27 October 2010 Volume 1, Issue 43 Headlines and Information 1 Streamlining ACORD's Standards Department 2 ACORD's Carroll & Marable at NAAIA 3 Revenge of the Thin Client (Insurance Networking News) 4 CCM and ECM: New Levers for Growth in Insurance (Tech Decisions) 5 Put It on My Card (Claims Advisor) ACORD Certified Expert 6 New & Improved Expert Tests ACORD Forms 7 ACORD Forms Toolkit Sunsetting ACORD in Europe 8 Rueschlikon: More than a Small Town in Switzerland AUGIE 9 AUGIE Launches Update Site Property & Casualty/Surety 10 E&S Standardization Progress ACORD's Anniversary: 40 Stories for 40 Years 11 Story #37: Saving The Trees Headlines and Information 1. Streamlining ACORD's Standards Department Last week, ACORD announced several promotions and title changes as work continues to streamline the functioning of the ACORD Standards Department. This follows the recent addition of Rick Heil as Director of Standards. Shane McCullough was promoted to Chief Enterprise Architect. He will lead all technical services support activities and continue to spearhead work on ACORD's technical standards and ACORD Framework. Carolyn "Cal" Durland, CPCU, was promoted to Director of Member Relations. She is celebrating her 20th anniversary with ACORD. She will also continue to serve as the AUGIE facilitator. Marcia Berner was named Director of P&C Advisory Services. She will be working with members directly to help increase and improve PCS Standards implementations industry-wide. Cliff Chaney will take on a new role as Senior Enterprise Architect and will be working with Shane McCullough to oversee all aspects of managing and maintaining the ACORD Framework. They will also provide the technical support required to publish standards and deploy ACORD assets like testing and certification and other tools for standards development and implementation. "We are embarking on our fifth decade of service to the insurance industry in 2011 and we are, once again, organizing for continued success. So please join me in wishing everyone the best in their new roles. We are changing ACORD so we can change the business of insurance," said Gregory A. Maciag, President & CEO of ACORD. 2. ACORD's Carroll & Marable at NAAIA ACORD's Daneen Carroll, Compliance Manager and Brian Marable, Market Development Manager, presented at the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) Annual Conference in Dallas this month. Their two-hour presentation, Knowledge is Power: Tapping into Industry Resources, focused on helping attendees find the industry information they need quickly and easily. Topics included basic insurance information, insurance resources, professional development opportunities, and emerging issues and innovative tools. "With so much information available today, we wanted to give people as much information as possible while making it interactive and fun," said Marable. "We had a lot of ground to cover and even after two hours, everyone still wanted more. They even decided to skip a break so we could keep going and cover more ground." Carroll and Marable threw in trivia questions along with the slides of links and information to keep things interactive and keep attendees engaged throughout. "Our goal was to provide everyone with some basics and ways to gain additional knowledge. With all the information available today, it helps to have a foundation of links to build from and that's what we provided," said Carroll. "We also wanted to discuss the major topics and issues facing our industry today and how they can or will affect us all." These issues included e-signatures, climate change, Web 2.0/3.0, legislative activities such as Dodd- Frank and Patient Protection Affordability Car Act. Carroll Elected to NAAIA Board Daneen Carroll attended this year's NAAIA conference not only as ACORD staff, but also as a newly elected member of the NAAIA Board of Directors. Our congratulations to Daneen! 3. Revenge of the Thin Client (Insurance Networking News) The latest virtualization technology enables a company to push out a Windows 7 desktop to any PC the employee happens to have handy, Courtesy of including an old office XP machine, a personally owned Netbook computer or a free-standing computer available at any Internet cafe. This trend-if, indeed it becomes a trend-can be called "The Revenge of the Thin Client." Not a new idea, as some vendors already push "thin" client stations that contain few if any of their own applications, but can connect to a server somewhere that contains all the functionality the user needs. Plus, the idea has never really largely caught on, but it may be that in the current economic environment, the need to save money on line items such as hardware purchases will put "new life into the old cadaver." The hardware savings are an obvious benefit-not having to buy fully functional PCs or laptops for one's employees will certainly save money. Then again, the prices of such devices have fallen to the extent that savings may not be as significant as hoped. There is also a problem of security. This paradigm enables your users to access your network from "virtually" any virus-infected laptop or zombie desktop unit-not an appetizing idea for insurers, brokers and others whose very existence depends on keeping their networks safe from intrusion. 