Lingering Cloud Fear And Adaptation

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Lingering Cloud Fear and Adaptation

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Nephophobia is the fear of clouds. It’s thankfully rare: clouds are tough to avoid. The ancient Greeks were talking about storm clouds. Fear of cloud computing is a more recent development; a by-product of forced adaptation. In 2021, 94% of the internet’s workload is processed by cloud data centers. Just two years ago, this figure was 60%. How did cloud use become ubiquitous so quickly?

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A little bit of history puts the revolution in perspective. The appearance of “The Cloud” in our lexicon is recent. The earliest usage was in 1996 when a Compaq public-relations piece used “cloud computing” to describe enhanced utility of the world wide web. The men who co-authored the piece both claim to have coined the term. (One of them even attempted to copyright “cloud computing” in 1997, but to no avail.) In 2006, Google and Amazon started describing the new paradigm where users access software and files over the internet (instead of their desktop) as “cloud computing.” Right then it became the hot new buzzword.

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The marketing guys from Compaq in the ‘90s had it right. The Cloud is not new; it is what the web was designed to do since it was created in the 1960s. It’s a simple re-branding of the internet; a fitting metaphor for a changed system to where everything is accessed and stored remotely.

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Skepticism and suspicion have been mostly quelled by how rapidly the world migrated. Cloud computing is globally pervasive: 85% of businesses worldwide use cloud-based data storage. 77% of companies have an application running on a cloud-based server. It’s the new normal.

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The remaining objections to cloud computing.

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The upside is undeniable – reduced cost of operation, greater flexibility, and improved collaboration. The benefits far exceed those of older-generation physical servers. Years ago, objections to cloud migration were often related to human readiness or organizational support. Too new and unknown. Today, we are through the looking glass on such fears. The remaining objections for migrating to the cloud are mainly two: cost concerns and privacy concerns.

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Though commonly used as an objection, saving money is the most popular reason businesses migrate to the cloud: 61% of businesses say “cost” is their primary reason for adopting cloud use versus just 30% who migrate for the “additional storage.” The storage aspect saves money, too: cloud hosts charge you for the just the space you use. Think of how this contrasts with the IT specialists of yesterday purchasing equipment with tomorrow’s storage needs in mind. No more wasted storage space or hardware growing obsolete. In a recent study, 82% of businesses that migrated to cloud systems reported cost savings that covered any initial up-front migration fees within six months of the switch.

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The privacy concerns might be more about control. Knowing where the data was physically housed was of a certain comfort; moreover, we knew the guys on the IT team. They know their stuff, right?

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Not to say they didn’t, but in 2021 the three largest providers of cloud services are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each has security knowledge, intel, and experience that dwarfs almost every organization’s. It’s what they do. The proof is in the pudding: 94% of organizations report fewer security incidents after migrating to cloud-based alternatives. Less resources devoted to maintaining system security means more savings.

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MRS: cloud-based solutions for providers and 3rd party administrators.

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Management Research Services (MRS) operates their no-code insurance services platform on Microsoft Azure, a top-tier cloud solution for SaaS (software as a service) applications. Data encryption combined with Microsoft’s dedication to robust security means the sensitive data managed within our application is always secure. Using Microsoft Azure to host the MRS platform and e-App allows us to focus on what we do best: designing state-of-the-art insurance service interfaces that best serve our clients and their customers.

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Contact the staff at MRS to learn about trying a demo of our latest products. We are ready to put our cloud-based solutions to work for you. Request a demo here, or email us at: sales@mrsreps.com.

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Catholic Order of Foresters Modernizes With WELIS Ascent Illustration System

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New Platform Enables Agents to More Effectively Present Products to Consumers

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Exton, PA (April 13th, 2021) – iPipeline®–a leading provider of no code / low code cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry–today announced that Catholic Order of Foresters has selected its WELIS® Ascent illustration system to modernize how their agents present diversified insurance products to consumers seeking protection.

