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Optimizing the Duck Creek Technologies User Experience from Implementation to Long-Term Sustainability


Underwriting has evolved from a process-driven model to focusing on the end-user experience. The younger generation, when engaging with underwriting technology—handling insurance policies and similarly important decisions—expects responsive design and flexibility that constantly evolves the user experience.

Duck Creek Technologies’ comprehensive, configurable P&C insurance software was originally designed with a process-driven interface that was very difficult to navigate. This solution is changing, which means companies need to utilize the platforms that offer detailed capabilities and create a better end-user experience.

To implement, enable, and optimize the Duck Creek solution, carriers of all sizes can benefit from working with a delivery partner. Partners play a crucial role in providing complementary software services and solutions to implement the Duck Creek P&C insurance software suite and configure it for insurers.

Understand Platform Evolution

Coforge, a certified delivery partner in Duck Creek Technologies’ Global Alliance Program, has experience integrating omni-channel solutions, expertise with smartphone apps, and excels at providing counsel and support for carriers

Coforge has built a panel of experts who understand that product expansion is a necessary part of any update to company platforms. These experts help companies craft a more flexible strategy for adapting to changes in technology, understanding the nuances of the software suite, and providing configuration through extensive focus on a company’s business and technology needs.

Additionally, Coforge has enabled the integration of secondary technology solutions to incorporate data and targeting tools so companies can optimize their offerings for enhanced customer service.

Coforge has opened a range of new possibilities for the Duck Creek platform through the utilization of mobile technology. There’s an increasing demand to use smartphone apps to create and modify existing policies, make online payments, or even start the claim process. With today’s fast-paced and ever-changing daily routine, users even rely on their mobile devices to notify them when something is happening. Adding in functionality, such as app notifications or text alerts, can be extremely beneficial for today’s end-user.

Omni-channel functionality is delivered through Coforge' Clearpath solution. Clearpath provides Duck Creek users true omni-channel communications intimacy with existing customers and consumers interested in insurance coverage.

Customers can engage with their insurance companies (Duck Creek-installed carriers) in a straight-through processing (STP) to make changes, such as adding a car or a youthful driver. In addition, with these capabilities, consumers seeking auto insurance and quotes can be taken through an auto quote session, including a PCI-compliant secured payment solution to finish purchase in a single session.

Omni-channel capabilities also improve agent communications and can enable targeted marketing campaigns by providing time-sensitive customer profiles.

Accurately Translate Business Requirements along with “IT-Side” Design

Today’s businesses need to stay involved with the ultimate implementation of a product—it is, after all, their bottom line at stake. Meanwhile, the information technology side will want to have a major impact on implementation to ensure that their company guidelines are being observed. This is the domain of IT.

For insurance companies that are implementing Duck Creek, it is critical to understand common challenges with getting the technology launched and ways to make sure that these do not impact your team. Coforge' approach to the Duck Creek platform, from implementation to long-term sustainability, creates a comprehensive and intuitive experience for carriers worldwide.

An approach that supplies and integrates top-level business, developer, and architect roles is critical from the first day of engagement with any partner. This means there will be total transparency and full communication between everyone involved in the process throughout the life of its development. Keeping the communication lines open keeps the process fluid and moving, ensuring that all sides are heard.

Coforge champions collaboration of the insurance and Duck Creek product experts by ensuring all stakeholders communicate from the beginning. By holding breakout sessions, team members discuss processes, short- and long-term visions, and goal sharing. All are vital steps in a process that requires team communication and common agreement.

In addition, there are several challenges that can arise during the process. Coforge has identified some of the most common themes among those who struggle to make an implementation work.

As a project evolves, new issues and solutions have a way of presenting themselves. Some of these even get added to the project itself, creating scope creep and slowly “creeping up” the size of the project itself.

The key to implementing Duck Creek’s platform is ensuring that common goals and plans are held from the outset. Coforge focuses on holding common goals for the long-term along with the architectural vision—the knowledge and understanding to build out proper architectural principles.

Ensuring that all the work is done on time is also critical, but responding to different challenges that arise along the way can be difficult. Effective time management starts with good communication. Anticipation of staffing requirements and risk management protection also factor in, helping to prevent delivery delays, which arise when portions of the project are not aligned with objectives.

