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Pekin Insurance

Insurer speeds up digital transformation with Guidewire and OnBase.

To enable Pekin to go head-to-head with its larger insurance competitors in a rapidly evolving marketplace, Pekin wanted to generate and sustain top-line growth, simplify business processes and improve speed to market. To get there, the company replaced its 35-year-old legacy platform in 2015 with Guidewire core, data analytics, and digital engagement products.

The move was part of a strategic effort called PIVOT (Pekin Insurance Virtual Overall Transformation). The insurer designed PIVOT to simplify its infrastructure, reduce system maintenance costs (technology debt), and gain the flexibility needed to adapt its business to respond rapidly to agent and customer requests and enter new markets.

Pekin’s PIVOT initiative represents a complete legacy technology overhaul. With Guidewire, the company chose a system that could support some of the its most crucial core requirements — to improve day-to-day operations with internal staff and agents and quickly “pivot” to embrace new markets.

Importance of partners

Pekin reaped the benefits of Guidewire’s technology platform soon after implementation. The insurer could now quickly build its own platform ecosystem by taking advantage of ancillary products from members of the Guidewire PartnerConnect Solution program.

Subhasis Muhkerjee, Vice President and CIO at Pekin, notes that speed-to-market was a primary driver for the company’s choice of ancillary support. Finding highly rated providers that could rapidly integrate with the Guidewire platform was an important strategic component. According to Muhkerjee, choosing OnBase — Hyland’s enterprise content management system — assured Pekin that it would not skip a beat when it came to servicing customers, thanks to Hyland’s Ready for Guidewire accelerators.

The accelerators provide prebuilt and proven capabilities for Guidewire customers that solve several technical and business process challenges. They also reduce time, cost and risks associated with incorporating content services capabilities as part of Guidewire core transformation initiatives.

“Frankly, as an insurance company, our product is a document — a legal document — that promises coverage during a loss or at a time of need for our customers,” says Muhkerjee. “We wanted to spend our time creating solutions for our business rather than integrating them.”

Now part of Pekin’s larger ecosystem, OnBase acts as the insurer’s content services platform, eliminating data silos, streamlining business operations and bolstering the customer experience by making it quick and easy to manage and access critical information. Pekin can leverage multiple data import methods in OnBase to capture inbound data and documents and connect information for employees and independent agents across the home office and hundreds of agency locations.

As a Premier member of the Guidewire PartnerConnect Solution program, Hyland helps Pekin seamlessly integrate into a fully functioning enterprise content management solution without requiring users to leave their Guidewire core system.

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Future-proof and best of breed

“With PIVOT, the very diverse ecosystem that Guidewire brings to the table was extremely important in not only our decision but our implementation,” notes Dave Whitesell, Assistant Vice President for Pekin’s IT group. “We wanted to have a very modern system that could give us all the capabilities we needed to grow in the future. We also wanted to make sure that all the ancillary components for enterprise content management with OnBase were best of breed.”

Whitesell adds that Pekin’s approach to implementing Guidewire with OnBase was one that considered all integration partners working together. “It’s not just a business project. It’s not just an IT project. It’s a Pekin project,” he explains. “You have to think of that layer. If you’re thinking of this as a business, you’re probably not going to treat your IT partners very well. And if you think of it as technology, you’re probably not listening to all the business components required to build a really good product. So you have to blend all those areas.”

Pekin took that type of approach on its modernization project, Muhkerjee maintains, noting that the results speak for themselves. Leveraging Ready for Guidewire accelerators, Pekin integrated the two solutions for personal auto and business owners’ policy lines in less than a year.

Accelerators pave the way

If recognizing the mutually beneficial results of blending business and IT objectives is part of the recipe, working with integration partners that offer accelerators to speed up development is the icing on the cake.

The OnBase accelerators helped us speed up our document management — and we didn’t have to redo it or start from scratch.

— Subhasis Muhkerjee, Vice President and CIO, Pekin

“It shows that there is a lot of thought going into it and that someone had already done it,” says Whitesell. “We’re not the first people to jump into something. We know most of the problems have already been worked out. Guidewire and its partners have given us all those ecosystems to play in, and all that information is available for us.”

Hyland’s Ready for Guidewire accelerators are designed to provide prebuilt and proven capabilities for Guidewire customers. The accelerators solve the technical and business process challenges associated with inbound document capture, integrated document viewing in InsuranceSuite, and outbound document packaging, composition, and secure file distribution.

As Mukherjee explains, “The accelerators definitely helped us speed up our project plan. And that’s one of the reasons we can drive that speed-to-market.”

The unveiling of Pekin’s new workers’ compensation company, Pekin Select, is a good example, according to Muhkerjee.

“We were able to launch in 90 days, including integrating OnBase into this new platform,” he continues. “Obviously, Guidewire played a big part in that, but the OnBase accelerators helped us speed up our document management — and we didn’t have to redo it or start from scratch. Instead, we quickly put everything together for a new product line, a new company line. That was possible only because of Guidewire and the OnBase accelerators, and we could straightaway start using these platforms and create a project plan in record time.”

Lisa Rogers, the company’s Senior Manager of IT Programs, concludes that success in implementing the new ecosystem — along with what the team has learned over the last year and the results of bringing a new business to market — proves that Pekin can move even faster in the future.

“Our integrations are ongoing,” says Rogers. “And they are a lot easier with Guidewire than they would have been with our legacy systems. We had less trouble because Guidewire has created a partner ecosystem with accelerators that make it easier for us to add value. OnBase is a great example of that.”