Vertical Silos

By Theresa Carey  |  Posted 2004-10-28 Print this article Print

Webify builds front-office applications for insurance carriers. The value to carriers is making it easier for agents to do business with them. "Rather than hop from system to system or make a lot of phone calls, the agent can more easily get the information directly from the carriers themselves via their preferred method of access," Saxena said. Agents can access the carriers information either through a portal or by direct connection to the carriers system. The carrier can become a preferred business partner for the agents by making it easier for the agents to do business with them. Click here to read about Oracles on-demand program for ISVs.
Large carriers have different lines of business and have built vertical silos for each line. A customer who has marine, life, auto and homeowners insurance with one carrier ends up with four different bills. Through the Webify system, an agent can make the vertical silos work together and appear to be one application. Webify unifies the access to all of these insurance carrier systems, which simplifies the processes for the carriers significantly.
Before the advent of SOA, agents had to build point-to-point bridges with each carrier. Through the Webify application, an agent can come into the carriers Web site and decide how they want to access the carriers information and services. Webify Insurance On Demand Applications is a family of service-oriented business applications focused on increasing market share, building agency loyalty and reducing administrative costs. The Webify suite of applications provide agents with on-demand access to carrier rating, quote, policy and claims management processes. These processes are published as multimodal Web services that support both browser-based and direct, machine-to-machine connections to the agents Applied and AMS systems. This is intended to improve agent sales effectiveness and to create a preference for doing business with the carrier using the Webify suite. Webify Insurance On Demand Applications conform to ACORD and WS-I standards. In addition, the solution is an implementation of IBMs On Demand SOA Reference Architecture and leverages IBM middleware and Webifys SOBA Framework. Recently, one large insurance carrier took on the task of modernizing its entire system. Faced with diverse business systems and continuously changing product offerings and regulations, Firemans Fund Insurance Company (FFIC), a property and casualty insurance company providing personal, commercial, marine, excess and surplus lines and agribusiness insurance products nationwide, was looking for a solution to provide the right information to the agents at the right time through both portal and direct machine connections. Next Page: ROI expectations of more market share and reduced call-center volume.

Theresa is the Editor of's Finance Industry Center. She's been writing about financial technology issues since 1990 for a wide variety of publications, including PC Magazine, Newsweek, Fortune, and Fortune Small Business. She is also a Contributing Editor to Barron's and writes their 'Electronic Investor' column.

Theresa received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.S. from the University of Santa Clara. She also has a private pilot's license. When she's not at her computer, she coaches a local high school volleyball team, plays softball and volleyball, and takes part in many Cal Alumni Band events. She lives in Northern California.


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