Products promote efficiency, shorten sales cycles

In a market that is fiercely competitive, carriers, agents and brokers understandably look for any possible advantage in selling their wares, and software companies stand ready to provide products that speed processes and positively affect the bottom line.

Following are several of the many new technology products designed to deliver what the industry wants.

o Global IQX has announced the latest version of its IQX Platform, “designed to improve efficiencies and increase sales by automating the entire sales process from prospecting through enrollment for the group life and health market.”

According to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada-based Global IQX, the platform supports ACORD XML standards for insurance and features an enhanced rules engine that allows insurers to configure business rules without relying on IT (Information Technology).

“By allowing authorized users to view and override business rules, carriers can adapt to marketplace changes more quickly, speeding time to market,” the company states.

New features of the platform, according to the company, include:

==an enhanced component- and permission-based architecture;

==a case-centric view that makes it easier to track cases and their status;

==data import/export tools that accelerate the exchange of data such as company and plan information, employee census, premium and rate history; and

==channel management that allows permission-based access by users across departments.

“Using this technology, our customers can enjoy higher conversion rates, reduced maintenance and distribution costs while accelerating time to market and realizing revenue opportunities,” says Michael de Waal, president of Global IQX. He adds that “clients have realized increased revenues, typically a 33% increase in personal productivity, as well as a reduction in time to market from an average of 90 days to one day.”

The technology sells for between $375,000 and $1.9 million (U.S. dollars), depending on the number of components selected, a company spokesperson notes. Further information is available at www.globaliqx.com.

o MCP Premium Software has introduced equity-indexed annuity (EIA) software that “lets financial pros quickly illustrate the benefits of EIAs over other investments.”

The software covers “virtually every product on the market,” says Orange, Calif.-based MCP. It shows each EIA’s rate of return under different scenarios, including Monte Carlo simulations. “The agent or advisor can readily do sophisticated modeling to show how adding an EIA can optimize a client’s overall portfolio,” the company notes.

MCP adds that the software is “easy to use” and that it helps broker-dealers and registered representatives comply with the National Association of Security Dealers’ recent notice obliging members to tighten EIA sales practices.

The full version of the software runs on Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000, with an individual license priced at $995, the company says. The Lite version, available on the Web for individuals at $199, can be used by anyone with Internet access, says MCP, and a free trial is offered. Further details are available at www.mcppremium.com.

o SunGard Insurance Systems has announced the release of VIP Express, a sales and in-force illustration product.

According to Miami-based SunGard, the product provides insurance companies with a browser-based illustration system that “supports all types of life, annuity, disability and long term care products.” It is offered as a hosted ASP (application service provider) solution into which companies can load product rules while applying their brand. As a result, “new products and features [are] available via the Web in a matter of days–without incurring any costs for new infrastructure,” the company says.

“We have been able to develop processes and methods that truly streamline the implementation and delivery of a new illustration system,” says Candace Adams, senior vice president for SunGard Insurance Systems.

Licensing fees for VIP Express range from $25,000 to $100,000, according to a company spokesperson. SunGard Insurance Systems is a global provider of financial and insurance software for both the individual and employee benefits industries. Further information is available at www.sungard.com/insurance.

o NaviSys, Inc. has debuted a new version (9.5) of NaviSys Enterprise Platform, a Web-based platform that “supports the entire policy life cycle,” including sales illustration. The new product “enables insurers to add and reuse complex new insurance concepts using upgraded and elegant configuration tools.”

According to Michael Roe, president and CEO of Edison, N.J.-based NaviSys, the enhanced platform “provides unlimited insurance functionality within a disciplined and easily managed structure of configurable rules. The solution serves all distribution channels and provides access through any type of device, from laptops to PDAs.”

Product and business rules are combined into a single tool with a single repository in the new platform, says NaviSys. “Business users can create brand new financial concepts–from transactions to product features–through configuration of rules.” The platform then automatically modifies components as appropriate.

Other Version 9.5 enhancements, the company says, include:

==improved group functionality for 403(b), 401(k) and other products;

==a new short-form application process;

==improved migration tools;

==enhanced forms management;

==additional support for annuity illustration features; and

technical enhancements to improve system performance.

Components of NaviSys Enterprise Platform are: illustration and quotation, application and forms, case management, underwriting, policy issue, customer services, policy administration, and payout illustration, the company notes. Pricing may range from $500,000 to $5 million, depending on which modules are selected, a company spokesperson adds. Details are available at www.navisys.com.

o Albridge Solutions has announced a platform product for Registered Investment Advisors, Wealth Reporting for RIAs, which includes performance reporting, fee billing, data aggregation and private-labeled Web access for clients.

According to Lawrenceville, N.J.-based Albridge, the new platform offers an aggregation service that “enables advisors to view and report on their clients’ held-away assets, including retirement, wire house brokerage and bank accounts.”

“Having a holistic view of their clients’ financial picture better positions advisors to perform planning and asset management and to bring those assets under their book of business,” says Greg Pacholski, CEO of Albridge Solutions. “By offering a complete platform solution, we are enabling RIAs to get critical platform applications and the comprehensive client service support typically enjoyed by large broker-dealers.”

The company did not provide pricing information. Further details are available at www.albridge.com.

One new product provides insurance companies with a browser-based illustration system that ‘supports all types of life, annuity, disability and long term care products’