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The WELIS Ascent illustration system is a scalable platform, designed to help insurers sell and service customers in a multi-channel distribution environment. The award-winning software is constructed as a standard single life illustration system that can be transformed into a sophisticated multiple life / multiple plan system with a single button click. iPipeline acquired WELIS in September 2020 and is one of the largest providers of illustrations in the life insurance industry.

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“Educating consumers about what they are buying and how it is likely to perform in the future is critical to selling life insurance products. Automating the task of providing detailed illustrations to consumers not only enables agents to more effectively sell but allows them to show the differences more effectively across a range of products. Agents need to ensure that they are clearly educating consumers about products shaping their financial futures. Our platform fulfills this important need,” said Larry Berran, CEO, iPipeline. “WELIS Ascent is a feature-rich illustration platform offering flexibility and a range of features to improve sales presentations. The ability to rapidly make changes to support ongoing presentations provides speed-to-market advantages and improves consumer satisfaction. We are confident the agents at Catholic Order of Foresters will see an immediate benefit by using this new platform to educate their customers during the education and selling process.”

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“From the beginning, iPipeline’s WELIS team stood out from the competition as a group that would build a strong relationship with us and forge a joint effort for the implementation of the new illustration platform. This was critical for us as we wanted to be able to update interest rates and make rider changes on our own, as well as execute other modifications to the platform without a heavy dependence on the tech provider. We were seeking a level of self-service to address our daily needs on the fly and saw that with iPipeline’s WELIS system,” said Geno Turek, Vice President, Product Solutions, Catholic Order of Foresters. “Of equal importance was finding a highly scalable platform with a variety of presentation features to support our growth and make life easier for our agents. Ultimately, the ability to present our product portfolio more effectively is what led to the selection. Their platform allows our agents to efficiently select the best products to address specific financial needs.”

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To learn how you can implement iPipeline’s innovations to automate how your products are sold and processed, contact sales@ipipeline.com or call 1-800-758-0824, option 2.

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About Catholic Order of Foresters
Catholic Order of Foresters is a fraternal benefit life insurance society dedicated to helping members achieve financial security through life insurance while supporting the Catholic community through fraternal outreach. COF is licensed in 32 states and Washington, D.C. Our product portfolio includes Term, Whole Life, Universal Life, and Annuities. Visit us at www.catholicforester.org.

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About iPipeline
iPipeline is a leading provider of no code / low code, cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry. Through our SSG Digital, end-to-end platform, we accelerate and simplify sales, compliance, operations, and support. We provide process automation and seamless integration between every participant in our ecosystem including carriers, agents, general agencies, advisors, broker-dealers, RIAs, banks, securities/mutual fund firms, and their consumers on a global basis. Our innovative solutions include pre-sales support, new business and underwriting, policy administration, point-of-sale execution of applications, post-sale support, data analysis, reporting, user-driven configuration, consumer delivery and self-service, and agency and firm management.

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iPipeline’s platform is used by approximately 450 carriers and fund companies, 1,400 distributors and financial institutions, and their agents and licensed advisors in a cloud-based environment. With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, iPipeline has locations in Boston, Bromley (UK), Burlington (Canada), Cheltenham (UK), Dallas, Davidson, Fort Lauderdale, Huntersville, Ontario (CA), Philadelphia, Pleasanton, and Salt Lake City. Visit www.ipipeline.com.

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For iPipeline:
Lisa Shea
Marketing
lshea@ipipeline.com
484-870-6234

National Western Life Insurance Company (NWL®) launches Equisoft/manage, a flexible cloud-based policy administration system

Designed for quick and easy transformations, Equisoft/manage is a turnkey cloud-hosted (SaaS) solution using well-established, production-ready digital business processes to enable quick and easy transformations. (CNW Group/Equisoft)

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Fueling an aggressive digital transformation plan, NWL® launches a significant system modernization initiative together with the introduction of a new Fixed Indexed Annuity product.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 6, 2021 – Equisoft announced today the successful implementation of phase one of its cloud-based policy administration platform that will support NWL’s Life and Annuity operations across the full policy lifecycle. The new platform, along with the new NWL® ChoiceOptimizer Fixed Indexed Annuity product, went live in February.

