Invest then integrate…

DarrenGowerCharlotte Parkinson, of Modern Claims Magazine, spoke to Darren Gower (pictured), Marketing Director of Eclipse Legal Systems about whether the investment/spend on technology in the claims sector matched the speed of growth for some firms, or are most still using legacy systems?

The claims sector is one where technology is utterly vital. Margins on higher-volume claims areas are often slim, not helped by legislation which constantly moves to push claimant success fees lower and lower.

So, technology has a big part to play here – not only in terms of improving processes and reducing costs… but also in terms of enabling claimant firms to manage the changes put in place by legislation, such as the need to utilise Portals to manage claims (currently RTA and EL / PL).

Of all the service sectors that Eclipse caters to, among the highest levels of investment we see are made in the claims sector. Investment in technology is a major driver of competitive advantage, and those firms that get it right get it very right!

Legacy system replacement is commonplace – as client, customer and market demands develop, so the incumbent software systems often begin to show signs of weakness. Unless the systems in place are highly configurable and have a ‘rapid deployment’ nature then the demands of new market pressures dictate that a more suitable system needs to be found.

Great examples here are the aforementioned RTA and EL / PL portals – for firms specialising in this type of work, integration between its case management technology and the relevant new portals was absolutely vital. Without the ability for the fee earner’s desktop systems to share information with the Portals, work would need to be duplicated and administrative overheads would skyrocket – not ideal in an already margin-squeezed sector. So for many firms the decision was a reasonably straightforward one – invest in technology that could provide this integration seamlessly and in a future-proof manner.

Such changes will continue to affect the claims market, and it will invariably be a firm’s technology backbone that dictates whether or not it can take advantage of the opportunities offered!