Making different insurance software solutions work seamlessly can make juggling chainsaws seem like a cute hobby. The key, as carriers have learned, is integration. Getting disparate solutions to work seamlessly is the goal insurance IT leaders strive to achieve. In the case of CAA Insurance (Ontario) it took strong partners and good fortune, but it was accomplished.
CAA Insurance South Central Ontario purchased the OnBase enterprise content management system about five years ago as the insurer looked to change its legacy imaging system to achieve the additional benefits such as improved workflow, according to Matt Turack, vice president, insurance for CAA. In late 2011, the insurer selected Guidewire InsuranceSuite to replace its enterprise system and kept the OnBase solution for its imaging and document fulfillment needs.
“We needed OnBase not just for imaging and workflow, but for document creation and fulfillment to our printer,” says Turack. “It was a 14-month project involving both OnBase and Guidewire to replace everything—policy admin, rating, and claims. There was a full integration using web services.”
CAA built an enterprise service bus to connect to pieces such as OnBase and Guidewire integration, explains Turack.
“We use those pieces to facilitate integration between the two systems from an imaging standpoint, document viewing standpoint, pushing XML data, and to create fulfillment of letters, dec pages, and notices,” he says.
ImageSoft is the authorized integration partner for Hyland and worked closely with CAA for document fulfillment within the organization. The carrier had documents and 140 templates that needed to come out of the OnBase system. ImageSoft was able to put them in the right format and create the tool that allowed CAA to manage them in a user-friendly fashion.
“The whole creation and conversion of any fulfillment we had was made simple,” says Turack. “The workflows triggered the right commands. Adding new modules expanded our abilities from an enterprise imaging standpoint and from fulfillment. All the documents from Guidewire flow into OnBase and ImageSoft worked with the CAA team to take the XML outputs and bring it into OnBase, create all the templates that were necessary for production output.”
After selecting Guidewire, CAA considered its options for staying with the OnBase solution, but Turack points out that the partnership with OnBase and ImageSoft was the best option and it allowed for a continuing relationship in terms of evolution and advancements, explains Turack.
“We liked how ImageSoft understood our business model and brought to us the best possible options in terms of usage and process efficiencies, so it wasn’t just a sale of a product it was what works best for CAA Insurance,” he says. “They helped us create an efficient, member-centric product. I think we accomplished that.”
The integration between the two platforms has been phenomenal, according to Turack.
“It has been a collaborative partnership with us, ImageSoft on the OnBase product, and with Guidewire as well,” he says. “One of the biggest benefits has been a collection of core systems here that gives us the right tools to do our jobs and provides not only our internal staff but our customers with increased service and product offerings.”
Turack describes it as a closed integration so when frontline users perform a task or make a change to a policy, the corresponding data element is transmitted directly to OnBase.
“They don’t have to go to OnBase or a separate system to view the documents—they can launch that through an integrated portal with Guidewire,” he says. “The launching pad allows the adjuster to stay with a single screen and not jump to different systems. We went live in December of 2012 and we’ve seen efficiencies from user engagement to time savings that show us we have shaved a couple of minutes in servicing a transaction just by creating a single point of view. It works in a real-time fashion.”
CAA had a tight timeline of 14 months to roll out the Guidewire enterprise system and Turack points out such a quick installation is difficult with multiple integration touch points, whether it is regulatory constraints or just internal adoptions from an integration perspective.
“It was an aggressive and optimistic plan, but that’s where ImageSoft came to the table with us and helped us get it done within the timeline we set up,” he says. “It was a very collaborative discussion. They worked closely with Guidewire and with us. It wasn’t a massive team. At its peak it was 35 members—internal and external. There was dedication and commitment to hit the milestones we set out on the date they were due and we were able to adjust to unforeseen issues.”
CAA’s front-line staff, which Turack describes as everyone from the document management people to adjusters, agents selling or servicing policies, and operational people who service and maintain the software, all love the integration.
“When we took this into consideration, one of the things we heard from our people was they did not like logging into multiple platforms,” says Turack. “They wanted a single log-in—to be able to go to one system and see the documents on one screen. We still have two screens on most desks, but they rarely use the second screen anymore.”
Turack adds the front line people find the system easier to use and the documents are easier to find. They also appreciate that they are saving time.
“We have an engagement survey that we do with the staff and we’ve seen the scores go up, which means when you have an engaged staff you have a more productive staff,” he says. “It makes for a better customer experience.
CAA also has seen good organic growth in the business, both from new business and from retention. Retention has gone up each of the last three years.
“One of the most critical things is retaining the customers we want to retain,” says Turack. “It means we are providing the right experience for our customers. A lot of that is having the right tools.”