Read the Fine Print

We’d been reading about folks who claim to be able to implement a core processing system in one day. Then we had a prospect ask us if we could do the same thing.

We said, “Sure. Anybody can do that.”

The prospect replied, “Can you do it for me?”

We said, “Yep. On one condition.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“You have to take the system, out of the box, and don’t change anything.”

Enter Reality

The prospect started getting excited: “Well, yeah, but I have a dozen or so integration points.”

“That could take more than a day,” we said.

“I also need to produce customized bills,” he said.

“Ooh. It sounded like you said custom.”

“I did. And I have some other customizations, as well.”

“That sounds like more than a day’s work to us,” we said.

“And how about building in all my business rules?” he asked.

“You might want to be looking at a calendar, rather than a clock,” we suggested.

“And I also have to pull in reports from my legacy system.”

“We might be able to do all that in a day if we were on Venus,” we said. “One of its days lasts 243 Earth days. Have you considered relocating?”

Vive la Différence

Fans of Tim Burton’s 1989 film, Batman, will remember Michael Keaton (as Bruce Wayne) saying to Kim Basinger (as Vicki Vale), “It’s not exactly a normal world, is it?” Even if you haven’t seen Batman — but you have tried to implement a core processing system in a day — you know he’s right, perhaps especially in insurance.

Despite the fact that insurance is as regulated as it is, there’s precious little standardization in the industry. That makes normal a little tough to pin down. Company A does it this way. Company B does it that way. Both of them are happy and productive. But nothing is going to work for both of them out of the box. In fact, it’s highly unlikely they’d want it to. (Hello, differentiation.)

The next time somebody says you can get a core system implemented in a day, tell him to read the fine print and think outside the box.

To quote Robin Williams, “Reality. What a concept.”

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