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.

Monday Sep 12, 2011

Building the Business Case for Policy Administration Replacement

Proof-of-Concept Done Right: Mitigating the Risk of Policy Administration System Migrations

How can insurers build an effective business case for policy administration system replacement? Insurance & Technology magazine recently asked a virtual roundtable of insurance industry experts, including Denise Smieja, Securian Financial Group, and Roger Soppe, Oracle Insurance, to weigh in on this hot topic and share recommended best practices for success.

In discussing Securian Financial Group’s successful policy administration transformation project, Smieja explained that the carrier’s business goals for new product development focused on flexibility and the ability to rapidly develop innovative, market-standard products—capabilities that were lacking in Securian’s previous legacy system.

“One of the critical changes we wanted was a consistent release cycle for new products,” noted Smieja in the article. “We struggled to introduce one product per year—we needed to improve that and be able to quickly launch new products, enhancements and regulatory changes. We are now committed to four product releases (either new products or enhancements) annually.”

Smieja also advised carriers to gather input from various disciplines across the company, including IT, actuarial, new business and in-force administration, when embarking on a request for proposal process. Important factors for consideration when evaluating a policy administration system include usability, technical fit with the corporate infrastructure, and configurability to support unique business rules and processes.

You can learn more about the best practices discussed by Smieja by reading Securian Financial Group Supports Innovation. You also can read the full article in last month’s print edition of Insurance & Technology.

Highlights of the best practices offered by Soppe will be covered in an upcoming Oracle Insurance Blog.

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

Friday Jun 24, 2011

Unlocking High Performance with Policy Administration Replacement

It is clear the insurance industry is undergoing significant changes as it consolidates and prepares for growth. The increasing focus on customer centricity, enhanced and speedier product development capabilities, and compliance with regulatory changes has forced companies to rethink well-entrenched policy administration processes.

In previous Oracle Insurance blogs I’ve highlighted industry research pointing to policy administration replacement as a top IT priority for carriers. It is predicted that by 2013, the global IT spend on policy administration alone is likely to be almost 22 percentage of the total insurance IT spend.

To achieve growth, insurers are adopting new pricing models, enhancing distribution reach, and quickly launching new products and services—all of which depend on agile and effective policy administration processes and technologies.

Next month speakers from Oracle Insurance and Capgemini Financial Services will discuss how insurers can competitively drive high performance through policy administration replacement during a free, one-hour webcast hosted by LOMA. Roger Soppe, Oracle senior director, Insurance Strategy, together with Capgemini’s Lars Ernsting, leader, Life & Pensions COE, and Scott Mampre, vice president, Insurance, will be the speakers. Specifically, they’ll be highlighting:

  • How replacing a legacy policy administration system with a modern, flexible platform optimizes IT and operations costs, creates consistent processes and eliminates resource redundancies
  • How selecting the right partner with the best blend of technology, operational, and consulting capabilities, is an important pre-requisite to unlock high performance from policy administration transformation to achieve product, operational, and cost leadership
  • The value of outsourcing closed block operations

We look forward to your participation on Thursday, July 14, 11:00 a.m. ET. Please register now.

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

Tuesday Sep 28, 2010

Best Practices for Reducing Risk in Policy Administration System Migrations

Last week at Oracle OpenWorld my Oracle Insurance colleague Roger Soppe, senior director of industry strategy, discussed how insurers can reduce the risk of policy administration system migrations through a proof of capability or POC (also known as a proof of concept).  Joining Soppe during a session on this topic was Mike Key, vice president, life insurance solutions, Capgemini.

Both noted that life insurers are continuing to move towards replacing their aging legacy systems with an adaptive, rules-based policy administration system.  The major factors driving this movement are increased exposure for non compliance, the inability to adapt to evolving market conditions and drive speed to market for insurance products. 

Yet the risks associated with replacing and migrating from their current policy admin system(s) to a new one weighs heavily in the decision process for c-level executives.  To mitigate this risk they noted that carriers may undertake a POC to prove the capability of the technology, people and process for its policy administration business transformation project.

Soppe highlighted the POC process undertaken by one carrier along with some of the benefits that can be realized when implementing an adaptive system like Oracle Insurance Policy Administration including:

  • Greater Speed to Market - leverage rules to collaboratively configure and roll out new, innovative products into the marketplace as well as reconfigure and refile products to adapt to market, regulatory or consumer demands
  • Administrative Simplicity - redirect costs traditionally associated with maintenance of aging legacy systems resulting in the ability to better service channels and customers
  • Reduced complexity of technical environments - remove constraints of inflexible, hard-coded legacy systems that lock insurers into legacy business practices, require heavy IT intervention and hamper ability to bring products to market quickly

You can learn more about this POC by downloading the joint strategy brief by Oracle Insurance and Capgemini: Proof-of-Concept Done Right: Mitigating the Risk of Policy Administration System Migrations.

Shortly after their session Key and Soppe spoke to Lacey Cooper from O'Keefe & Co.  They spoke about the steps an insurer can take to mitigate risks with policy administration transformation and the benefits to be gained through these projects.  Click the video below to watch the interview. 

You also can read more about Oracle's approach to policy administration and risk mitigation in my blog last week:  Oracle Shares Strategy for Life and Annuities at OpenWorld.

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



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