Suite implementation can be a reality for all insurers.
The goals were lofty, but The Philadelphia Contributionship (TPC) set out on a full core administration suite quest that resulted in an on-time and on-budget implementation, new business and appreciative agents.
ISCS: Why did TPC speci cally choose a suite for core administration instead of best-of-breed components?
Whitlock: In business since 1752, TPC is the oldest property and casualty (P&C) insurer in the United States, and to a degree, our technology re ected that age. While the lights were staying on, business was operating and agents were satis ed, we knew our existing 30-year-old homegrown legacy system was not viable for the long run. We went into this thinking best-of-breed was the way to go after terminating a previous implementation with a suite provider. We felt like we could implement more carefully. But, the more we got into it, the more advice we got that it was not the way to go because the integrations are harder. At the end of the day, our business users made the decision to go with a suite implementation.
ISCS: What were some of the major considerations for TPC in the evaluation and selection process?
Jozwiak: IT didn’t drive the direction of this project largely because IT doesn’t use the software. During the evaluation process, we worked with an analyst rm, starting with nine software providers and eventually narrowing to three providers who provided scripted demos. Based on the scripted demos, we selected ISCS to continue the process by providing a proof-of-concept (PoC). Their SurePower Innovation® had everything we were looking for in an end-to-end suite, including reinsurance. Several of us additionally visited ISCS’s of ce to meet the entire team before the nal decision was made and that pretty much sealed the deal. In the scorecard process, you try to nd that balance of overall quality of the product and the culture of the vendor. It was pretty clear cut at that point that ISCS was the right choice.
ISCS: How did this selection, and following implementation process, meet or re ect TPC’s strategic business goals? What made this a successful project in your opinion?
Cartafalsa: Entering new states was a slow and dif cult process with the legacy system we had before SurePower Innovation, and therefore, it was a big goal for us with this implementation. We took a green eld deployment approach, expanding into the state of Maryland in addition to our existing states (Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey). Because we were new to the agile methodology for technology implementations and project management, we took advantage of the availability of ISCS’s current customers and sought out their input. But, we found the whole process of rolling out the systems was consistent with our culture. We have a very welldeveloped enterprise risk management culture here. A project like this is full of risk, and we thought carefully about how we wanted to roll this out. We also had sincere buy-in from our leadership. In other companies, you probably wouldn’t see the CEO and CFO rolling up their sleeves, getting their hands dirty.
ISCS: What were the results of the suite implementation process?
Cartafalsa: As we started to realize the bene ts of agile, the momentum of the project increased. Getting new agents on-board as we brought up a new state was a high point. We deliberately involved our agent customers very early in the process, through site visits and access to the test system. In total, it only took nine months from rst sprint to go-live in Maryland for all the new and increased functionality that SurePower Innovation provides. Coincidentally, we went live in Maryland on June 2, 2014, exactly 262 years from the day TPC issued its rst policy in 1752.
Then came Delaware in December 2014, Pennsylvania in July 2015, and New Jersey in June 2016. The whole roll-out strategy was to manage the risk, small to large.
ISCS: What impact did this have on the business?
Whitlock: I think this changed our reputation as a company in terms of our technological capabilities. With SurePower Innovation, we’ve been able to leapfrog some of the competition. Our reputation has started to move toward more mainstream and innovative than what we’ve had in the past. And, agents really like the functionalities and features.
ISCS: What speci c features or functionality of SurePower Innovation are TPC users nding most bene cial so far?
Jozwiak: Needless to say, we truly appreciate how much more modern SurePower Innovation’s overall advanced architecture is than our old, legacy system. Built on one web-based platform, the bene ts SurePower Innovation provides our people to see policies across lines of business and subsidiary companies is signi cant. Previously, if you wanted to look at another, you’d have to log into that one. With SurePower Innovation, it’s just one system, one login. And, maybe even better, it’s intuitive. It was amazing how quickly our users could jump on there and quote right away. It’s nice to be able to work in one platform rather than having one web-based platform and a separate internal platform and having to deal with two development efforts – one for agents and one for internal users. Now, it’s all one-in-the-same.
ISCS: How are you planning for the future with SurePower Innovation and ISCS going forward?
Cartafalsa: At the end of the day, moving to a suite implementation was the right decision for TPC.
And, we have con dence in ISCS’s and SurePower Innovation’s ability to adapt. ISCS evolves, and SurePower Innovation will evolve with our users and the product. That’s one of the things we like about ISCS. They’re always refreshing the system to keep it up to date and ready for the future.
The goals were lofty, but The Philadelphia Contributionship set out on a full core administration suite quest that resulted in an on-time and onbudget implementation, new business and appreciative agents.
ERIN JOZWIAK BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE MANAGER, UNDERWRITING – TPC
BEN CARTAFALSA IT PROJECT MANAGER – TPC
ROBERT WHITLOCK PRESIDENT AND CEO – TPC