4. CCM and ECM: New Levers for Growth in Insurance (Tech Decisions) The alphabet soup of CCM (customer communications management) and ECM (enterprise content management) along with CRM, EBPP, BPM, and Courtesy of a host of others aren’t topics that are likely to grab the attention of senior executives. They usually are considered areas that someone else needs to manage—to keep the space required for filing cabinets from expanding yet again, to curtail the annoying errors that customers continue to find in their bills or to keep up with regulations. 5. Put It on My Card (Claims Advisor) Integrating electronic payment processing into a claims system can accelerate speed to settlement and reduce processing costs. Courtesy of Insurance companies today are at the intersection of embracing electronic payment processing (EPP) for claims or staying with their traditional check payment methods. While many industries have adopted EPP, some 80% of insurers still rely on the traditional method despite the fact that electronic payments vastly increase speed to settlement and save insurers the costs associated with manual processing of paper checks. Electronic payment processing broadly refers to making and settling payments for goods or services via electronic means, e.g., credit cards, automatic clearinghouse (ACH) or electronic funds transfers. Under the EPP program, an account is generated by an issuing bank of credit—the EPP provider—that then extends credit to the insurer at a defined level. Once the insurer begins paying claims through the single- use account solution, the aggregate credit limits of each individual single-use account would then hit against the credit agreement. The account is charged through a national credit card network and settled in only one to two days. ACORD Certified Expert 6. New and Improved Expert Tests As the ACORD Certified Expert program in the US ends its beta period, new and improved tests are being implemented. "We took the feedback from our beta group of designees and subject matter experts and incorporated it into overall program and test improvements," said Beth Grossman, Chief Learning Officer, ACORD. "I really thank all of our ACEs and our SMEs for all their time, effort, and input to make this program advance so quickly and so well." The new tests are being administered at the 2010 ACORD Implementation Forum in Fort Lauderdale. Testing times will be: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Friday, November 5, 2010 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM Three sessions – one for each ACORD domain – are scheduled for those interested in or just starting their ACE studies. ACEs Training ACE Candidates will focus on the hottest implementation topics and tie them back to the ACE course outline. It is also an opportunity to learn about the program and studies from those who have already blazed the trail. All three sessions are scheduled for 4:15 on Wednesday, November 3. "AIF is the place to begin your studies for an ACE designation since you're surrounded by those implementing ACORD Standards. We'll have many of our current ACEs at the Forum and they are a great source of information about the program," Grossman said. "If you've already been studying and you're ready, we have the improved tests there for you so you can join the ranks of ACEs already out there." ACORD Forms 7. ACORD Tool Kit Sunsetting by Lloyd Chumbley Vice President, Standards ACORD Times change, technology improves, and standards evolve. That's what's happened to ACORD forms over the past few years. It's also why it's now time for us to phase out the older ACORD Forms Tool Kit and fully transition to eForms. ACORD eForms are more technologically capable. They integrate much more easily into your systems. Using eForms along with eLabeling makes updating your systems faster and more efficient and helps you stay compliant by using the latest releases. Lloyd Chumbley By the end of 2011, the old ACORD Forms Tool Kit will be discontinued. Vice President, Standards This includes the hp3, wmf, emf, ps, crd/crd3 and TIF formats. Doing this ACORD will help us all focus exclusively on the eForms formats of PDF and XFDL and better meet member needs. For many, this won't have any impact at all since you've already transitioned to eForms. For the rest of ACORD's members using the older formats, it's time to plan your migration. Some may wonder why we just don't keep it all. The fact is that maintenance on these older and often out-dated formats is simply not efficient. That's why technology providers across the board sunset products, applications, and support once the new versions are available and established. eForms are now well established to the time has come. Maintaining multiple formats from different technological eras is time consuming, ineffective and a drain on resources for any organization. By focusing all of our efforts on eForms and current technological capabilities, we'll be able to more quickly and effectively update and distribute forms to you and you'll be able to keep your systems current and