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Subsequent phases of this large modernization initiative will further support NWL’s objective to design, refine and enhance product and policy services in a nimble, costeffective implementation environment developed to meet the diverse, changing needs of our distribution force and policyholders.

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Designed for quick and easy transformations, Equisoft/manage is a turnkey cloud-hosted (SaaS) solution using well-established, production-ready digital business processes to enable quick and easy transformations. It includes enhanced New Business and selfservice portals designed for advisers and customers, along with an industry-leading core administration capability – the Oracle Insurance Policy Administration (OIPA).

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“In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, we need to be proactive and extremely responsive to the needs of our policyholders and agents,” said Greg Owen, SVP & CIO at National Western Life. “Implementing a flexible and scalable policy administration platform with a user-friendly servicing portal was a key component in our strategy. This is the first phase of a multi-phase initiative that will transform NWL’s business into an efficient digital model. We look forward to seeing the successful completion of the entire transformation initiative.”

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Headquartered in Austin, Texas, National Western Life Insurance Company offers a broad portfolio of high-quality life insurance and annuity products, providing professional and friendly service to its policyholders and agents.

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“This first go-live marks a major milestone in NWL’s modernization journey,” said Mark DePhillips, Senior Vice President, USA at Equisoft. “Equisoft/manage provides NWL with a best-in-class administration platform that will enable them to quickly implement new products and efficiently service their agents and policyholders. We are proud to be NWL’s strategic partner in this important modernization endeavor.”

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About National Western Life

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National Western Life Group, Inc. is the parent organization of National Western Life Insurance Company, which is the parent organization of Ozark National Life Insurance Company, both stock life insurance companies in aggregate offering a broad portfolio of individual universal life, whole life and term insurance plans, as well as annuity products. As of June 30, 2020, the Company maintained consolidated total assets of $12.4 billion, consolidated stockholders’ equity of $2.2 billion, and combined life insurance inforce of $22.5 billion.

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About Equisoft

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Founded in 1994, Equisoft is a global provider of advanced insurance and investment digital solutions. Recognized as a valued partner by over 75 of the world’s leading financial institutions in 15 countries, Equisoft offers innovative front-end applications, extensive back-office services and unique data migration expertise. The firm’s flagship products include a SaaS policy administration solution, CRM, financial needs analysis, financial planning, asset allocation, fund and portfolio analysis, quotes and illustrations, electronic application, agency management systems, as well as customer, agent and broker portals. Equisoft is also Oracle’s largest and most experienced partner for the OIPA platform. With its business-driven approach, deep industry knowledge, innovative technology, and some 500 experts based in the USA, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, India and Australia, Equisoft helps its clients tackle any challenge in this era of digital disruption.

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Media resource: Jean-François Parent, PR & Communications Manager, Equisoft Jean-Francois.Parent@Equisoft.com, +1 888 989 3141, ext. 70141

The Disruptive No-Code Generation

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The Disruptive No-Code Generation

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When millennials first hit the job market fifteen years ago, much was made about the digital divide. The younger generation, aka digital natives, came with computer literacy that digital immigrants (older generations) had no experience with. It’s not surprising that the divide has grown. As Generation Z enters the workforce, related shifts in the sand help understand the rise of no-code culture and why it creates disruption and opportunity.

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Ten years ago, the number of US students taking the Computer Science AP test was roughly 20,000 students. By 2020, this figure had more than tripled; over 70,000 high school students now take the Computer Science AP Exam. At the same time, Computer Science has emerged as a popular and competitive major at universities. Growing demand, larger departments, and mainstream acceptance. “Tech geek” was once a term of derision; in 2021 it’s often a compliment.

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Even among laymen, immersion in a tech-based world means young people are accustomed to harnessing computing power across everyday activities. They have tinkered with tools. They know how to make a pivot table. Just getting through grade school required them to think in terms of inputs and outputs. Generation Z knows no world without constant connectivity, immediacy in sharing, and flexibility across platforms. In short, the 2nd-tier digital natives are here and they welcome market disruption.

