Market-beating flexibility delivered by Agile software development; 18% market share increase bucks trend
Software company Insurecom’s new flagship product, agencyPlus, bucks market trends in 2008 – ThoughtWorks pivotal to success
London & Chicago, 2nd December 2008: Insurecom, the broker software solutions company based in Bermuda, today announced that its agencyPlus product, which ThoughtWorks was instrumental in the development of, is enjoying the fastest sales growth in its sector.
agencyPlus was built to change the way brokers use technology, recognising that general insurance intermediaries had been held back by legacy software and obstructed access to important tools such as automation and ebusiness capability. agencyPlus combines all of these elements into a single, flexible application that uses modern technology to offer an unparalleled level of usability via a single screen, multi client, multi activity, single database. Today, agencyPlus is the fastest growing broker software system in the UK and will shortly be launching in Canada.
Insurecom leveraged ThoughtWorks’ skills and resources to develop an enterprise-grade application for the emerging ‘super-intermediary’ large broker and consolidator sector. ThoughtWorks partnered with Insurecom’s industry experts, developers, and customers, and provided large teams working from London and Bangalore to build a complete product in just 2.5 years – an impressive timescale considering many competitor products are the result of more than 20 year’s development.
Working with ThoughtWorks’ industry-leading Agile practices meant that, throughout the product development cycle, the package could (and can continue to) easily evolve to keep up with future changes in the industry, compliance and legislation. Scope was reviewed regularly, flexing to ensure progress could encompass new ideas and innovations that the Insurecom team identified. With a traditional software development approach, agencyPlus would have been subject to massive rework at the end of the project, or been out of date before it even hit the shelves.
Insurecom’s Chief Executive, Phillip Walter, said: “After speaking to our clients and a number of large corporate brokers in the UK and in North America, and taking into account the rampant consolidation taking place across the global industry, we realised that we needed to build a ‘big boys’ toy’ that would serve large brokers for the long-term”.
The agencyPlus product was part of an ambitious and visionary growth strategy implemented by Mr Walter when faced with the prospect of losing a significant portion of market share as the industry consolidated. Seizing the opportunity to build an owned-IP differentiated product based on a new, more adaptable infrastructure, Insurecom engaged with ThoughtWorks to build agencyPlus, a move that completely realigned its business from reseller to solution provider.
Walter concludes: “Even before we had the numbers to prove it, we knew agencyPlus was going to surprise our critics. The moment we released it to the market, we began work on the second release, adding unique functionality to reflect the latest changes in the marketplace. These include automated regulator compliance, automated business processes, transactions on line with customers and partners, and new innovative products to maintain competitive advantage. We are now making the largest sales in the Company’s history. ThoughtWorks has been an instrumental partner in the success of agencyPlus. I will whole-heartedly recommend the ThoughtWorks’ approach to anyone.”
Insurecom’s UK operation has been experiencing rapid growth over the past eighteen months, both in revenue and market share. Currently 18% of all general insurance brokers across the UK exclusively use Insurecom software. Month on month revenues have risen by 30% since January 2008.
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ThoughtWorks, Inc. (www.thoughtworks.com) is a global IT consultancy providing systems development, consulting, and transformation services to Global 1000 companies. The company's pioneering approach, which includes industry-acclaimed Agile and Lean best practices, helps CIOs maximise investment performance across a portfolio of complex, business critical applications, while reducing time and risk. ThoughtWorks' 900 professionals serve clients from offices in Australia, Canada, China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. ThoughtWorks Studios is the company’s specialist product division, which develops the next generation of tools for custom software development.
About Insurecom Limited
The Insurecom Broker Solutions business model offers a new approach to solving the legacy technology issues holding back the business growth of intermediaries. Using a unique consultative process, Insurecom will examine a broker’s current business and assist their management team in defining and exploring ways to build revenue, reduce administration and expand capability through the use of technology.
Since 2005 Insurecom has made significant investments in developing infrastructure and software systems and a supporting organisation to deliver truly innovative end to end broker solutions for the UK's general insurance market. Our continuing investment commitment towards recruiting and developing the most capable team in the industry and in maintaining the most advanced development programme in the market continues to set us apart from our competitors.
Our groundbreaking business solution agencyPlus has been specifically designed to assist large consolidating brokers and is already being implemented across many UK sites.
agencyPlus is Insurecom’s state-of-the-art insurance broking application designed for large general insurance brokers throughout the UK. agencyPlus offers a complete package for today’s expanding brokerage. Its advanced, user-centric design offers unparalleled usability, with performance and navigation based on a single screen, multi-client, multi-activity interface.
agencyPlus tackles traditional usability issues by providing easy navigation via drop-down menus, dynamic data capture, standardised workflow processes and the ability to view multiple screens, offering significantly greater productivity.
agencyPlus is built 100% on flexible .Net and SQL2005 architecture using a single database. Its smart client approach offers greater application flexibility and seamless integration with software such as Microsoft Office and e-business applications, expanding functionality without the need for separate systems.
agencyPlus is now being deployed across a number of large brokerages, producing quantifiable benefits for the way brokers manage their business and serve customers.
Katy White, ThoughtWorks
Tel: 07939 223 020
Phillip Walter, Insurecom
PA – Elizabeth Tambourne
Tel: 01273 852004
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