August 24, 2016
SIRC Summit '16 Recap
By: Teresa Harris
Every year, the Sircon team at Vertafore hosts the SIRC Summit, an annual conference for members of the State Insurance Regulators Consortium (SIRC) in Lansing, Michigan. SIRC is a user group for Vertafore's Sircon for States regulatory management system. At the summit, the Sircon team and the user group are given the opportunity to collectively pave the future path for Sircon for States and its related industry portal solutions.
By providing feedback, discussing potential enhancements, and sharing best practices, our state partners can get the most out of their investments. In return, we receive valuable feedback directly from our customers on how we can make their business processes more efficient. In addition to the formal Summit sessions, Vertafore staff had the opportunity to host numerous one-on-one meetings with our customers to do just that.
This year's theme was a continuation of the 2015 Summit's LEAN government theme. LEAN government focuses on being as efficient and purposeful as possible in day-to-day processes.
Better, Faster, Cheaper
John Paddock, our keynote speaker and Assistant VP at the National Life Group (formerly with the Hartford), discussed his company's strategy for removing waste and becoming more efficient in their processes. "Better, Faster, Cheaper" summarizes his overall goal to drive revenue, innovate in a "sea of sameness," improve operational efficiency, drive customer loyalty, and strengthen employee engagement. He not only stressed the importance of becoming "Better, Faster, Cheaper," but discussed with the attendees how he was able to implement a process framework in the organizations he has been involved with.
One regulator mentioned that John's presentation helped them to better understand the operational implications of the changes states make, and how industry responds to them.
Barb Gavitt, VP of Product Development and Education at A.D. Banker & Company (and a SILA board member) spoke about how uniformity contributes to LEAN government. She shared that in many conversations with regulators, states want uniformity but are aware that it is a process to get there. She highlighted the importance of collaboration with everyone involved in the process.
Resources such as the Producer Licensing Model Act, the CE Reciprocity Agreement and Form, NAIC's Producer Licensing Working Group State Licensing Handbook, and SILA's Best Practices Handbook, have been tools used by regulator and industry working groups to help drive uniformity forward. Barb stressed that success will come with continued collaboration and education towards that goal.
Scott Morris, the new CTO for the NAIC, presented on the NAIC's security initiatives, how the NAIC and NIPR work together, and how the NAIC works with Vertafore on initiatives. Scott said being more open, collaborative, and innovative best summarizes how the NAIC will operate moving forward.
In addition to our guest speakers, Minnesota and Virginia attendees Robert Commodore and Richard Tozer presented at this year's event. Their presentations shared how states help drive the product direction and influence product design working with Vertafore product and customer teams.
Richard's presentation focused on how the user experience and efficiency is being improved with the redesigned license application process.
Robert Commodore focused on our long lasting partnership with Minnesota, and how the state has driven new product capabilities with Vertafore over time. The "power of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration" has allowed Vertafore and Minnesota to directly work together to make these capabilities available for not only Minnesota, but has also helped to improve our products for Sircon States as a whole.
Vertafore staff reviewed the 2016 work, including several features completed since the last SIRC Summit. Key enhancements included 100 updated reports, improved user experience for license application processing, regulatory changes, and new education provider services for Iowa. For the remainder of the year, additional enhancements requested by states will be delivered to support improved processes.
2017 and Beyond
Looking forward, we reviewed exciting new changes that are in the works. A special preview session on advanced reporting received lots of feedback and excitement. Below is a quick sneak peak of what's coming soon.
- Enhanced security including NAIC initiative support
- Ad hoc reporting
- User experience
- Content management
- Ongoing improvements to service and quality, including enhanced data center operations and infrastructure
- Support for regulatory changes
Teresa earned her BA from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and has been with Vertafore's Sircon solutions for over 22 years. As an account manager for the government side, Teresa works closely with Sircon for States® customers from implementation to ongoing product support. Teresa is one of our original 15 Sircon employees and even assisted in recruiting our first Sircon state.