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Market disruptions happen when technological advances reconfigure the economics across an industry. The classic example of market disruption is ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber: smartphone-based apps run circles around the legacy taxi system, with their human dispatchers, CB radios, and expensive fleets of vehicles. For years, rideshare market disruption dominated headlines: strikes, countries banning rideshare, taxi companies going out of business. One hundred years earlier, the same phenomenon happened between cars and horses. Livery stables were once bustling centers and hubs for travelers in every town; the stable owners felt the same way about the automobile. For them, cars were disruptive.

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No-code technology is proving to be disruptive by changing the cost-structure and time investment required for programming. No-code and low-code technologies are significantly cheaper, rely less on legacy infrastructure, and require less specialized staff to maintain systems. The end result is a less expensive option of outsourced programming: a customer-facing web-based application that is delivered in a fraction of the time.  Let’s also not forget that it saves on much time, money, and overall resources.

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Management Research Services (MRS) is a market leader in providing no-code solutions to our partners in life and annuity. Our cloud-based solution can be customized from the ground up, with an easy-to-use interface that eliminates our clients’ needs for costly or time-consuming options. We invest in finding the brightest young programming talent so that our clients can focus on the things that they do best.

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The MRS approach to customer service is that of a partner that wishes to grow with each client. We pride ourselves on rapid integration times provided with low start-up costs and minimal maintenance expenses. Our platform is cloud-hosted on Microsoft Azure and benefits our clients with an over 99% uptime. Our sophisticated rules-engine can support even the most complicated of underwriting decisions.

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They say market disruption should only be feared by those who don’t participate. Let us put our technology to work for you. Embrace generational change by contacting the MRS staff about our no-code platform. Let us set you up with a demo to see how our no-code web-based application can revolutionize your business.

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Contact the MRS staff here: https://managementresearchservices.com/contact.

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Texas-based Germania Life Insurance Company goes live with illustrate inc’s OPUS Digital Platform!

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Overland Park, KS; Toronto, ON; Brenham, TX, March 31, 2021 – Following the July 2020 announcement of Germania Life Insurance Company (GLIC) selecting illustrate inc to lead the digital transformation of their life insurance business, both parties are excited to announce that in January 2021, the system went live!

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The new OPUS platform transforms GLIC’s day-to-day processes from mainly paper-based, to a fully digital workflow including quoting, illustrations, instant report generation, eApps, eSignature, and more. Covering their entire Life Insurance product line, the platform has been fully integrated with other 3rd party systems to automate the process of collecting and processing additional information required to finalize and issue a policy.

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Germania Agents now have access to a powerful tool set to significantly streamline the sales process and enhance the overall User/Customer experience. Consequently, GLIC has already begun realizing tremendous efficiencies through exponential improvements in speed and quality.

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“The OPUS system has provided a much more streamlined and efficient process for our agents to quote and bind business through Germania Life,” Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Min Choi said. “Our team has already received positive feedback and testimonials from our agency partners as they become familiar with the new platform.”

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“A project of this magnitude required full and transparent collaboration between the Germania Life and illustrate inc teams, something that was established virtually immediately,” says Lyndon Edwards, President of illustrate inc. “There were many moving parts to consider, including the involvement and integration of numerous 3rd party partners. We are very proud to have been able to provide Germania Life with such a powerful platform to help them transform their Life Insurance business.”

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A Phase II Direct to Consumer (D2C) solution is currently in the works and includes a powerful new quoting and application workflow for a simplified application and underwriting process.

To learn more about illustrate inc’s powerful quoting, illustrations and eApp solutions, visit illustrateinc.com.

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About Germania Life Insurance Company

Organized in 1983, Germania Life Insurance Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germania Insurance that provides life insurance products to members and policyholders. Regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance, GLIC offers affordable whole and term life policies to fit a variety of insurance needs.

