Providence Washington Case Study: Managing Technology Innovation

A mid-market carrier offers its peers and larger carriers valuable lessons for using new technology tools to maximize efficiency and meet agents� needs.

Providence Washington Insurance is solidifying its position as a carrier of choice for its independent agents with its intelligent e-commerce initiatives. (See Table 1, below.) The company�s experience suggests that having a clear vision and picking the right tools can deliver results without breaking the bank.

“Sometimes technology innovation is triggered by the bigger carriers, who have more money to invest,” says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of Celent’s latest report, Providence Washington Case Study: Managing Technology Innovation. “Providence Washington is an example of how technology innovation can also come from a smaller carrier with a clear vision and a bias toward quick, incremental change. The company�s success is a model for all carriers.”

Elements of Providence
Washington’s Intelligent E-Commerce Initiatives
Category Initiative Description
“front-end” administrative application
role-based interface for company to manage Web-based interactions
with agents and internal staff. Business users can access and
maintain business rules and update workflows.
real-time quoting, rating, and issue on agent�s Web site
Solidifies agent
relationships by providing functionality and responsiveness they
can�t get anywhere else.
intelligence and workflow
Improves data
entry efficiency and automates assignments of rate class for most
business. Also automates routing of cases in the home office.
management system upload/download capability
convenience for agents, reduces re-keying errors, speeds new
business process, and creates XML data to improve downstream
expensive “human interface” with real-time or near
real-time automation and collaboration.
Celent Communications, Providence Washington


Elements of Providence
Washington’s Intelligent E-Commerce Initiatives
Category Initiative Description
Infrastructure Use of Business Process Integration
(BPI) tools
Allows company to model and define
processes graphically and reuse many integration components.
Creation of a message queuing
Adds fault tolerance to system,
enabling complex integration with both internal and vendor
Creation of rule repository Allows re-use of rules common
across lines of business.
Table-based rules engine Dramatically reduces time to make
rule and rate changes, allows control by business users.
Creation of an XML transaction
Allows company to store
transactions at a granular level for use in ad hoc reporting.
Source: Celent
Communications, Providence Washington

The report describes how Providence Washington�s use of rules-based decisioning, business process integration tools, and ACORD XML have helped it improve services to agents on the front end of its new business processes and gain operational efficiencies on the back end.

A Table of Contents is available online.

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