Guidewire ClaimCenter: An overview (iStock)

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Earlier this month, Gartner published its latest Magic Quadrant report for claims management modules in the property and casualty insurance sectors. Despite the baffling name, the premise of the Magic Quadrant series is simple – either annually or biannually, the research firm maps the vendors in a given market along two axis: completeness of vision and ability to execute.

This year, for the second year in a row, Guidewire ClaimCenter has come out on top. The claims management system – which, at a little over a decade old, is something of a latecomer to the market – was named a Magic Quadrant Leader, falling further along each axis than seven of its competitors.

In a short space of time, ClaimCenter has assumed what seems to be an indomitable position in the ranks of claims management systems. This is a big deal   in the insurance sector, where many firms are currently struggling with legacy technology and pushing in the direction of ambitious transformation projects. But what is ClaimCenter, exactly, and what's the story behind its unstoppable rise?

Here's a brief overview of the two-year Magic Quadrant Leader.

What is it?

Guidewire ClaimCenter is a web-based claims management system, built in Java and offering support for DB2, Oracle and SQL Server databases. The developer, Guidewire Software, was founded in 2001, launched Claimcenter in 2003, and has been traded on the NYSE since 2012. Its other products include PolicyCenter and BillingCenter, and collectively the three make up its InsuranceSuite solution. They're sold on a term license basis.

Who's using it?

According to data from Gartner, ClaimCenter counted some 117 live implementations as of the end of 2014. 81 of these were in North America, 20 in Europe, and the rest spread across Latin America, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. As for InsuranceSuite as a whole, Guidewire claims that more than 300 implementations have either been completed or are in progress.

What makes it so special?

ClaimCenter is designed for end-to-end management of the entire claim lifecycle, from first notification of loss through advanced adjudication to claim closure. This saves insurers time that would have otherwise been spent manually rekeying data, as well as making advanced reporting possible and allowing them to continually refine their claim handling processes.

Gartner also notes that Guidewire boasts the largest network of systems integrators (SIs) of any of the vendors named in this year's Magic Quadrant report, meaning expertise in ClaimCenter is widely accessible.

What does it take to integrate?

Despite offering a generally glowing endorsement, Gartner cautions that would-be Guidewire customers have a few drawbacks to consider. One is the cost of an ClaimCenter implementation, as well as the resources required to carry one out effectively. A byproduct is that just 21 per cent of customers are using versions from 2013 or later.

"Guidewire and its SI partners have been challenged to supply qualified resources in the face of the strong demand for Guidewire solutions," the report adds. "Some implementations have been impacted by resource issues."

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