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About Germania Insurance

Founded in 1896, Germania Insurance provides auto, property, and life insurance for thousands of Texans. It is the largest farm mutual insurance company in Texas and one of the top companies for independent agents. Germania has earned spot on Forbes’ 2021 America’s Best Insurance Companies in Each State list, securing a top-five ranking for both its auto and home insurance products. Germania is a proud Texas company, exclusively providing protection and insurance services for Texans for 125 years.

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About illustrate inc

Established in 1989, with offices in Toronto and Kansas City, illustrate inc builds and delivers powerful and innovative web-based POS software solutions – including quoting, illustrations, and eApps – for the North American Life Insurance industry, enabling carriers of any size to embark on, extend, or enhance their Digital Transformation.

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For additional information contact:

Anastasia Sudetic
Marketing Manager
illustrate inc
anastasia.sudetic@illustrateinc.com
416-890-8147

SPJST selects illustrate inc to accelerate the digital transformation of their Life Insurance business!

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Overland Park, KS; Temple, TX; March 26, 2021 – SPJST, a Texas based fraternal organization, has selected illustrate inc as their partner in digitizing their Life Insurance sale process. The move will provide SPJST with a fully automated, cloud-based system to strengthen the sale process, streamline the workflow, and provide exponential benefit throughout virtually every step of the entire process.

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illustrate inc’s proprietary OPUS platform will provide SPJST Agents and Head Office users with a state-of-the-art multi-lingual system including web-based quoting, illustrations, reports, eApps and eSignatures, all fully integrated with the SPJST back-office systems.

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A proud Texas based fraternal with over 120 years of history, SPJST lodges and members have worked hard to establish the Society’s reputation as a proactive, non-sectarian fraternal organization. In 2020, there are approximately 40,000 SPJST members in 104 lodges throughout Texas.

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“SPJST’s mission statement is short and to the point – ‘Insuring and enriching lives’,” says SPJST Vice President of Marketing and Sales Delisle Doherty. “The most important factor in any new relationship is finding someone who believes in what you believe in and will work with you to uphold those same standards. We believe we’ve found that with illustrate inc. I’m excited!”

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“We are proud to partner with SPJST and to be trusted with such a critical project for their business,” says Eric Swanson, Vice President, Sales, illustrate inc. “Our OPUS digital solutions will provide transformational benefits to SPJST and enable their growth and expansion through the benefits of a fully automated, high performing, cloud-based system.”

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To learn more about illustrate inc’s powerful cloud-based, low-code solutions, visit www.illustrateinc.com.

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About SPJST 

Organized by Texas pioneers of Czech ancestry in 1897, SPJST provides life insurance to its members, the premiums of which contribute to the Society’s charitable objectives and living benefits for its members. Living benefits include active involvement in a local lodge, social and networking opportunities and online discounts to hundreds of businesses and services. For its young members, SPJST offers summer camp, an engaging youth program and multiple opportunities for college scholarships. Additionally, SPJST lodges sponsor programs that make a positive difference in the lives of their members and the communities that they serve.  For more information, please visit www.spjst.org.

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About illustrate inc

Established in 1989, with offices in Toronto and Kansas City, illustrate inc builds and delivers powerful and innovative web-based POS software solutions – including quoting, illustrations, and eApps – for the North American Life Insurance industry, enabling carriers of any size to embark on, extend, or enhance their Digital Transformation.

Management Research Services Announces e-App For Annuity Policies

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Management Research Services Announces e-App For Annuity Policies

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MRS Introduces e-App for Annuity Policies

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Quicker, easier application process nets client success

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MILWAUKEE, Mar. 3, 2021 — MRS, a global leader in insurance automation and technology solutions, announced today the release of a new electronic application (E-App) system for annuity policies. The new technology will allow financial and insurance professionals to complete and submit annuity applications online, effectively improving turnaround time for processing and final delivery.

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“We’re proud to bring new MRS technology to hardworking financial and insurance professionals,” said Tim Dineen, Chief Executive Officer at MRS. “We’re dedicated to creating streamlined applications that make doing business easier while helping our clients deliver policies to their customers even quicker.”

