3 Considerations When Implementing New Technologies

1. Itís all about execution for value 1. Itís all about execution for value

Celent learned from this yearís awards candidates that a clear focus on execution capabilities, coupled with a closer alignment of business and IT, contributed to implementation success. The benefits to insurers focused primarily on agility, speed, adoption and quality as opposed to just cost. To wit, about 40 percent of entries in this category cited speed as the main benefit, while 20 percent identified quality as a factor. Only about 25 percent of insurers identified cost reduction as their primary benefit.

Finalist: CNA Finalist: CNA

CNA developed an automated underwriting system that provides agents selling business owner policies with an additional tailored quote option based on the unique characteristics of their clientís risk. The system also features marketing messages on the pricing screen, which helps to provide agents with more detailed explanations of the coverage and its benefits.

2. Good design as a source of competitive advantage 2. Good design as a source of competitive advantage

Internally building capabilities and accountability for good system design were heavily featured in this yearís insurer submissions. Additionally, Celent found that developing internal professional IT services are back on the CIOsí priority lists as firms look to innovate. Designing for simplicity starts with the business process before extending into technology.

Finalist: Millers Mutual Group Finalist: Millers Mutual Group

Millers Mutual developed a real time rating system for commercial lines that provides agents with a streamlined quoting process. Specifically, agents are now able to transmit data directly from their agency management system to the insurerís rating and quoting system without going to the website.

3. Some of the fun stuff is happening on the edge of the core 3. Some of the fun stuff is happening on the edge of the core

As a focus on growth starts to take center stage for many insurers, Celent found that attention is switching toward streamlining distribution, and on-boarding and servicing clients and agents. To achieve this, many of this yearís submissions focused on achieving excellence in CRM, outputs, cushiness process management and straight-through processing. Celent also noted a movement toward the use of the cloud for core insurance components.

Finalist: 1st Central Finalist: 1st Central

The initial components in 1st Centralís enterprise technology strategy were aimed at delivering a single view of the customer, including a single, centralized customer relationship management (CRM) capability. An integrated CRM, document management and policy administration system guaranteed that communication, regardless of channel, is identical.

Finalist: MetLife Finalist: MetLife

Through a partnership with services provider CSC, MetLife launched a direct-to-consumer initiative that offers consumers a pre-paid life insurance policy in a box. The initiative is currently in pilot phase at more than 200 Wal-Mart Inc. stores in South Carolina and Georgia.

Winners of the Model Insurer awards will be announced at Celent's 2014 Innovation & Insight Day in April.

Over the past few weeks, INN and Celent have shared lessons learned from Celent's Model Insurer award program.

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