If both sides are not transparent in their communication before and during the implementation of the Duck Creek platform, issues can develop. The IT and business sides of an organization will need to be on the same page to ensure that a smooth implementation is made. Misaligned expectations and misunderstood requirements can lead to problems not only during, but after the implementation.

A partner experienced in managing and controlling these issues is key to a proper implementation and will "future-proof" the result for your company.

Future-Proof for Sustainability

It’s not enough to have a successful implementation of Duck Creek. Even with adequate communication and a stress-free implementation of the new system, the platform must continue to be of use for companies and their customers. Coforge is keenly aware of this issue and focuses not only on what’s going live today but what will continue to sustain a business model for the next five or more years.

As a partner, Coforge offers clear points and even requirements phases to identify the client’s goals and to ensure that these goals can be met throughout the lifespan of the implementation and beyond. This means asking specific questions about these goals. With an open discussion about a company’s future goals, a platform can then be future-proofed to include more flexibility.

The concept of future-proofing refers to the idea that a single implementation is not enough to ensure that an organization reaches their goals for its customers. Future-proofing means setting specific goals so that the implementation of the Duck Creek platform can continue to serve our partners and their customers for years to come.

No organization wants a solution that will only be sustainable for one year. That’s why Coforge' implementation process is focused on creating something that can be built and expanded upon in years to come, which is an essential part of the Future-proofing concept.

By having clear conversations with each client, Coforge can create upgrade paths and let them know if their status might be deviating from their initial goals. Sticking to this process means hitting those goals and remaining flexible to future challenges. This process includes looking at future upgrades.

Have a Clear Vision for Upgrades

Coforge' experience with upgrades has provided the knowledge base necessary to know the pain points—the most challenging issues that will come down the road. This is usually curtailed by designing and building an upgrade path for the future.

Key points to address when planning an upgrade include:

  • Does the new release produce new functionality that you’d like enabled in the new version?
  • What is your overall goal for the upgrade—IT update, new product roll-out, bug fixing, etc.?
  • What changes need to happen to your existing product definition either by way of new functionality released by Duck Creek, or changes to your business focus?
  • What is your timeline?

Before commencing an upgrade, Coforge helps its partners to conduct an in-depth analysis on the database changes because these items must be manually addressed to prevent rolling back during installation. Factoring in the creation of custom Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) to communicate with external systems and skin modifications should also be factored into the schedule.

When an upgrade is implemented and completed correctly, it will result in access to Duck Creek’s newly-released functionality, up-to-date systems with the IT solutions you need, and fixes of problems that may have crept up in previous versions.

Performing a System Environment Analysis

To perform an upgrade on the Duck Creek platform, the current structure already in place must be understood. Ask the following questions before commencing an upgrade:

  • What needs to be upgraded—specifically, which environments and which components of Duck Creek (policy, billing, claims)?
  • What is the current configuration of those environments? This will help determine the number of upgrade installations that will ultimately be run.
  • Are the hardware and software configurations for the environment compatible with the latest release of Duck Creek? This can include Windows, Microsoft SQL, and relevant web browsers.
  • How does the current setup compare to the base installation of that same version? This allows the project team to fully understand what changes have been made by the client.
  • What has changed within your business that may require additional work to your current configuration?
  • What is in the new release of Duck Creek that you want to incorporate into your current configuration?
  • What are the key areas of improvement you desire for your existing system?

Coforge Offers Flexible Solutions for Duck Creek Implementation

With innovation and product expansion, a comprehensive Duck Creek platform implementation can lead to a tremendous amount of flexibility in the future.

Coforge uses Duck Creek Technologies’ training material in implementations, sticking to the fundamentals while staying on top of common goals. Coforge helps partners to set clear and definable objectives for the future while having a thorough understanding of the frequent challenges and pain points with a Duck Creek platform implementation or upgrade process. Creating a better end-user experience comes from consistent communication, planning for pain points, and future-proofing. When the Duck Creek platform is properly implemented, the organization can continually adapt to new goals and objectives as well as changes in the market.

Coforge' expertise and product innovation with the Duck Creek platform has produced tangible results for clients across the full process, from implementation to creating a sustainable business model. Businesses implementing the Duck Creek platform can utilize this experience to adapt to an ever-changing technological environment while having a positive impact on the bottom line.

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