View Full Version : Life Illustration Software Developers
01-25-2002, 09:17 AM
Are there any life illustration software developers worth their weight in salt?
Our company has used several over the last ten years, but can't seem to find one that provides quality service and timely delivery.
I'm surprised that so few of these companies have actuaries on staff. It can really get frustrating trying to explain calculation algorithms to a non-actuarial programmer. That appears to cost us the most in time and effort since we end up going back and forth until they get the calculations correct enough for us to send the software out to the field.
We're currently using COSS. They're thes best of the bunch so far, but they still fall far from expectations. We're just one of many customers and it takes them a long time to turn around routine upgrades (and we're constantly finding new errors in the code). We've gotten to the point where we've decided to take the development in-house and save ourselves a lot of money and headaches in the process.
Any similar stories out there?
01-25-2002, 09:21 AM
We use Fipsco. We've had a lot of problems with them in the past, but I think that was mostly a communications thing. I'd have to say they are probably the most knowledgable, least problematic, easy-to-work-with software vendor we use (they are still a software vendor and seem to know when they have you by the balls, so take that with a grain of salt). Some of the stuff they do is fairly expensive, it seems. And they've been the only vendor we've used since I've been in the industry so I'm not sure how they compare to other illustration vendors, just to our other software vendors.
01-25-2002, 09:48 AM
I was an illustration specialist for a number of years - more than I care to remember. I did some extensive digging, and ended up selecting FIPSCO. At the time (about 5 years ago) they were able to send up programmers that could stand up to questions from the actuaries. They were expensive, but did get the project done properly.
The details of who you select and why are up to you - but there are two things that account for 90% of your relationship with an illustration vendor:
1) Vendor experience with similiar projects. If they don't have it, and lots of it, completely eliminate them from your search. The scope of this type of project is not apparent from a rate card.
2) YOUR documentation. The more time you spend on this the smoother your relationship will be. Don't leave the programmers with anything to figure out.
With those two things in hand, who you pick makes a whole lot less difference. Without both of those pieces, I can guarantee some real hardships.
01-26-2002, 11:00 PM
How does one go about becoming an "actuarial software developer"?
05-18-2002, 08:37 AM
A few years back my company researched this issue. FIPSCO and Ecta/NaviSys came out on top.
I would echo Glenn's comments.
I would add that there is a general misconception that when you purchase vendor services that you can "farm out the job and leave it to the experts". Nothing can be further from the truth. You need to really work on the communication. There is a allot of work internal folks have to do, if you want a successful launch. Yes, you leverage off their experience. But, you have at least as much work to do if it had been home grown. The advantage of the vendor is the "sales concept" algorthmns that they generally already incorporate.
05-18-2002, 02:59 PM
I used FIPSCO about 5 years ago, when I was a student intern. This is the only experience that I've had with illustration software, so I can't really comment on how they compare to other companies.
They sent us new versions of the software pretty frequently. There were usually a lot of minor changes in each version, so we had to be sure that we tested each new version very carefully. In general, I found that they were pretty easy to work with, and they usually did a good job of responding to our requests.
05-18-2002, 08:04 PM
NaviSys is good, and expensive. Their illustrations area is based in Ambler, PA; the administration systems area is based in Edison, NJ
Sunguard insurance systems (FDP) was good last time I heard; they are in Miami FL.
I second (and third) glenn's comments about your level of involvement: in bold.
05-20-2002, 01:28 PM
Try L&E in Overland Park, KS .. their illustration software division is a division of an Actuarial Consulting firm .. price is reasonable compared to some of the IT based firms and they don't charge fees for maintenence and the software tends to be more customizable
There's another actuarial firm in Austin, TX that also does illustration software
06-24-2002, 10:21 PM
Here's an embarassing question:
What do you mean by "Life Illustration Software"?
06-24-2002, 11:57 PM
Software used by agents to illustrate a company's life products. As the illustrations are typically used at point of sale (with the consumer), the software would also normally include sales concepts and presentations used to sell life insurance.
vBulletin® v3.7.6, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.