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The ACE Rankings are based on an online survey of senior technology and operational executives at either five or 10 (Standard or Gold Rankings) clients that have direct experience with the vendor product and organization. Novarica validates the identities and responses of all participants while preserving their anonymity. The Novarica ACE Ranking Survey asks for the reference to rank his or her experience with the vendor and solution on a seven-point scale ranging from “Completely Agree” to “Completely Disagree” in relation to various positive statements about customer experience, for example, “Staff is highly responsive.” These statements are grouped into Novarica’s four SOFT areas (Staff, Organization, Functionality, and Technology) as well as an additional area for Overall Customer Satisfaction, which is double-weighted in the average. When evaluating potential solutions, Novarica recommends insurers consult references as early in the process as possible, rather than in a final due-diligence phase. The most important criteria for most insurers are how the system performs in production and how the vendor delivers support. The best sources of answers to both questions are the vendor’s other clients. Insurers should insist on speaking to client references as early as possible and should leverage formal and informal networks to communicate with trusted peers early in the evaluation process to avoid later surprises. The Novarica ACE Ranking is intended to provide an objective measurement of satisfaction levels across a wide range of areas and is intended to be used to guide insurers’ own further digging when evaluating potential solution providers. More information about the Novarica ACE Rankings is available online at http://www.novarica.com/acerankings_faq.shtml.

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