News & Commentary
Content posted in March 2008
Nationwide Financial Chooses Information Builders
News  |  3/27/2008  | 
WebFOCUS will enable NSF to centralize its reporting infrastructure while maintaining a federated reporting model that will give approximately 1,000 business users, operaions managers and wholesaler users access to real-time information and customized reports.
Cultivating Innovation
News  |  3/25/2008  | 
Innovation groups, to me, are almost as interesting from a cultural and organizational standpoint as they are from a, you know, innovative standpoint.
Economy Portends Insurance IT Budget Cuts
News  |  3/25/2008  | 
The subprime mess and the credit crisis it has precipitated is not the event for the insurance industry that it is for banking, but a general economic recession will put some pressure on insurance IT spending.
Securian’s Couillard Champions Ease of Use
News  |  3/25/2008  | 
As Securian Financial's manager of field retention, Christopher Couillard collaborates with IT to maximize the quality of the carrier's relationship with distribution partners.
Good Enough for Government Work: Another PHI Security Breach
News  |  3/25/2008  | 
The breach, involving medical information of 2,500 individuals, was caused when a laptop was lifted from the trunk of an NIH employee named Andrew Arai, who was dropping his daughter off at a swim meet. The trunk was locked, but the sensitive information contained in the laptop was not.
Has the IT Budget Worm Turned?
News  |  3/25/2008  | 
Whether insurance IT budget makers tend to be more bearish or bullish, it may be that, in light of both proven technological advances and improved IT governance, CEOs and CFOs are more comfortable with technology investment in the face of adversity.
Chubb Standardizes and Automates Producer Appointment Process
News  |  3/25/2008  | 
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has implemented ACORD's standard producer appointment form and data standards.
Security as a Service
News  |  3/18/2008  | 
No insurer has emerged from the pack as an IT security leader -- at least not yet -- but many are looking at identity theft resolution as a way to provide an added value to data security-conscious customers.
Commissioner Savors AIG's Record Fines
News  |  3/18/2008  | 
Under the terms of a settlement reached between the carrier and the commissioner, AIG will pay $9.1 million to the state in penalties and investigative costs for financial misreporting, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner's office. The settlement also requires AIG to provide detailed annual reports regarding the company's reinsurance arrangements.
Safeco, Chubb, MetLife Appoint CIOs
News  |  3/18/2008  | 
The past few weeks have seen a spate of major appointments with new CIOs named at Safeco, Chubb and MetLife. Robert Ingram replaces Bill Jenks as Safeco CIO; former Chubb claims CIO Jim Knight takes corporate role at Chubb; Jeanette Scampas has become MetLife's enterprise CIO with Steve Sheinheit's retirement.
Identity Systems Unveils IQS
News  |  3/18/2008  | 
Identity System has released Information Quality Server, a data quality product suite.
Goodmail Launches CertifiedEmail PS
News  |  3/18/2008  | 
Goodmail has released CertifiedEmail Paper Suppression (PS) to provide proof of the successful delivery of critical e-mail messages to specific recipients.
Bridging The IT Gap Between Fireman’s Fund and Allianz Life
News  |  3/12/2008  | 
Scott Senden, VP, application technology, Allianz Life, identifies three key success factors that contribute to Fireman's Fund's and Allianz Life's combined successwithin Allianz of America's shared services IT model.
Can Apple's iPhone Become An Enterprise Device?
News  |  3/11/2008  | 
The big new last week from Apple was that, suddenly, the iPhone is set to become a much more viable option for business users.
Spitzer Effect Boomerangs
News  |  3/11/2008  | 
By all means, let us insist that the powerful actors of the financial world be held to high standards; let investors be protected and people who ruin others financially be severely punished. But let these objectives be pursued by authorities who are scrupulous in their use of power, and who are dedicated to the presumption of innocence and to proportionate justice.
Enclarity Partners with Mitchell Medical
News  |  3/11/2008  | 
Enclarity has partnered with Mitchell Medical to sell its ProviderPoint solution.
Montpelier US Insurance Chooses Skywire
News  |  3/11/2008  | 
Montpelier US Insurance Company (MUSIC) will use Skywire Software's iPPS as its policy production system.
MajescoMastek Acquires STG International
News  |  3/11/2008  | 
MajescoMastek has acquired Systems Task Group (STG) International to strengthen its position in the P&C insurance vertical.
Gerry Pennell Modernizes Technology at Co-operative
News  |  3/7/2008  | 
Drawing on his integration and change management expertise, CIO Gerry Pennell has helped modernize Co-operative Financial Services' technology environment.