compliant with less time and effort. The faster you can integrate a form using eForms into your system, the better you can service your company and your customers. If you've already moved to eForms, you're all set to go and this change won't impact you at all. If you haven't, it's essential that you begin the process today. For any questions about eForms and implementations, please contact Dominic Caccioppoli, Director of Member Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org. ACORD in Europe 8. Rueschlikon: More Than a Small Town in Switzerland Rueschlikon, as ACORD's Program Director for Europe Juergen Heck pointed out, is more than a small village near Zurich, Switzerland. Rueschlikon stands for innovation, as it is the home of two centers with worldwide impact – the IBM lab and the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue. And it is the name given to an initiative that is helping to promote innovation in the global reinsurance industry. The overall goal is to enhance e-Processing within the reinsurance industry, through improved, ACORD Standards based data sharing. These efficiencies will, in turn, reduce costs, enhance data granularity and quality, and speed-up turnaround of global accounting and claims data. The initial Rueschlikon group of Aon Benfield, Willis, Munich Re, SCOR and Swiss Re has recently been joined by Guy Carpenter. "Guy Carpenter is delighted to be a full member of the Rueschlikon Initiative. We have been trading in a peer-to-peer environment with reinsurers for several years and have seen first-hand the efficiency and value that e-commerce can bring to the business process. We are interested in raising the profile of e-commerce solutions and see Rueschlikon as an ideal vehicle to promote this goal and believe ACORD is ideally positioned to help bring business partners together around a common set of standards and processes. We applaud the efforts Top: Juergen Heck of ACORD of the Rueschlikon Group and its members in promoting e- commerce, not only in Europe, but across the globe," said Roy Bottom (l to r): Tim Page, Tawa; Ursuline Foley, XL Re; Arno Greter, Swiss Maddison, Managing Director, Client Support Services, Guy Re; Ian Summers, Aon Benfield Carpenter & Company Limited. ACORD has been actively involved ever since the group's inception and now provides overall project management services and runs dedicated workstreams for the Business Implementation Group (BIG). Rueschlikon Meeting On October 5, 2010, a Rueschlikon Initiative meeting took place at ACORD's office in London. The Steering Group reviewed the progress of traffic enhancements including future expansions and addressed the marketing activities with potential joiners as well as the cooperation with vendors. Another important aspect was the dialogue with members of the ACORD US Reinsurance Advisory Group at this meeting. As the groups share a common goal, and many are international organizations, they will combine efforts where appropriate to propel implementations even faster. Insurance Day Technology Forum Panel On Wednesday, October 6 at the 2010 Insurance Day Technology Forum, a panel further discussed these developments. The international panel consisted of Ursuline Foley of XL Re; Ian Summers of Aon Benfield; Arno Greter of Swiss Re; Tim Page of Tawa; and Juergen Heck of ACORD who moderated the panel. All panelists explained how they and their organizations are involved in trading initiatives both domestically and internationally. An over-arching theme was the need for ACORD Standards implementations that would allow further growth of efficient electronic communication and e-Trading. Part of the current Rueschlikon Initiative is the rulebook, which will help to guide companies through implementations. BIG is in the process of enhancing this guide for all companies worldwide to have a common understanding. While current participants represent large organizations, an important part of the Rueschlikon Initiative is ensuring cedents, regardless of size, are on board. Rueschlikon Light, as it's been termed, will be a way all for smaller organizations to achieve efficiencies without the same implementation effort that larger, highly integrated and automated organizations face. "Everyone agrees that there is a worldwide need to increase efficiency when interacting. This is the goal of this initiative and with people from all over the world participating, we will be able to achieve these goals and the industry will benefit," said Heck. "Over the past months, ACORD has taken on a more prominent role in the overall Rueschlikon initiative," added Heck. "It's far more than the development and maintenance of standards. ACORD is actively helping facilitate implementations with all of the players involved." AUGIE 9. AUGIE Launches Updated Website AUGIE is working to make information easier to access. That's why they recently updated their area on the ACORD website and adopted the community look used for other ACORD Groups such as Property & Casualty/Surety. "For some members, finding what they wanted wasn't always easy. With this new style, its one-stop shopping for all AUGIE and related information," said Cal