Oracle Insurance Calculation Engine for Life and Annuity offers peace of mind that a small step can alleviate a major challenge. 

Thursday Jul 25, 2013

Upcoming Webcast: Transform Business Operations: BPS = Efficiency and Innovation

Transform Business Operations – buzz words in the insurance industry for sure.  But how can a carrier really accomplish this transformation?  How should you rethink the business you’re in and develop new ways to sustain a profitable, competitive advantage? How and where does BPS fit in this equation?

Cognizant and Oracle have a long and tested partnership with Cognizant utilizing Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuities processing that supports several of their clients and a broad spectrum of services for product rollout and versioning, policy administration integration, upgrade, and testing.  Join us on August 15, 2013, as Oracle and Cognizant industry experts team up for a joint webcast to share how these two companies have improved performance and productivity through end-to-end business processing. Topics to be discussed include:  

  • How an integrated BPM solution helps achieve business process automation
  • Lowering operational and conversion costs while enabling growth, product innovation and speed to market
  • Improving the customer experience and processing efficiencies through best in class technology platforms and service delivery
  • Consolidating multiple LOBs, increase workflow efficiency and boost workflow productivity and operational adeptness
  • Service oriented architecture providing enhanced capabilities for real-time business processing

Thursday, August 15, 2013
2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT
Register Today

Listen to the Related Podcast: Cognizant also recently discussed how their Business Process Services can help transform a carrier’s business operations through process modernization, automation, and providing the platform for carriers to become agile.  To deliver these Business Process Services, Cognizant often uses the core of the platform powered by best in class policy administration system, thereby leveraging their partnership with Oracle.  Download and listen to the podcast “Delivering Business Process Services.”

Related Resources

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Wednesday Jul 03, 2013

New Business Now Available in Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity

Oracle Insurance is excited to announce release 9.7 of Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity. In addition to showcasing support of client upgrades, release 9.7 streamlines the New Business application process from application receipt through approval with capability to integrate with external providers. Its unique requirement engine can automatically manage requirement ordering and receiving, approve simple cases and summarize data for underwriter and case manager review.  In addition, Oracle Insurance Policy Administration release 9.7 allows companies to:

  • Share a common rules engine between Policy Administration and New Business
  • Leverage ACORD industry standards
  • Provide direct benefits to customers that include decreased Underwriting time and cost, ensuring Underwriting consistency, minimizing the invasiveness of Underwriting, providing customers the ability to enter a new channel / market and enabling Straight-Through-Processing

Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity is Oracle’s next-generation, flexible, rules-based insurance solution for life and annuities that supports policy processing across multiple lines of business...

[Read More]

Monday Nov 21, 2011

Smooth Sailing or Rough Waters: Navigating Policy Administration Modernization

Life insurance and annuity carriers continue to recognize the need to modernize their aging policy administration systems, but may be hesitant to move forward because of the inherent risk involved. To help carriers better prepare for what lies ahead LOMA's Resource Magazine asked Karen Furtado, partner of Strategy Meets Action, to help them chart a course in Navigating Policy Administration Selection, the cover story of this month’s issue.

The industry analyst and research firm recently asked insurance carriers to name the business drivers for replacing legacy policy administration systems. The top five cited, according to Furtado, centered on:

  • Supporting growth in current lines
  • Improving competitive position
  • Containing and reducing costs
  • Supporting growth in new lines
  • Supporting agent demands and interaction

It’s no surprise that fueling growth, both now and in the future, continues to be a key driver for modernization. Why? Inflexible, hard-coded, legacy systems require customization by IT every time a change is required. This in turn impedes a carrier’s ability to be agile, constraining their ability to quickly adapt to changing regulatory requirements and evolving market demands. It also stymies their ability to quickly bring to market new products or rapidly configure changes to existing ones, and also can inhibit how carriers service customers and distribution channels.

In the article, Furtado advised carriers to ensure that the policy administration system they are considering is current and modern, with an adaptable user interface and flexible service-oriented architecture. She said carriers to should ask themselves, “How much do you need flexibility and agility now and in the future? Does it support the business processes and rules that are needed for you to be able to create that adaptable environment?”

Furtado went on to advise that carriers “Connect your strategy to your business and technical capabilities before you make investment choices…You want to enable your organization to transform for the future, not just automate the past.”

Unlocking High Performance with Policy Administration Transformation also was the topic of a recent LOMA webcast moderated by Ron Clark, editor of LOMA's Resource Magazine. The web cast, which featured speakers from Oracle Insurance and Capgemini, focused on how insurers can competitively drive high performance by:

  • Replacing a legacy policy administration system with a modern, flexible platform
  • Optimizing IT and operations costs, creating consistent processes and eliminating resource redundancies
  • Selecting the right partner with the best blend of technology, operational, and consulting capabilities to achieve market leadership
  • Understanding the value of outsourcing closed block operations

Learn more by clicking here to access this free, one-hour recorded webcast.

Helen Pitts, is senior product marketing manager for Oracle Insurance's life and annuities solutions.

Wednesday Sep 14, 2011

Why Your Proof-of-Concept Should Be a Proof-of-Capability

Policy administration systems are core to a carrier's operation. Replacing these systems presents more risk than nearly any other IT project. Carriers should carefully weigh the risks against the benefits as they build the business case for embarking on a modernization project.

In a previous Oracle Insurance Blog I highlighted best practices recommended bySecurian Financial Group's Denise Smieja about the company’s successful approach to replacing its legacy policy administration system. Smieja along with Roger Soppe, Oracle Insurance, were among Insurance & Technology magazine’s virtual roundtable of industry experts that recently weighed in on this topic. While Smieja offered insight on criteria carriers should consider when developing a request for proposal, Soppe focused on another critical step in the evaluation process: the proof-of-concept (POC).

In the article, Setting the Stage with a Solid Proof of Concept, Soppe noted that while many insurers are familiar with the idea of a POC, they may skip this important step due to time or budget constraints. He cited how a leading North American life insurance carrier demonstrated the value of a POC in proving the capabilities of the “people, process and technology” of the vendors and systems integrators being evaluated for its policy administration migration project.

“Other carriers can adopt this idea of a ‘proof-of-capability’ in their own policy admin transformation projects,” advised Soppe in the article. “This process reduces risk and helps build buy-in across the organization. This approach can be crucial to receiving a green light -- it is the final validation of all of the research and decision making that the carrier has done to date and sets the stage for success.”

Click here to read more or click here to download the Oracle Insurance strategy brief, “Proof-of-Concept Done Right: Mitigating the Risk of Policy Administration System Migrations.”

You can also learn more about Oracle Insurance and how insurance carriers are leveraging its solutions to adapt to change, better service customers, and better manage their business for compliance and growth at Oracle OpenWorld, next month in San Francisco, Calif.

Helen Pitts is senior product marketing manager for Oracle Insurance's life and annuities solutions.

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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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