Software centralizes information, eliminates bottlenecks, improves workflow

While dealing with documents traditionally involves labor in the form of gathering, classifying, prioritizing and distributing, new software products pour into the market each year, designed to make those jobs simpler and less time consuming. Here are some of the products that have become available in the past 12 months.

o InSystems of Markham, Ontario, Canada, came out this year with “InSystems Writer,” which lets insurers create state-specific documents for filing with state insurance regulators.

Neil Betteridge, vice president of marketing for InSystems, says that in the past, insurance filing officials had to manually cut and paste wordings to create state-specific documents for filing, plus manage separate documents for each state and a master version containing all wordings.

“InSystems Writer also reduces compliance risk and errors by centralizing all wordings while eliminating bottlenecks that slow the filing and policy-wording template creation process,” Betteridge says.

The software compresses timelines by letting users prepare for policy issuances as soon as the document is ready for internal reviews, without risking loss of work as the document moves through the internal and state-file approvals, he notes.

“It also reduces the effort required to bring a new product to market by automatically translating the master document into a template for policy production, thereby ensuring the document used for issuance is identical to what has been filed and approved,” according to Betteridge.

InSystems Writer prices start at $25,000, the company says.

o The ISIS Group, in Southlake, Texas, this year came out with “Papyrus v. 6.1.” It focuses on total integration of the inbound and outbound document management universe based on Papyrus Objects and its Papyrus Document Switchboard.

The new software supports ISIS Papyrus, which unifies all corporate inbound and outbound business into one system. ISIS Papyrus programs are printer and platform independent, the company says.

Highlights of the new version include a full audit trail of documents and system resources, says Annemarie Pucher, co-founder and global head of sales and marketing for ISIS.

In addition, the update will enable highlighting of existing or new information in a PDF, and a full range of system-embedded security functions, such as document encryption, digital signature for workflow sign-off, and ready-to-use templates and workflow for faster project implementation, says ISIS. Large insurance companies can use this product for their basic document needs.

Average product price ranges between $200,000 and $600,000, the company says.

o Optical Image Technology Inc., in State College, Pa., released its newest version (Version 9) of the “DocFinity” suite of document management software this year.

One major upgrade within DocFinity Version 9, says company representative Jill Filby, is a Web Service applications programming interface that allows users to access information through a Web portal or custom application.

Version 9 also includes a new viewer. Written in Java, the viewer can be used by all clients on any operating system. “It has power annotation features, including footnotes,” notes Filby. Other functions include the ability to edit documents stored in the Web-access module.

The DocFinity suite is scalable, building on imaging with modules available for workflow. The price of the DocFinity Core ranges from $5,000 to $30,000.

o ImageRight, in Conyers, Ga., this year came out with “ImageRight 3.4″–a content management product for insurance.

Marketing Coordinator Carolee Dagenais says the software developers worked with IT, claims and underwriting specialists from property-casualty companies in developing the product.

“We provide access to content, workflow, portability, efficiency and customer service,” she says.

Among the improvements is the ability to conduct a full-text search, send documents through electronic mail as a PDF and to send those documents to external applications such as claims or policy systems, the company says. Carriers, managing general agents, brokers, agents and reinsurers can use the product.

The cost for a small company can start at $20,000, depending on the number of users and functionality desired, the company says.

o Exstream Software, in Lexington, Ky., came out last June with Version 5.0 of its “Dialogue” program.

A company representative, Sheila Dalton, says the new version includes 250 enhancements to help insurance carriers develop and produce their entire batch, real-time and interactive document applications using a single platform.

“Dialogue v5 offers more control over long documents like policies and booklets, by allowing users to add paragraphs and sections as objects so multiple sections can be edited at once,” Dalton says.

Other enhancements include hierarchical paragraph numbering, global search and replace, new output options, and a more “intuitive” design interface, she adds. Both subscription and perpetual licensing models are available, as well as rental and pay-per-click pricing options.

Prices range from $200,000 and up, based on the number of seats and other factors, the company notes. The company also partners with service companies like Prinova and DocuLynx to provide the software to small and midsized companies at price points scaled to the company’s size.

o Docucorp International, in Dallas, this year came out with its 11.0 upgrade to its “Documaker Studio.”

A company representative, Laura Sanders, says the upgrade contains a new graphical user interface that makes the system easier and faster to use. The product features components that include forms composition, resource editing, business rules development, maintenance and debugging.

“This new tool allows an insurance company to create an insurance policy, claims correspondence, or any kind of customer communication,” according to Sanders.

In addition to the graphical user interface, the upgrade allows use by several multi-user work groups, so people can work on one document simultaneously, the company says.

Pricing ranges from $200,000 to more than $1 million, depending on add-on components.

In an industry as document-intensive as insurance, it is no wonder that new software products are pouring into the market to enhance their management