Natural Language Query and Reporting Technology Part of Revolutionary Information Portal Developed by Leading Insurance Integrator
BEDFORD, Mass.- Nov. 28, 2006 – Progress Software Corporation (Nasdaq: PRGS), a supplier of leading technology to develop, deploy, integrate and manage business applications, today announced that Kingsway Financial Services, one of the fastest growing property and casualty insurance companies in North America, has selected the Progress(R) EasyAsk(R) natural language query and reporting technology for use within its enterprise portal application. The system will allow Kingsway to access information more efficiently from multiple databases and is part of an enterprise-wide information portal from HarCase Software Ltd, a leading supplier of solutions to the insurance industry.
HarCase Software selected the EasyAsk technology for its enterprise application portal because it strips the complexity from querying multiple data sources, instantly delivers accurate answers to common business questions, removes standard reporting constraints, and drastically reduces the burden on IT for HarCase customers such as Kingsway. With more than $2.5 billion in premiums annually through ten wholly-owned insurance subsidiaries in Canada and the U.S., Kingsway deployed the HarCase system to simplify and speed the way it does business, both internally and with its insurance agents and brokers. Through an intuitive, easily customized dashboard interface populated with embedded queries, business users at Kingsway can instantly access up-to-date information and answers to a number of key business questions. Answers to pre-selected questions are proactively delivered each morning through personalized dashboard homepages within the portal, based on individual user needs.
“HarCase has enhanced our databases into powerful assets by consolidating them into a central repository which, along with the use of Progress EasyAsk technology, now offers a single source of business intelligence,” said Claude Smith, CIO for Kingsway Financial Services. “Prior to the new system, we would create reports and extract operational performance data manually from a variety of spreadsheets that were propagated and shared across each of the different business groups. With the EasyAsk technology, intelligent search and reporting capabilities now enable our business users to gain immediate insights into volume, workflow and ongoing interactions with brokers, such as how many new business quotes exist, which brokers are bringing in the most business, and what areas of the business are the most profitable. We have removed manual business processes, lowered operational costs, and increased the speed and volume of new business coming in through the Web.”
With the integration of the EasyAsk technology, Kingsway can now leverage real-time business intelligence and self-service query and reporting capabilities through an enterprise portal application designed for non-technical business users. By extending access to its secure enterprise portal, Kingsway can also provide thousands of brokers and independent insurance agents with real-time operational and analytical information that they could not get from other insurance companies. This provides Kingsway with a distinct competitive advantage in recruiting and empowering their brokers and insurance agencies.
“With the EasyAsk natural language data query and reporting technology, insurance companies can access more business intelligence which will allow them to make more timely and informed business decisions,” said Dan Sobotincic, CEO of HarCase Software. “The ability to quickly and easily query and interact with application data gives our customers greater insight into their current business conditions. The EasyAsk technology allows us to help insurance companies improve the way they do business – profitably.”
Progress, together with HarCase domain experts, has built an industry-specific user dictionary in which insurance terminology and complex calculations have been defined and developed. This sophisticated dictionary enables business users to converse with the HarCase enterprise portal application in their natural language, with queries and custom reporting capabilities such as:
“Show new business and renewal coverage premiums by rating territory and policy number, written in 2006,”
“Report the sum of written totals and number of personal auto policies, sorted by activation month and branch,” or
Bar chart the number of policies expiring this year, sorted by month ending.”
“We are working closely with HarCase to extend the value of its applications by providing a single point of access to business information,” said Larry Harris, vice president and general manager, Progress EasyAsk Division. “Natural language query and reporting goes beyond a simple keyword search, and addresses weaknesses of conventional data warehousing and business intelligence. It allows companies, such as Kingsway, to use real-time operational reporting and to access the information stored across their enterprise to make business decisions with the confidence of knowing you have all the information needed at your fingertips.”
Progress Software Corporation
Progress Software Corporation (Nasdaq: PRGS) provides application infrastructure software for the development, deployment, integration and management of business applications. Our goal is to maximize the benefits of information technology while minimizing its complexity and total cost of ownership.
EasyAsk and Progress are trademarks or registered trademarks of Progress Software Corporation or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Any other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.