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A Sound Policy

Frontline Homeowners Insurance updates its IT infrastructure to ease integration and improve delivery

CIO Kurt Bonigut says Frontline Homeowners Insurance’s new system makes it easy for potential customers to get quotes and find agents. Photo by Ryan Ketterman

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Customer: Frontline Homeowners Insurance
Headquarters: Lake Mary, Fla.
Business: Homeowner insurance provider
Challenge: Improving the back-and-forth flow of data from a Web front end to a back-end system
Solution: Using Rocket Seagull’s LegaSuite application-modernization tools to improve XML-based information communications
Software: Policy and claims software
Hardware: An IBM Power Systems server

Frontline Homeowners Insurance has a vision. It strives to invest in technologies that keep it ahead of its competition and make it easy to do business with, says CIO Kurt Bonigut. That applies, notably, to not only internal users but also the company’s network of independent insurance agents.

Not every organization is as purpose driven as Frontline, which views technology as an enabler instead of a crutch. Frontline seized a significant opportunity for improvement by integrating its legacy policy and claims administration, which relies on a tab-and-enter interface, with its website.

As most green-screen users know, legacy applications can sometimes be difficult to wade through and, perhaps more importantly, can stifle innovation. This latter issue often comes up when organizations try to offer advanced services, including those that rely on Web access as Frontline was trying to pursue.

Frontline, for example, had an issue with the smooth delivery of information over the Internet to its independent insurance providers. When the back-end rules of its core, IBM Power Systems* technology-based software had to be changed, the rules on its Web front end also had to be changed. “It was tough keeping up with it,” Bonigut says. “The integration approach between our website and the back-end legacy system was less than ideal and was affecting time to market with new product offerings and causing additional development cost.”

To counter this time-intensive work, the company decided to gut its existing website and build a new one from scratch developed in Java* that would leverage a service oriented architecture (SOA)-based model. The key to this approach was to leverage XML-based communications with all services calls. This posed a significant challenge in integrating with the legacy system. To solve this Web-to-back-end system-integration dilemma, Frontline needed a solution that would allow for seamless integration—and that came in the form of Rocket Software’s LegaSuite application-modernization tools.

“We like to push functionality to the edge and enable our users to do more.” —Kurt Bonigut, CIO, Frontline Homeowners Insurance

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.

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A Sound Policy

Frontline Homeowners Insurance updates its IT infrastructure to ease integration and improve delivery

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