20 Questions to Ask Insurance Technology Vendors: A Guide for Insurance Executives

February 26, 2003


New York, NY, USA February 26, 2003

20 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Technology Vendor

More insurers are choosing to buy rather than build technology solutions whenever possible. Celent痴 latest report offers 20 questions as a guide to evaluating prospective technology suppliers.

In order to maximize the value of the time spent evaluating external technology solutions and the returns on investment in these solutions, Celent痴 latest report, "20 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Technology Vendor," provides a brief overview of key issues to address in discussions with potential vendors.

"Many executives may find themselves sitting through vendor presentations that do not address their concerns, and many others may not have a clear idea of what their concerns should be in the first place,"

says Matthew Josefowicz, author of the report and manager of Celent痴 insurance group. "Having a clear understanding of the problem to be solved, the capabilities and true cost of the solution, the resources of the supplier, and process of implementing the solution is critical to making a successful technology investment."

The report provides a set of questions to guide insurance executives in evaluating new technology solutions providers. The questions are divided into four key areas, as listed in the table below:

20 Questions for your insurance technology provider

Celent advises insurance executives making technology decisions to make sure their potential suppliers address these issues as early as possible. Celent also advises technology vendors to ensure that they have clear and concise answers to all of these questions.

A is available online.



Know yourself How will this product solve my specific business problem? Will this product support my future plans?
Know the product Which insurance products is your solution specifically designed to support? Can we see a simple functionality spec sheet free of marketing language? How will you integrate with my current systems? What kind of IT skills will my team need to support your system? Do you offer your product under an ASP or outsourced model? Do you support ACORD XML Standards? What is the TCO (total cost of ownership) for your system? How is ROI on your product different from that of other products in your class?
Know the company What kind of resources does your company have? What's your support organization like? How will your strategic partnerships affect me? Can we talk to your current clients?
Know the process What is a typical implementation timeline like? What is your project management methodology? How do you ensure technology transfer? What kind of training support can you give us? What contractual guarantees do I have about timelines and service levels? What is your approach to keeping your goals aligned with mine?
Source: Celent Communications

of Celent Communications' Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact info@celent.com for more information.

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].

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Table of Contents


New York, NY, USA February 26, 2003

20 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Technology Vendor

Return to report Abstract


  How Will This Product Solve My Specific Business Problem? 5
  Will This Product Support My Future Plans? 7
  Which Insurance Products Is Your System Specifically Designed to Support? 8
  Can We See a Simple Functionality Spec Sheet Free of Marketing Language? 8
  How Will You Integrate With My Current Systems? 9
  What Kind of IT Skills Will My Team Need to Support Your System? 10
  Do You Offer Your Product Under an ASP or Outsourced Model? 10
  Do You Support Acord XML Standards? 11
  What Is The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) For Your System? 11
  How Does Your Product's ROI Differ From That of Other Products In Your Class? 13
  What Kind of Resources Does Your Company Have? 14
  What's Your Support Organization Like? 14
  Can We Talk to Your Current Clients? 15
  What Is a Typical Implementation Timeline Like? 17
  What is Your Project Management Methodology? 17
  How Do You Ensure Technology Transfer? 18
  What Kind of Training Support Can You Give Us? 19
  What Contractual Guarantees Do I Have For Timelines and Service Levels?  19
  How Will You Keep Your Goals Aligned With Mine? 20

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