Insurance Innovation Reporter had a chance to catch up with SMA (Boston) partner Karen Furtado, who shared her observations about an insurance systems market that continues to see a steady stream of mergers and acquisitions, as well as the emergence of start-up companies. “Technology advancements continue to create opportunities in this market space, which we have observed in particular with regard to an increasing focus on business intelligence/analytics and cloud-based solutions,” she commented. “Competitors in the core system space will need to continue to reinvest and reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant.”
We asked Karen some specific questions about the Insurity/Oceanwide deal:
Insurance Innovation Reporter: What is the logic of this acquisition in terms of the respective capabilities of each company—what does each vendor bring to the table?
Karen Furtado, Partner, SMA: Certainly Oceanwide has been gaining tremendous momentum in the market from specialty writers that require rapid product deployment and configuration. Many of the specialty products are based on ISO, so the combination of Insurity’s strength in ISO content to handle the complex lines of business and Oceanwide’s quick to configure system provides a strong value proposition to insurers. Oceanwide has also been increasingly gaining traction in the portal space over the past year for large insurers that wanted to create a new user experience for the agent distribution channel that could handle both the specialty risks as well as the standard ISO lines of business. Another area of that has been a focus of many core system implementations is the BI capabilities. Insurity’s IEV solution will be a nice addition to the Oceanwide suite offering.
(Related: Oceanwide Acquisition Gains Insurity Cloud, Configuration Capabilities)
IIR: What are some of the benefits of the deal to each of the vendors’ customers and prospects?
KF: Oceanwide and Insurity have many shared clients and therefore the strength of the combined organization will bring continuity and in the future a vision that would support both technologies. For prospects it can provide an intriguing offering as it matures.
IIR: How does this latest acquisition position Insurity with regard to its the capabilities the vendor has amassed? Perhaps you could put the deal in context with previous acquisitions by Insurity, such as AQS.
KF: Oceanwide, with its cloud-based offering, provides Insurity with a number of deployment options for technology. The development tools with the focus on user maintainability is in synch with Insurity’s development focus from the past couple of years. The acquisition strategy certainly has been building onto the strengths of Insurity’s core offering with now adding the significant specialty lines focus.
(Related: What Insurity/Oceanwide Reveals About the Insurance Systems Market)
IIR: Are we witnessing the emergence of strong challengers to Guidewire with the M&A moves of vendors such as Insurity and Majesco?
KF: The field of providers to the core system space has continued to strengthen now providing robust capabilities in portal, policy, billing, claims, data and analytics to name a few areas. I feel the bar is continuing to raise on all companies as the pace of deals continues at an accelerated rate. Having a strong competitive market is an advantage for all insurers as it would focus on improved and expanded capabilities within many systems. Certainly Guidewire has gained a great deal of traction but Accenture Duck Creek, Insurity, and Majesco are all well positioned in this market.