Durland, CPCU, Director of Member Relations. Among other features, users will find: AUGIE News AUGIE Events AUGIE Tweets AUGIE Resources & Documents Links to other ACORD Resources This is the first stage in the redesign plan. Additional changes New AUGIE pages at www.acord.org/augie are in the works to make the pages and information easier to use and the resources easy to find. The new site can be accessed directly at www.acord.org/augie. "AUGIE is about members, and helping them get the information they need is essential," Durland concluded. Property & Casualty/Surety 10. E&S Standardization Progress Combined Effort: E&S Standardization Excess & Surplus (E&S) is a topic that has brought together a cross-industry, and cross-border group including AAMGA, ACORD, ACT, NAPSLO, and Lloyd’s of London and blending carriers, agents, managing general agents and vendors. Their goal is to improve workflow, increase efficiency, and boost accuracy across the market through the use of existing, and the creation of new standards. There are multiple groups working on various aspects of the marketplace. The ACORD Excess and Surplus Lines Forms Working Group chaired by Keith Savino of Warwick Resource Group is one example. It has authored the ACORD 105 - Apartment Building Supplement and the ACORD 106 - Vacant Building Supplement. Both forms are used with the ACORD 125 - Commercial Insurance Application - Applicant Information Section. The work that this group is doing is twofold: They are evaluating data, determining what is commonly required on company specific forms, and creating those standardized forms. They are adding that data to the electronic standards (XML V1.x). Other working groups are concentrating on retail and MGA data exchange, MGA to Lloyd's data exchange, and Mid-Commercial Lines business workflow and data needs. "The idea that Excess & Surplus Lines business can be mainstreamed using the existing standards is still foreign to some. However, these groups are identifying the common needs and moving in tandem to resolve them. We know that that there is uniqueness among E&S carriers," said Marcia Berner, Director of P&C Advisory Services. "I think you have to use the 80/20 rule here. Focus on the 80% that can make a difference to the players in this market." Berner added that, "the challenge that the industry faces is in getting E&S carrier involvement. We also need carriers to participate in order to identify the data and workflows which can be enhanced." At the upcoming ACORD Implementation Forum, there are two opportunities to learn and understand the many efforts underway in the E&S marketplace. Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM Retail to Wholesale: All Paths Converge This panel includes Angelyn Treutel of Treutel and Associates, Scott Good of Scottsdale Insurance, Pat McCall of Vertafore, Sarah Thacker of Lloyd's of London and Tammie Miller of Southern Cross Underwriters will discuss the importance of implementing real-time workflows for businesses whether they are retail or wholesale, US or London based. With all perspectives in one place - a retail agent, an MGA, an E&S carrier, Lloyd's of London, and a solution provider – attendees will learn why this effort is so important why it will succeed. Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:00 PM – 5:15 PM Industry Joint Working Group for the Retail Agent-MGA-E&S/Program Market Initiative This is a face-to-face meeting of the joint working group for the E&S initiative from AAMGA, ACORD, ACT, NAPSLO. They will update industry participants as well as discuss ways increase activity and involvement with E&S efforts. Moderating this meeting will be Angelyn Treutel of Treutel and Associates and John Deibler of JBD Consulting. The agenda includes: Industry survey results focused on retail agent interfaces and how ACORD standards can streamline supplemental applications. Discussions about download solutions and general agent electronic interfaces. Interfaces between Lloyd's and MGAs in which Lloyd's is assisting in the design, development, testing and deployment of electronic data exchange and standardization initiatives between MGAs and the Lloyd’s marketplace. Conversations about how a joint marketing effort can further promote group efforts to the Industry and grow participation and implementation. ACORD's Anniversary: 40 Stories for 40 Years 11. Story #37: Saving The Trees In celebration of ACORD's 40th Anniversary, we'll be bringing you trivia, history and other items from our past. See how much you know about ACORD! Going green is a hot topic today. Green buildings, green businesses, green shopping ... it's all around us. But back in December 1993, ACORD was looking at ways to go green with a cover article in ACORD Insurance EDI magazine called "Saving the Trees." The cover quote says it all: "Besides saving trees, wider use of EDI can eliminate the inefficiencies of handling paper documents, which will significantly reduce operating costs and improve overall data quality. So why aren't managers of business units pressuring the support staff to fun EDI applications?" Going green ... so new and yet so old.
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