Robert Mansbridge Oversees IT on a Global Scale
News  |  3/7/2008  | 
Tasked with IT oversight for Sun Life's Asian, Canadian and U.S. operations, Robert Mansbridge brings a worldly perspective to the CIO role.
Jim Deane Leads Agile IT Operation At Start-up Imagination Life
News  |  3/7/2008  | 
Jim Deane cofounded Cape Town-based Imagination Life and then helped mold its technology operation into an agile strategy and process innovator.
Carrier Confidential: Allianz of America
News  |  3/7/2008  | 
Allianz of America CIO Oliver Bussmann and his senior technology executives have established a shared-services model that allows the carrier's P&C and life companies to leverage IT synergies while remaining focused on their unique challenges.
Zurich's Michael Paravicini Drives Global IT Unification
News  |  3/7/2008  | 
Zurich CITO Michael Paravicini built an IT organization to support the carrier's transition to a globally integrated insurance enterprise.
The Greening of Data Centers
News  |  3/7/2008  | 
Financial institutions have pledged billions of dollars to develop next-generation data centers that are more energy efficient. But their efforts aren't entirely altruistic -- environmentally sustainable data centers carry fiscal benefits, too.
International Insurance IT Executives Continue To Invest, Priorities Vary
News  |  3/6/2008  | 
Though the global economy weighs on the minds of insurance CIOs in every market, non-U.S. IT executives will continue to invest in technology in 2008. But their spending priorities reflect the unique challenges of their local markets.
ING Asia Pacific's Mark Wales Develops Regional SOA-based Architecture
News  |  3/6/2008  | 
By developing a regional SOA-based architecture, CIO Mark Wales has given ING Asia Pacific business units more value from the enterprise IT function.
United Concordia Launches New Online Support Tool For Producers
News  |  3/6/2008  | 
Dental insurer United Concordia looks to meet growing demand for producer-facing Web tools with ConcordiaConnect.
Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Web-enables Critical Business Functions
News  |  3/6/2008  | 
Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Web-enables disparate systems to create a single customer view.
The Elite 8 International 2008: Excellence in Insurance IT Leadership
News  |  3/6/2008  | 
Who are some of the insurance industry's most outstanding technology executives in Europe, Asia, South America and Canada?
Exclusive Research Report: Insurance IT Spending Slowdown Already Upon Us, TowerGroup Says
News  |  3/5/2008  | 
While past profits will soften the blow on IT spending, the current down market will result in budget constraints for North American insurers. But spending on improving ease of doing business, agency support, customer interaction and enterprise risk management likely will increase.
Xiao Gang Enables Enterprise IT Focus at China Pacific Insurance Company
News  |  3/5/2008  | 
Xiao Gang is driving enterprise-focused projects to help China Pacific Insurance be a leader in the increasingly competitive Chinese insurance industry.
Yamamoto Reshapes Business Process at Maritima Seguros
News  |  3/5/2008  | 
Erico Tadashi Yamamoto has transformed Martima Seguros' IT department from an internal service provider to a strategic business partner.
AXA's Global IT Boss Keeps it Simple
News  |  3/5/2008  | 
Etienne Aubourg, CEO of AXA Technology Services, applies the lessons of manufacturing to AXA Group's Paris-based global technology organization.
Undersea Cable Failure Demonstrates Internet’s Vulnerability
News  |  3/5/2008  | 
The recent breakdown of the global undersea fiber-optic cable network demonstrates the vulnerabilities of the physical infrastructure upon which offshore outsourcing relationships depend.
Public Mistrust A Roadblock to Technology Acceptance
News  |  3/4/2008  | 
I promised myself that I wouldn't mention any New York Times articles in my next few blog entries -- not after mentioning the newspaper twice in recent posts -- but I couldn't help myself last week, after coming across an article headlined
LaRocco New Fireman’s Fund CEO
News  |  3/4/2008  | 
LaRocco arrived at Fireman's Fund from Safeco (Seattle), where he had been president and chief operating officer. LaRocco is also a veteran of Geico Corporation, where he had been a vice president responsible for the company's Northeast region.
Social Networking and the SIU
News  |  3/4/2008  | 
It seems like a pretty good idea for insurance companies' special investigative units to keep an eye on social networking sites such as via Web crawler technology that can correlate policyholder addresses to party invitations.
Znidarsic Named VP of Information Services At Accident Fund
News  |  3/4/2008  | 
Richard Znidarsic has been named vice president of information services at Accident Fund, where he will oversee business application implementation and support, systems security and business continuity planning (BCP).
New York Life CEO Named
News  |  3/4/2008  | 
New York Life's board of directors has named Ted Mathas to succeed Sy Sternberg as the carrier's CEO, effective July 1.

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