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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Monday Dec 07, 2015

Modernize Your Quote-to-Application Process

Many insurers are looking for solutions that can drive revenue while managing long term goals for growth.  One of the ways to drive revenue is to equip your sales team and partners with tools to help them sell more insurance products. Insurers can make their teams more efficient by making products more transparent (so that it is easier to do comparisons) as well as providing the best pricing for their customers’ needs.

Unfortunately, many of the systems that support the sales process have not kept up with technology advancements. Manual process and old technology make it harder for insurers to help their sales people and partners configure the right product and coverages. There are multiple systems throughout the sales process, and sometimes people must rely on spreadsheets, paper forms, and email. So there is no a single sales tool that can help sales people increase their productivity.

Let’s take an example of the selling process in the Large Group line of business. What makes selling Large Group products such a challenge is that there are many factors that sales people need to consider when they configure a plan such as product dependencies, compliance issues and other factors that add to the complexity. As you can imagine, when sales people are trying to manage hundreds of products, and hundreds of different coverage combinations, we can see that there are some real pain points around configuration. This is especially clear if you're managing your product, pricing, bundling rules manually or using excel spreadsheets.

If you want to drive more revenue and align your sales process with the way customers are now buying and become a more forward-thinking insurer, you ought to see this short video. The solution that we propose is generic enough that any line of business (life, health and P&C) for both personal and commercial can use.

For more information on Oracle Insurance, please visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Wednesday Jun 24, 2015

Grow Large Group Business by Leveraging Modern Sales Tools

Profitable growth remains the key objective for many healthcare payers. However, new healthcare market reforms and increasing competition from plan sponsors and Group carriers are making it harder for payers to become more profitable. Many healthcare payers are now looking for ways to improve their profitability. One way is by increasing productivity through streamlining their sales, installation, enrollment, and renewal processes, particularly in the Large Group line of business.

For many healthcare payers, managing the Large Group sales process is challenging – from opportunity management and group management to configuring the right plan for the group and presenting the proposal to large employer. There are multiple systems throughout this sales process and too often teams must rely on spreadsheets and paper forms and email to keep track. In the current IT environment for many Large Group payers, there is no single sales tool that can help sales people increase their productivity.

What the large group payers need is a modern sales tool that can consolidate the multiple systems that sales reps use on the front end and provide a single rating engine on the back end to provide the best price for any plan combination. Essentially, the large group payers should make their complex product, pricing, and business rules available to Sales in real-time, so the sales rep always have the information they need to quickly and accurately configure, price and quote a deal.

Using a modern sales tool can help sales rep become more productive. The tool will put all of the product, pricing, and bundling rules in the system and make it easy for sales reps to manage the configuration complexity. The sales reps do not need to know the product dependencies, compliance issues and other factors because everything is built into the system. Without many of the manual processes, sales reps will have more time to do what they are supposed to do which is selling the product and closing more deals.

If you are a healthcare payer, you should consider leveraging modern sales tools to optimize your sales process and help your sales reps become more successful. We encourage you to watch this webcast on demand to learn more about Oracle solutions that can help you grow your Large Group business.

For more information on Oracle Insurance Insbridge Enterprise Rating and Oracle CPQ Cloud (Configure, Price, Quote), visit oracle.com/insurance.

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Thursday Jun 04, 2015

Delivering Best of Breed Solution to Manage Policy Lifecycle

In recent years, we’ve seen increasing interest from small-to-mid-sized carriers in transforming their policy administration systems (PAS). The business case for transformation is clear as leading insurers are already showing the benefits of modern and flexible policy administration systems. PAS transformation simplifies the IT environment by reducing the number of redundant systems and processes as well as reducing overall IT costs. They can also improve market agility by creating a more flexible platform for quickly responding to customer needs and regulatory requirements.

Even though the business case is clear, one of the biggest considerations for PAS transformation is the selection of a technology partner for this transformation journey. Carriers must be aware that selecting a core system ties them to the product vendor for years to come, so picking the right vendor – one that can provide the latest features and technology that can support your specific business goals and optimal business processes – should be the main priority. Carriers should look at vendor’s functionality, advanced features, affordability, usability and architecture in detail and determine if the vendor provides the best solution for each of the policy lifecycle processes.

With the objective of helping small-to-mid-sized carriers reducing the risk and getting the best of breed solution to make them successful in their transformation journey, Oracle is partnering with Sunlight Solutions to deliver best-in-class insurance administration solution for P&C carriers. Sunlight Solutions is a new up and coming company that provides modern policy administration system for P&C market. The joint solution will deliver greater speed-to-market, business agility and lower cost while reducing the risk.

Additionally, Oracle will be exhibiting at the IASA conference in Las Vegas June 7-10th. Please stop by Oracle Booth #440 to learn more about the joint solution. Learn more about other activities at the conference by visiting oracle.com/events.

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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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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