Distribution Management System Vendors: North America Insurance 2017

by Karlyn Carnahan, March 17, 2017
Vendor Reviews
North America

Abstract

Growth and retention continue to be the top business goals affecting IT investments. In our current hypercompetitive marketplace, with continued pressure on rates, many carriers are focusing on improving their distribution practices to drive growth. Carriers are expanding channels, adding distributors, moving into new territories, and working to optimize their existing channel in order to improve customer acquisition and retention. Designing, developing, maintaining, and managing productive channel relationships can create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Celent has released a new report titled Distribution Management System Vendors: North America Insurance 2017. The report was written by Karlyn Carnahan, a Research Director with Celent’s Insurance practice.

Growth and retention continue to be the top business goals affecting IT investments. With continued pressure on rates, many carriers are focusing on improving their distribution practices to drive growth.

Carriers are expanding channels, adding distributors, moving into new territories, and working to optimize their existing channel in order to improve customer acquisition and retention. Designing, developing, maintaining, and managing productive channel relationships can create a sustainable competitive advantage. Some carriers are placing their priority on servicing distribution channels and improving service to distributors, increasingly using producer service excellence as a way to retain and grow business. Others are focused on managing the compliance aspects of distribution management — assuring the distributors have the right licenses, and that state appointments are made in a timely manner. Many carriers are focusing on using compensation tools and techniques to more effectively stimulate production.

Data is a hot topic. Most carriers are looking at more effectively using data to manage carriers strategically rather than tactically. In addition, carriers are adding channels including wholesalers, GAs and MGAs and partnerships with other carriers. On the life side carriers work with exclusive agents, independent marketing firms, financial planners, banks and a wide variety of other channels. These multiple channels are effective at targeting different aspects of the market, but add complexity when it comes to channel management.

“A wide variety of issues cause difficulties for carriers when it comes to effectively managing the distribution channel. In the current low-growth economy, the impact of such an unintegrated approach is more severe. It is critical to increase production within existing distributors (keep them happy), necessary to expand into new producers (bring them onboard quickly and with minimal hassle), and essential to monitor performance of all sales activities (know who is doing what and take action appropriately). Distribution management systems provide the tools and technologies to help carriers more effectively manage their channel relationships,” Carnahan commented.

“As a group, vendors continue to make significant investments in portal systems. The solutions are delivering more functionality, improving configuration tools, and being more connected, with SOA and web services becoming the de facto standard. Although these trends are all very good news for insurers, they do make the competition facing vendors that much more daunting,” she added.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1

Introduction

2

Distribution Management Systems: Definition and Functionality

5

Report Methodology

12

Vendor Profiles

15

Callidus Software, Inc.: Callidus Cloud Insurance Suite

16

C2L BIZ Solutions Pvt Ltd: SymbioSys — Distribution Management System

21

Computer Sciences Corporation: PerformancePlus

25

Ebix, Inc.: Producer Support System

31

IBM Corporation: IBM Incentive Compensation Management (ICM)

36

Infosys McCamish LLC: PMACS — Producer Management and Compensation Systems

41

Intellect Design Arena: Intellect Distribution and Service Suite

46

Majesco: Majesco Distribution Management

51

Optymyze LLC: Optymyze Sales Performance

56

Outline Systems, Inc.: Producer One

61

StoneRiver, Inc.: Stream Distribution

66

Vertafore, Inc.: Vertafore Sircon Solutions

71

VUE Software — VUE Distribution Management Suite

76

Concluding Thoughts

81

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

82

 

Support for Financial Institutions

82

 

Support for Vendors

82

Related Celent Research

83

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