The legacy system challenge
Like many insurance companies, GCU — a 127-year-old fraternal benefit society located in Beaver, Pennsylvania — had an aging core policy administration system that was hindering its ability to effectively service its members.
Over the years GCU had introduced fixes and upgrades to their aging infrastructure to enable continued service of their insurance business. Unfortunately, as their legacy core policy administration system became dated, just maintaining the status quo required an ever-increasing amount of time, effort and cost.
A big issue for GCU was not just maintaining an aging infrastructure, it was also the daunting reality that their existing core systems would not enable them to build the innovative digital customer experience the leadership team identified as crucial to their future growth.
Digital customer experience is the core business driver
For GCU, creating a world-class online customer experience had become critical. At the time their current policy administration system was first implemented, online digital customer service was not yet a reality. Back then, organizations were more concerned with improving speed to market and reducing manual processes.
Today, those same business drivers are still important. However, customer experience has risen to the top of everyone’s priority list — largely driven by two factors:
- Many insurers are struggling to increase market share which makes acquiring and retaining customers more important than ever
- Shifting customer expectations due to other non-insurance online shopping and buying experiences
In response to these changes and input they received from their members, GCU identified several project key business drivers. Scott Schuetz (COO) said, “In addition to our primary goal of enhancing the overall experience for our members and agents, digital transformation must allow us to keep up with ongoing regulatory and compliance requirements, as well as improve ease of business and improve our reporting and analytics capabilities”.
GCU’s approach to making the decision
In order to deliver on those priorities, GCU would need to replace its legacy policy administration system and implement a state-of-the-art online experience for their members and agents.
The first step in GCU’s digital transformation journey was to define their needs for the new system and engage in an extensive market analysis and vendor selection process.
GCU’s key requirements included a modern, rules-based policy administration system that was integrated with the front-end tools (like self service portals, eApps and illustrations) that would support their goals.
After identifying potential vendors who had policy admin platform and implementation experience, GCU set in motion a traditional RFP process. They then moved forward with a short list of vendors and conducted onsite presentations included demos and extensive discussions of the various solutions. GCU took the time to exhaustively explore the suitability of each vendor and their solution and ask the questions that would determine how well each option fit their requirements including the culture of the vendor itself.
Following multiple presentations and demos. Equisoft emerged as the clear favorite. In particular, Equisoft has extensive insurance and technology experience. Equisoft is the largest and most experienced system integrator for the Oracle platform, having completed most of the worldwide implementations.
As a result of their search GCU selected the Oracle Insurance Policy Administration (OIPA) platform with its end-to-end policy admin capabilities. It was clear that the new rules-based system would make it easy to make changes and create new products. And, its integration with the digital front-end tools from Equisoft would support the delivery of world-class customer experiences they desired.
Why GCU chose Equisoft
After a detailed analysis, GCU selected Equisoft as their modernization partner. As Mr. Schuetz said, “We felt Equisoft’s extensive experience of the Oracle system, their proven implementation methodology and comprehensive cloud solution offered the best platform to help us achieve our goals and succeed in our digital transformation strategy.
Equisoft’s ability to deliver integrated back-office systems and front-end tools sets it apart from other vendors. With extensive core modernization experience, Equisoft had proven its ability to deliver on time, on budget — and with the ability to add value through experience-based strategic advice.”
A look forward
GCU’s modernization project is currently underway. The multi-year, phased solution will consolidate all of GCU’s new and existing life and annuity business on single modern rules-based platform. Additionally, the implementation of Equisoft’s digital solution will enable the online “WOW member and agent experience” GCU’s leadership is seeking.
The initial phase of the project will focus on modernizing GCU’s core system by implementing and providing cloud services for the OIPA platform to support GCU’s life and annuity business. The new core system addresses workflow, new business underwriting, agency and compensation, policy changes, billing and payments, claims and operational reporting.
The project will also provide an enhanced member and agent digital experience using Equisoft/apply and Equisoft/illustrate which will also be hosted in the Cloud. It will include the implementation of GCU’s life and annuity products, the integration of leading-edge sales tools (illustrations/quotes, e-app, agent and member self-service portals), and the data migration of GCU’s existing insurance policies to OIPA.
GCU will retire their existing policy admin and CRM platforms. These new solutions provide GCU the opportunity to maintain regulatory compliance, benefit from improved reporting and analytics capabilities, and create enhanced digital member experiences.