#GuidewireConnections: Can passion alone change an industry?


More than 25 years ago, I joined the insurance industry to become a “statutory statistical insurance accountant.” Yes, I know, you cannot get any more “geek” than that.

Even though numbers excite me, it did not take me long to identify within insurance that I was really born to be an efficiency expert. I found my passion was in tearing down processes, applying technology to automate them and driving an unheard amount of savings for my company. Yes, that meant I left my calculator behind and took the leap to Operations.

Once there, I found that the insurance company I worked for was drowning in inefficiencies and, as one of their new leaders, I set out to start knocking it down one department, one process at a time.

3 steps to optimizing inefficiencies

Here’s what I did:

  • First, I replaced the real dinosaur – our microfilming/microfiche capability that was not only a high cost, dying breed, but a completely unreliable location to store our commercial lines corporate records.
  • Second, I replaced an unsupported legacy imaging solution that we used for our personal lines records.
  • Third, I got rid of paper. Yes, even with all of those tools, the fact that our company was more than a 100 years old meant we had more paper than what all the trees in the Redwood Forest would produce!

It was during this time that I found OnBase by Hyland. I was impressed by the employees, who were passionately dedicated to delivering relevant software solutions to transform the insurance industry by providing an out-of-the-box, configurable solution to better manage information. (Being the technology-challenged person that I am, that was an important differentiator.)

So, I put my job on the line, signed on the dotted line and we brought the enterprise content management (ECM) solution on board to replace all the legacy tools managing our information and take us into the right century!

The solution enabled us to start using workflow management and business process management to automate processes and drive even greater results. It was fantastic! We received a full return on our investment in just under six months and it fundamentally changed the way that my company worked.

The final step: Success

To continue the transformation we needed, it was urgent to move off a limping Series II Cobal-based claims system. At that moment, together with several colleagues, we ran into a startup company that was also looking to transform the insurance industry. That was the first time I met Guidewire: Another group of passionate individuals that knew that there had to be a better way to do things in insurance and was determined to develop the best insurance software on the market.

That was the start of the development of Guidewire ClaimCenter® and, since we already owned OnBase, we were the first customer that required the two technology companies to come together and develop a tight integration.

But it didn’t stop there. More than 14 years later, the insurer I worked for still uses OnBase and Guidewire together to drive efficiency across their entire organization. Because of this success, I moved on to join Hyland to share my experience and passion for what we can do to truly transform the industry with every insurance company I can find.

Today, more than 450 insurance customers use OnBase. Many of them now also own Guidewire and enjoy the benefits that the integrated solutions provide. The two technologies combined are much more powerful than each are independently.

Did my passion change the insurance company I worked for? Undoubtedly so. Did Hyland’s founders and their employees have the passion and vision to change the insurance industry for the better? Absolutely so.

Did the founders of Guidewire and their passion to make a difference also change the direction of the industry? Certainly so. Do the like-minded individuals from both companies continue to combine their passion to bring the best-of-breed integrated solution that can revolutionize and transform the industry for years to come? Indisputably so!

To find out more, come see us this week at #GuidewireConnections.

You can also join the session: Mercury, Hastings, Hyland: The Value Of Integrating OnBase Doc Management with ClaimCenter to hear more on how long-time Guidewire customers (Mercury Insurance and Hastings Mutual) successfully integrated OnBase’s capture and document management with ClaimCenter using validated accelerators. There, you’ll learn how the solution reduced the implementation timeline by 50 percent and drastically reduced claims labor costs through an integrated user experience.

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as Global Director for Insurance at Hyland, she has travelled to more than 90 countries helping insurance organizations to successfully reduce operating expenses, increase efficiency, and positively impact their bottom lines.

Ruth Fisk

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as... read more about: Ruth Fisk