Walking the Tightrope Survey Reveals Life and Annuity Insurers Face High Pressure to Grow Market Share While Reducing Costs

Complete results available at upcoming Webinar hosted by SOLCORP, Whitehill Technologies and DSPA Software

October 13, 2004 – TORONTO, ON – SOLCORP, a leading provider of software solutions to the life insurance and financial industries and a subsidiary of EDS, today highlighted key findings from its survey of executives at North American life insurance and annuity companies, and announced that full results will be made available at a Webinar on October 27. The survey, entitled Walking the Tightrope: Improving Profitability while Reducing Costs, was conducted in conjunction with partner companies Whitehill Technologies, Inc. and DSPA Software Inc.

The complete, 35-page survey report contains answers to 20 questions covering six major topics: business challenges, customer service, distribution channels, products, IT outsourcing / business process outsourcing, and regulatory issues. The majority of respondents work for large and medium insurers, with 80% of respondents from organizations with greater than US$100 million in annual premiums in the latest fiscal year.

The full report will be available free of charge to attendees of the Walking the Tightrope Webinar event on Wednesday, October 27, 2004 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EDT. The Webinar is open to business and IT executives in the life insurance and annuities industry. To register, please go to www.solcorp.com/tightrope.

Survey highlights:

  • 77% of respondents rated growing market share and reducing costs as high priorities.

  • Other objectives seen as highly important included improving the efficiency and effectiveness of distribution channels (70%), improving product profitability (63%), and improving customer service (60%).

  • The most common strategies used to improve customer service are implementation of Web-based customer self-service (69%), and initiatives to consolidate customer data (69%).

  • Respondents said customer data being located in multiple silos within the organization was one of the most important challenges in improving customer service (50% rated this of high importance; 25% of medium importance).

SOLCORP, Whitehill Technologies and DSPA Software launched the Walking the Tightrope survey in April 2004 to explore how life insurers are handling the balancing act of reducing costs and achieving growth in today’s challenging business environment.

Responses were gathered from April through July 2004. Minimum qualifications for responses to be included in the final results were a management-level or higher respondent working for an insurer with life insurance and annuity offerings. SOLCORP provided the primary analysis of the survey with input from Whitehill Technologies and DSPA Software.

“We set out to get an in-depth picture of what is keeping life and annuity insurance executives at up at night, and we’ve succeeded with this survey,” said Mark Cline, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Global Initiatives, SOLCORP. “The report details insurers’ challenges, priorities and strategies. It’s an invaluable resource for life and annuity executives who need to improve their company’s bottom line and get a handle on what their industry peers are doing.”


SOLCORP, a wholly owned subsidiary of EDS, is a global leader in software solutions and services for the life insurance and wealth management industries. SOLCORP solutions help customers reduce their total cost of administration, accelerate the introduction of new products to the market, and streamline infrastructure through the migration and consolidation of existing products. SOLCORP / INGENIUM® is a high-performance, web services-enabled policy administration system that scales to high-volume environments, providing full-function processing for an extensive range of life and investment products. SOLCORP / ProductXpress™ is a scalable enterprise platform that allows IT to develop and implement reusable calculations across multiple applications.

About EDS

EDS provides a broad portfolio of business and technology solutions to help its clients worldwide improve their business performance. EDS’ core portfolio comprises information-technology, applications and business process services, as well as information-technology transformation services. EDS’ A.T. Kearney subsidiary is one of the world’s leading high-value management consultancies. With more than $20 billion in annual revenue, EDS is ranked 87th on the Fortune 500. The company’s stock is traded on the New York (NYSE: EDS) and London stock exchanges. Learn more at eds.com.

About Whitehill Technologies

Whitehill Technologies, Inc. develops and implements document composition and data transformation software that enables organizations to derive greater value from business information. Whitehill has helped over 600 customers in 45 countries unlock the value of their structured and unstructured data. Whitehill’s software automatically extracts any type of data, transforms it, renders it into any format required, and then distributes to wherever it needs to be. Whitehill’s key products include Whitehill xml-Transport, Whitehill Enterprise and Whitehill Transform Suite. Whitehill is a privately held company with 90 employees. Headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, Whitehill also has locations and partners in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has recognized Whitehill two years in a row in its Fast 50 ranking of technology companies. www.whitehilltech.com.

About DSPA Software

DSPA Software is a major supplier of insurance company sales compensation software. DSPA’s flagship product, FASAT, provides an integrated compensation solution to help clients manage evolving distribution channels, support growing product lines, and improve their bottom line. FASAT includes contracting and licensing, and immediate calculation, reporting, and payment of earnings consolidated across all lines of business. Its user-defined table driven parameters minimize dependence on IT developers. FASATWeb provides producers with Web access to their production data. Companies such as AmerUs Group, Manulife Financial, Sun Life Financial, RBC Insurance, Transamerica Life, and AIG depend on DSPA’s comprehensive software solution. For more information, visit the company’s Internet site at www.dspasoftware.com.