The Evolution of OpenUnderwriter
To coincide with the release of OpenUnderwriter 2.2, we want to tell you a little bit about what you can find in the release, along with some other exciting developments that have been happening behind the scenes here.
Over the last few months the team has been working really hard to implement some major milestones in OpenUnderwriter's roadmap.
Some of these deliveries can be seen in the new functionality now available in 2.2, whilst others are currently available to those who are comfortable in performing their own builds from our latest source code release. The most significant changes however are behind the scenes, designed to make future development more efficient and more productive.
As a team, we believe it is really important that OpenUnderwriter continues to develop and evolve, ensuring it remains focused on delivering the needs of our users in an ever changing business environment. If OpenUnderwriter doesn't continually grow and adapt to fit an ever changing world, how can we expect organisations that rely on it do so and remain competitive?
Evolution of the Platform
Over time, as the OpenUnderwriter platform developed, it naturally split into four distinct systems: OpenQuote, OpenPolicy, OpenClaim and OpenActuary. Each of these systems was based on the same underlying core, a core that understands the principles of insurance, without defining specific behavior. Behaviour was defined within each of the systems, and depending upon a user's requirements, those systems could be swapped in and out with other third party tools.
However, as OpenUnderwriter has grown, it has became clear that there is a lot of shared behaviour between the different systems, and that a single platform would be much more effective than four separate ones. A few of the benefits a combined system brings include a simpler development environment that is more manageable and efficient, a single installation making it less complex for system admins, and a consistency in design across all areas of functionality. For these reasons we have decided to unify the systems and have now merged them into one - OpenUnderwriter.
It has been important that we retain the ability to swap in and out functionality with third party solutions, so if for example an organisation wants to trade online with OpenUnderwriter, but manage policies with their own back office system, they can, the modular nature of OpenUnderwriter allows this.
Not all the work we have been undertaking in the last few months has been behind the scenes, so here are some of the more visible feature highlights.
To compliment the PayPal integration we currently support out of the box, release 2.2 adds SagePay integration. Now you can collect premiums quickly and easily using your organisation's existing SagePay account, providing your customers with the assurance and confidence that a secure service like SagePay brings.
Whilst previous versions of OpenUnderwriter have been able to generate referrals, they have always had to be processed outside of OpenUnderwriter, until now that is. Business users can now go into the policy administration area, view a referred quotation and process it.
A sophisticated risk assessment page allows the risk to be analysed in detail by the user, seeing what risk factors are involved, why the risk referred and a break down of the calculated premium. With this information the user can decide to decline or accept the risk, and apply a loading where necessary.
To help make things even simpler, a referral workflow can be triggered directly from the quotation process, enabling the business to react quickly, and process the quote efficiently.
Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) Scheduling
OpenUnderwriter 2.2 makes it easier for your Data Analysts to extract and report on that all important information held by the system about your customers and their policies. Both the ETL process and the OpenUnderwriter Database have been completely overhauled, making data more accessible for your team than ever before. Jobs can be easily set up and scheduled to make data available for reporting, or even exporting to third party system or service.
Enhanced Document Templating
Another major improvement in OpenUnderwriter 2.2 is in the area of document templating for quotation and certificate documents. Data handling has been enhanced to give more flexibility and control over the look and layout of the documents to be issued, with an array of functions that provide document designers with simple yet powerful data processing and presentation capabilities.
Enhanced User Interface Generation
OpenUnderwriter allows processes to be defined which automatically generate an associated user interface, with the online proposal forms being a great example. In 2.2 the generated forms have been enhanced to ensure even better presentation of your forms on all devices, large or small, desktop or mobile. You can be assured OpenUnderwriter will provide a great user experience.
OpenUnderwriter has always allowed you to collect tables of data, such as a list of vehicles and their related attributes, or a list of insureds. However those lists have always had fixed columns. Now, in the very latest build, OpenUnderwriter allows columns to be turned on or off dynamically depending upon information provided elsewhere. For example, you could dynamically add or remove a vehicle value column depending upon whether fully comprehensive or third party only cover has been selected, potentially saving your prospective customers from spending unnecessary time providing information that is not required.
These improvements are all part of the continued evolution of the software, and the list is too long to cover them all. To try out the latest feature for yourself, please find the download of OpenUndewriter release 2.2 here: http://www.openunderwriter.com/community/download.
About the Author
Matthew is a founder of OpenUnderwriter and has over 20 years’ experience working in the Insurance sector. He has extensive experience in delivering complex solutions in both general and commercial lines for Lloyds and London markets working with companies such as Talbot Underwriter, Brit and Catlin. Matthew has been at the forefront of the design and overall direction of the OpenUnderwriter suite of products. Matthew is also an active member of the microinsurance community and has been involved in a number of major projects in developing countries across the world.