Smart Approach Blog

Welcome to Guidewire’s blog for property/casualty insurance. Here we'll share our experiences and lessons learned from more than 300 implementation projects. We'll also offer our point of view on industry trends and advice to help you adapt and succeed on your journey of continuous improvement.

Nov
07
2013

Last month, Guidewire hosted Connections 2013, our 9th annual User Conference. We often talk about the “Guidewire Community,” and nowhere is it more apparent than at Connections. As I walked around the opening reception on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but to notice the palpable energy in the room. It was just the beginning of what would be an action-packed conference over the next several days. We were pleased to welcome over 800 customers and partner attendees.

Oct
16
2013

There has been a lot of buzz in the industry around Risk Based Testing. Before we talk about this, let’s agree on why we do testing. Testing is basically a component of a risk mitigation strategy for any project, regardless of the size. The objective of testing is to uncover defects that may lead to undesirable results for the system users and for the organization. The potential for undesirable results are generally referred to as risk.

Oct
11
2013

In this Guidewire Smart Approach Blog post, I am going to attempt to answer one of the most common questions I get as a Professional Services Director at Guidewire. That question comes very early in the project lifecycle, sometimes even before a project is approved to move forward.  The question I hear repeatedly from a majority of our customers is, “What should we be doing to get ready for our Guidewire project?”

Oct
04
2013

The concept of a crystal ball has always bothered me a little bit… I mean, it seems like it would be good idea to know what’s to come in the future, but doesn’t knowing change everything??? Being unable to ‘know the unknown’ presents most people with two options to consider: 1) accept that one can only solve today’s challenges and face them as they appear; or 2) prepare for everything and hope for the best.

Sep
18
2013

I was thrilled to read the article published last October in the Harvard Business Review entitled, “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century" (Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil, Harvard Business Review, October 2012).

Sep
17
2013

Fair warning: if you’re a software architecture purist, you may want to stop reading now.

Sep
12
2013

 When most people think of oil, they think of it as one homogeneous substance; black goopy stuff that comes out of ground. But it isn’t – crude oil, like data, varies tremendously in quality; crude oil can come as sweet crude (if it has <0.5% sulfur) or sour (if it has >0.5% sulfur).

Sep
06
2013

Mike Burn wrote a great blog post entitled What Live is, is not important. Why we built it, is.”  It’s a great read on what our thought process was when we built Live. It resonated with me, but left me wanting more.

Aug
22
2013

I recently completed my first insurance purchase with an independent producer. In the midst of a rapid close on a new home, my then-carrier informed me, with only a few days to go, that they would not underwrite the property, despite having provided me with an estimated quote two weeks prior (why they wouldn’t underwrite it is a topic for another post!).

Jul
30
2013
Jul
23
2013

During a recent trip to China, I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to see things from a new perspective. Specifically, I found a new appreciation for the potential for improvement in insurance practices. I saw an industry in its relative ‘infancy’, though with market players already gigantic by any measure, that is about to take a massive leap forward in its levels of customer service, operational efficiency, and product innovation.

Jul
18
2013

I recently visited a farmers’ market close to where I live. I walked by a stand that was selling small containers of honey, and I was shocked to see a price tag of $12. Shocked to the point that I stopped to see if I was understanding properly, because how could honey possibly cost so much?

Jul
03
2013

Guidewire Software products deliver working software out-of-the-box based on Property/Casualty insurance best practices that provide real business benefits with little configuration. But a key feature of Guidewire’s platform and products is that they are designed to be flexible. That flexibility can enable you to extend base product features or design completely new features strategic to the way they do business. But, how much time and money should you invest in changing the product?

Jun
28
2013

In this installment of "Keys to Success," I explore the concept of attempting to predict how users will utilize Guidewire InsuranceSuite and recommendations for process design and workflow.

Jun
17
2013

No matter the language, knowing where your customers are is essential – whether you’re writing their policy or handling their claim. When you know where they are you can direct them to the right services and the right services to them, you can perform a proper investigation and you can aggregate data and analyze collective risk.

Jun
14
2013

There have been several posts recently about business cases and change within an organization1. Building off of that, I’d like to share some thoughts about best practices in change management for large technology projects such as core system replacement.

Jun
13
2013

What is all the fuss? This topic was the focus of a recent panel discussion at an event in London, England. The buzz it generated was fascinating to me.

Jun
11
2013

A colleague of mine recently sent me a fascinating article entitled, “Transient Advantage,” authored by Rita Gunther and published in June’s Harvard Business Review. If you are a business professional, if defining strategy is part of your job, or if you’ve ever uttered the phrase “competitive advantage,” then I advise you to STOP and go read this article NOW. To make it easy for you, here’s a link: 

May
29
2013

Really.  I want to know everything about you, spend time with you, celebrate your successes, and commiserate over your ‘bumps in the road’.

I’ll do my best to care for you. I’ll avoid harassing you with too many questions or redundant things. I promise I won’t forget all the ways we know each other. I’ll remember that you are a big part of what makes me successful, even when you sometimes have to give me bad news.

Tags: 20:01:08
May
23
2013

Fundamentally, I am a storyteller. When I’m not extolling the virtues of modern insurance software, I write music. And when I’m at work, I help our customers to build business cases.

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