ACORD, the Association for Co-Operative Operations Research and Development, has helped the insurance industry do business more efficiently by improving data flow and reducing errors through its comprehensive set of standards. At its annual conference this year, to be held from 6 to 8 May, in Las Vegas, this global, non-profit insurance association will be showcasing the ways that technology can take the industry to the next level.
Featuring internationally-renowned journalist Bob Woodward as the keynote speaker, the 2013 ACORD Forum will offer topics covering the industry’s evolving needs, including mobile strategies, digital marketing, improved agency productivity, security and opportunities to use the latest technology, to name a few. The event will see insurance and technology industry experts presenting insight into the technologies, trends and business processes that will enable the industry to evolve to meet the needs of today’s challenging business environment.
South African technology industry stalwart Richard Firth, CEO of MIP Holdings, will present at the conference alongside these internationally renowned industry experts. The only African speaker at the conference, Firth’s presentation on strategising and the technology of the future will provide thousands of insurance industry practitioners from around the world with an insight into how technology is changing – and must change – their approach to their business.
“As IT’s transition from a support function to something that drives a firm's core competitive capabilities continues, CIOs in this sector are engaging in a wide variety of IT projects. As competition intensifies, insurers have to bring products to market in a timely manner and also ensure that all data are captured in the processes involved,” says Firth. “Web 2.0 is firmly entrenched in the mainstream. The speed of change has superseded the usefulness of traditional, previously practical and functional technologies. This has resulted in a shift in the way some companies are approaching their marketplaces, with innovators undergoing rapid development due to changing customer needs or improving technological capability. Technological innovation is not only inevitable, it’s necessary to the success of businesses today.”
Firth’s opinion is informed by global trends in business and technology, as well as his personal involvement with leading international organisations. His presentation will review strategic points executive management should debate and resolve to ensure the longevity and competitiveness of their business – a topic that is relevant across borders and industries.
“The world is definitely not changing: it has changed. The convergence of wireless broadband, solid state data storage, revolutions in battery technology and integration of geo-spatial information has revolutionised the way we should be using technology to do business,” he says.
MIP Holdings is one of the world's leaders in the provision of 'risk-based' billing services to mainly, but not exclusively, the financial services industry. The company designs and develops software solutions that focus on the collection of contributions and payment of benefits in the healthcare, employee benefits, and life assurance, as well as in personal finance, integrated lending systems and treasury.
With a focus on meeting client-specific requirements and through extensive investment in technology, MIP 'future-proofs' its solutions. Strict adherence to industry standards, as well as stringent internal control over standards and quality assurance, ensure the systems MIP develops meet all client expectations.
Expanding into the telecoms sector through its purchase of Itemate, MIP Holdings provides telecom operations and management solutions to communications service providers worldwide. The company’s specific skills in the area of mobile prepaid value chains, prepaid product life cycle management analysis, voucher management systems and mobile financial services enable it to provide an end-to-end service. It’s most recent acquisition, Waytag, further enhanced the company’s ability to provide a comprehensive solution to its clients through the unique Waytag offering of location-based services.
MIP Holdings was founded in 1989 and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional offices in Cape Town, and Pretoria.