Nearly ten years ago, two brothers, Bob and Richard Brown set out to create the most sophisticated and innovative software solutions for the insurance industry. The result was VIPR.
The entrepreneurial duo’s vision was to change the insurance business through effective IT systems. This would not only help modernize the market but also make it possible for the industry to understand and interpret huge swathes of data, an issue the industry was finding difficult to solve.
With vast quantities of data flooding the market in a disorganized and nonstandard format, and increasing regulatory pressures on the industry, VIPR saw a massive opportunity. The company developed a portfolio of products that allows insurers to standardize, cleanse and validate incoming data quickly and easily. These include Active Underwriter, a quote and bind solution; Intrali, a data management product; Intarga, an online workflow tool; and Active Reports, a reporting tool.
Although VIPR’s products are now widely used in the insurance market, the company is always at the forefront of the latest developments. They believe that listening to their clients is what has made them a success, and that this approach is imperative to deliver products and services that meets the needs of the industry and its clients.
Helping Insurers maximize technology
VIPR’s products help insurers better understand their data and manage back office processes. However, even with modern systems in place, the insurance industry occasionally needs human intervention and this can cause a problem, especially in organizations which are under-resourced. Furthermore, on the client side, staff turnover, inadequate training and time constraints create a knowledge gap and inconsistencies in software usage.
According to VIPR, this has become more apparent within the industry as it embraces new technologies. In response to this they launched VIPR Managed Service (VMS) in conjunction with London consultants, JDX to offer a fully-managed service. This is operated by skilled staff to take the pressure off clients who don’t have the internal resources or expertise to manage their mission-critical systems.
All VMS staff are vigorously trained in VIPR products. As trainees, they receive one-to-one training over an intensive week-long course, where they get hands-on training with VIPR systems. This is followed by both a practical and theory exam for certification. The training provides each with a wide breadth of experience and the skills to allow them to fully understand and address issues raised by clients.
This new service is an attractive option for VIPR’s clients to ease internal pressures and allows them to focus on their day-to-day jobs.
The Undisputed Leaders
VIPR was founded in 2009 by Bob Brown and Richard Brown. Prior to VIPR, the brothers successfully launched Moneynet.co.uk in 1996, the first personal finance comparison site in the UK. They subsequently sold the company and began a new venture launching VIPR.
Bob Brown, CEO of VIPR, started his career in the insurance market working as a Lloyd’s broker for more than 20 years, including 15 years with Marsh. At VIPR, he is responsible for overall strategy and sales, including expanding VIPR on a global scale.
As the Director of VIPR, Richard oversees management of the business and is fully involved in client relations, as well as product strategy and development.
Most recently, VIPR has joined forces with ACORD Solutions Group (ASG), who are aiming to assist in the provision of full automation services for the global insurance industry. Together, the two have launched an industry-first solution; an automated data exchange for ‘US to London’ insurance companies, which enables straight through processing of bordereaux reports. This new offering will improve the speed, accuracy and efficiency of data exchange globally.
In order to achieve an automated transfer of data exchange, they have created a solution which integrates the capabilities of VIPR’s best-selling Intrali software with ACORD Solutions Group’s DeleGate – a platform that allows the smooth and secure transmission of data. Data can be sent in XML format, conforming to an exact specification that is captured quickly in a defined and consistent layout, and therefore simplifying the exchange of data among MGA’s, MGU’s and brokers with their carriers. Additionally, as XML is far more robust than Excel documents, they are less likely to have typos and errors.
Bob Brown states ‘This is a major step forward for the insurance industry which has been out of reach until now. We are thrilled to deliver this new solution to the market.”
Clients are the driving force behind VIPR’s innovations and as such VIPR’s business model is centered around them. It was the needs of VIPR’s clients that led to their most recent launch with ACORD Solutions Group.
What truly makes VIPR different is the fact that they tailor solutions for each client, providing solutions that deliver what the client needs in order to drive their business forward. . Bob Brown states “Our tailored approach and our flexibility is what we’ve found to really attract new clients – it’s what they want.”
VIPR form strong bonds with its clients from the very first meeting. Even after product implementation, VIPR maintains its relationships and invites clients to regular user group meetings so insights can be shared. It is often these meetings that determine future innovations at the company.
Tackling Tough Days
As with most new businesses, the greatest challenge VIPR faced was developing a presence in the industry. Getting traction in a relatively unknown market was a rather difficult affair.
Although it took a while to get its first few customers on board, they soon became loyal advocates and have been crucial to the success and development of the VIPR brand.
Today, VIPR has grown into an award-winning business, highly regarded amongst its peers. Last year, it featured within a number of respected publications, including a contribution to the Parliamentary Review commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
When it comes to the future, VIPR’s goal is to continue growing as a business, expanding across the U.S. and Europe.