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The annuity market is substantial and provides a significant amount of revenue for carriers. An annuity policy helps the buyer manage their income in retirement, and other than pensions, annuities are the only products that provide guaranteed lifetime income. The market size of the life insurance and annuities industry is $732.5B, measured by revenue, for 2021. The industry is trending toward a more affluent and older market as it emphasizes the use of life insurance and annuities as retirement, estate planning, and tax-preferred products.

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Given uncertainties with the pandemic and overall market conditions for insurance carriers and the end-customer, MRS has scaled its efforts to support insurance carrier’s digital transformation efforts. The new annuity E-App is an easily-configurable, no-code, cost-effective solution to sell and manage annuity policies.

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Developed for an existing client with a complex distribution matrix, where multiple signatures are collected from end-customer, IMO, law firm, POA, owner, and payor, MRS was able to deliver a solution that has helped increase sales, streamline processes, and improve overall customer experiences. Now, with an easy sign-on and integration of electronic signatures, the client can fulfill an annuity policy in a few days versus months of starts-and-stops and back-and-forth communications with the customer.

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With MRS, the primary benefits for insurers choosing to implement the Annuity E-App system include:

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● 100% in-good-order applications

● Error rate removed

● Applications processed in 15 min vs. days

● Auto-populating State Beneficiary legal clauses

● e-Signature collection up to 8 individuals

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“Our process is the same no matter the product type. Developing an annuity application was a natural extension of the robust ecosystem of E-Apps we already have in the market today,” says Steve Delonge, Customer Success Director at MRS. “With our proficiency for taking applicants from the questionnaire to the contract, MRS is well-positioned to increase offerings to more distribution channels and add more annuity E-App products that can quickly issue the annuity policy and ultimately help quicken payment of the commissions.”

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For more info on our the MRS Annuity E-App call (800)-726-3643 or email sales@mrsreps.com

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At MRS, we help clients transform change into a competitive advantage. MRS provides a high-end technology product to the life, health, and annuity insurance industries. In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way. MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance. MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code. The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions. Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision. The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place. Please visit us at www.managementresearchservices.com or contact us by email at sales@mrsreps.com to learn more.

Foresters Financial and illustrate inc Launch Foresters Mobile Quote

“Foresters continues to deliver turnkey-decisioned product offerings supported by state-of-the-art mobile tools”

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Toronto, ON, March 17, 2021 –
 Foresters Financial™, the fraternal life insurer quietly disrupting financial services, today announced it has worked with illustrate inc, to launch Foresters Mobile Quote, a secure life insurance quoting app. It is available to Foresters over 75,000 producers across the U.S. through the Apple App Store® and the Google Play Store.
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A powerful sales tool, Foresters Mobile Quote utilizes illustrate inc’s proprietary OPUS Mobile solution, for the convenience and familiarity of a downloadable app, with extensive functionality and features. Customized to Foresters requirements, including multi-channel distribution, Foresters Mobile Quote enables producers to generate quotes across the extensive Term, Whole Life, and Universal Life product lines. In addition, it is a resource and communication hub, providing access to marketing information, product specifications, push notifications, and other resources. The solution is configurable and highly secure, with built in integration to other Foresters applications.
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Matt Berman, President of Foresters Financial’s U.S. business, said, “Foresters is a nearly 150-year-old member-based organization dedicated to the well-being of everyday families, which is quietly disrupting life insurance. Foresters Mobile Quote is the latest evidence of this, as we continue to deliver turnkey-decisioned product offerings supported by state-of-the-art mobile tools.”
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Added President of illustrate inc Lyndon Edwards, “OPUS Mobile is targeted towards individual Life Insurance Carriers and delivers a mobile solution that goes beyond the next level. In addition to the core powerful calculation and presentation capabilities, it has been designed to include features and functionality to exponentially expand its value to the user and the sales process. We are proud to continue our long-term partnership with Foresters and the launch of Foresters Mobile Quote is a testament to the level of skill, collaboration and excitement from both of our teams.”

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Life Insurance with a Larger Purpose

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Bringing a better, new normal to everyday North American families, Foresters offers a suite of unique member benefits, redefining the conventional life insurance model. Foresters member benefits include opportunities for scholarships, orphan benefits, community volunteer grants, online wills and other legal documents, Lifelong Learning, and more.

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About Foresters Financial

Foresters Financial is quietly transforming the life insurance industry across the U.S. and Canada by enriching the lives, communities, and overall well-being of its members. Agents and members alike appreciate the turnkey-decisioned product offerings and end-to-end digitized processes that make it easy to get life insurance without traditional medical exams. State-of-the-art mobile tools help agents deliver tailored plans to prospective and current members. Unique to fraternal life insurers, Foresters offers a suite of member benefits, redefining the conventional life insurance model and bringing improved financial security and overall wellness to everyday North American families. Foresters recently acquired Canada Protection Plan to bolster its leadership in distribution across Canada. Foresters Financial includes The Independent Order of Foresters, the oldest non-denominational fraternal benefit society. For 20 straight years, The Independent Order of Foresters has received an “A” (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
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For more information please visit www.foresters.com.

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About illustrate inc

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Established in 1989, with offices in Toronto and Kansas City, illustrate inc has been building and delivering powerful and innovative web-based POS software solutions – including quoting, illustrations, and eApps – for the North American Life Insurance industry, enabling carriers of any size to embark on, extend, or enhance their Digital Transformation.
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To learn more about illustrate inc’s OPUS Mobile solution, visit illustrateinc.com/opus-mobile.

Management Research Services Onboards with Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions!

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Management Research Services announces a strategic relationship with LexisNexis Risk Solutions to provide a better Customer Experience for Life Insurers

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Milwaukee, WI (March, 2021) — Management Research Services (MRS) is making dynamic changes within the life insurance industry by joining forces with LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data, advanced analytics and technology for the insurance industry, with a new workflow that can help life insurers to efficiently verify and authenticate customers while saving time by adding pre-fill data at the point of sale. It works as a technology application that can be produced without writing a single line of code. MRS can implement in a short time frame allowing a seamless transition of these identity verification tools and data into their No-Code platform.

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“The innovative product development and expansion MRS has seen in 2020 would not be possible without our strategic partners and the benefits that come along with alliances like the one with LexisNexis Risk Solutions,” said Tim Dineen, chief executive officer at MRS. “When combining MRS’s No-Code platform with LexisNexis Risk Solutions data, our solution can help provide all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application”.

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The entire MRS platform is a cloud-based, no-code program, that allows for other systems to use their own existing technologies to harness the power of the MRS rules engine. The rules engine enables the user to either plug-in or customize the process, and at the same time, LexisNexis® Life Data Prefill helps users more accurately populate key pieces of information within the platform. This helps deliver a more cost-effective and timely process for life carriers, as well as easy maintenance moving forward. The data is collected via the MRS call center, online application, or both.

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“We are very excited to be aligning with MRS,” said Drew Whitmore, senior director for Global Alliances at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “Integrations like this provide a solid foundation for improving the application and underwriting process, and ultimately bolster the consumer and carrier experience”.

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For information about this new alliance, be on the lookout for a new podcast series starting in late February with Innovate or Be Left Behind – Leveraging data and analytics at the Point of Application as the inaugural episode. All podcasts will be available on company websites, social media and on demand.

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About LexisNexis Risk Solutions

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LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries including insurance, financial services, healthcare and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit www.risk.lexisnexis.com and www.relx.com.

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About MRS

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MRS provides a high-end technology product to life, health, and annuity insurance industries. In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way. MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance. MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code. The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions. Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision. The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place. Please visit us at www.managementresearchservices.com or contact us by email at sales@mrsreps.com to learn more!

Explosive Shift to Hybrid Wholesaling & Agent Sales is Taking-Off

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The Life & Annuity “Pre-Covid” Sales Model Will Not Return

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This week’s LIMRA Distribution Conference only confirmed that the rapidly emerging Life and Annuity sales operation is going “hybrid”.

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If you missed the conference, you can read three wonderful articles debating the “Hybrid” trend in Insurance News Net, with reference to some fantastic research by LIMRA:

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– “Virtual Selling Might Be Here To Stay”

– “Hybrid Is The Future For Advisors, Says LIMRA Research”

– “Will Agents Ever Return To The Office”

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Of course, given our (Ensight) discussions with L&A senior executive sales leadership and digital transformation leaders over the past 18 months, this comes as no surprise.

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Indeed, I wrote about the coming transformation of the traditional life and annuity wholesaling model last year. Whether you call it “eWholesaling” or “Hybrid Wholesaling”, it makes no difference, digital sales enablement for wholesalers is the new English Longbow, changing the nature of ‘engagement’ in the sector.

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And, notably, the digital hybridization of the advisor-client discussion has already been underway for several years. It’s worth noting that the majority of financial advisors today already use some form of virtual meeting (Zoom; WebEx; Go To Meeting) in the client engagement repertoire.

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Whether you are a L&A carrier or distributor, if you are not putting a hybrid wholesaling and agent digital model into practice today – you simply won’t be able to catch-up tomorrow.

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But let’s also take a look at 7 additional dynamics at play in the panorama of market forces which are driving “The Shift”:

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1. Millennial “Digital Tools” Expectations – As a Gen Xer, it still shocks me that millennials now span up to 40 years old. As the first purely digital generation, millennial wholesalers, advisors and agents will expect digital tools to support a hybrid sales engagement model, if they are going to work for your company or sell your products.

2. The New Consumer Digital Expectation Bar – The client service model is in rapid transition. Informed by Vanguard, Robo-Advisors, new trading apps (Robinhood), and every VC-backed FinTech firm driving a simplified hybrid digital experience, the mandate now is to engage with clients both digitally and in a personal manner.

3. The “T&E” Transition – The old “Travel and Entertainment” cost centre is ripe for a rebranding exercise. I like to call it – “Technology & Education”. Given emerging Best Interest (BI) regulation and GenX / millennial advisor preferences, spending millions on travel and entertainment – while underfunding digital – is a recipe for disaster.

4. Growing Eyeballs on Sales Effectiveness – Every other sector in the modern economy focuses on sales effectiveness (funnel yield, productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction) through a data-rich, digital approach. Carriers need to move fast to enable, empower and measure both wholesaling teams and agent channels. Winners and losers will be defined on this battleground.

5. The Rise of “Platform Distribution” – Today, digital “platforms” are the structure of the economy. And every platform is hybrid in nature. When was the last time you weren’t prompted to “chat” in your banking app. The emerging Life and Annuity distribution platforms are already driving the scale adoption of hybrid virtual selling. Many carrier wholesaling teams are at risk of falling far behind the norm.

6. The New “Hybrid” Workplace – The work-life balance trend has been underway for a decade now. And COVID-19 will permanently alter the vision and model of the “corporate office”. The new corporate office is “virtual”; and, the new internal sales desk wholesaler and captive agent is “Zoom-empowered”.

7. The New Power of Talent – As the Life and Annuity sector moves forward into the technology “Arms Race”, talent will define the winners and losers. And talent can demand how and where it works in today’s economy. Today’s emerging titans, upending Fortune 500 firms and sectors, at their heart, are built on talent alone. If you want to win in the life and annuity distribution game, recruit, retain and empower a hybrid top-talent sales force with empowering digital tools.

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We are now entering uncharted waters for the Life and Annuity sector. The “arms race” has begun. And the nature of this arms race is that the speed of digital change and competition will only increase with every passing year. It is Moore’s Law, now applied to the Life & Annuity sector.

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Whether you are a Life & Annuity carrier or distributor, if you are not putting a hybrid sales and service digital model into practice today – you simply won’t be able to catch-up tomorrow.

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Sail with the wind, not against it.