Standard General Insurance Company (Stangen), a sister company of African Bank, plans to roll out the Exergy insurance administration software from SilverBridge Software Solutions to cater for the rapid growth of its business. SilverBridge Software Solutions is a subsidiary of SilverBridge Holdings, which is listed on the JSE’s Alt-X.

Stangen has been a SilverBridge customer for more than eight years. The company will be upgrading to SilverBridge’s Exergy product and service suite from a system called SDT Life to boost the performance and the agility of its core administration systems. Exergy is a modular, rules-based event-driven administration solution for life insurance companies and therefore highly configurable and customisable.
Stangen offers a portfolio of credit life insurance and funeral insurance products to its customers through retail channels such as Ellerines, also owned by African Bank.
The company currently runs more than 10-million credit life insurance policies on SDT Life, of which around a half have lapsed. Stangen will be migrating five-million credit life policies as well as its funeral insurance business onto the Exergy platform over the next year.
Muller Strauss, chief financial officer at Stangen, comments that: “We have used the SilverBridge software for a number of years and it has provided us with a robust platform for our business. However, the rapid growth in the number of policies we administer means that the older system no longer meets our needs.
"By implementing Exergy, we will be able to vastly improve the performance and flexibility of our systems. We also have a need to integrate the system with our core data management solution more seamlessly. “The ease with which Exergy can be configured and customised is one of the system’s major benefits," adds Strauss.
The implementation of the Exergy system will be split into three phases and will take about nine months to complete. During the first phase, a working version of Exergy with static data and preconfigured processes is implemented in just a few weeks.
By August 2011, Stangen plans to migrate the credit life business onto the new system. Effectively configuring the products on the system and transferring the policy data from the older system databases to the new system databases.
New policies can be immediately captured. The group funeral business is expected to go live in January 2012. SilverBridge will also write interfaces between the Exergy system and the African Bank data warehouse.
“We have experienced great service from SilverBridge throughout the years, so we are happy to be embarking on this upgrade with the company. SilverBridge understands our business and our products, and has always been responsive to our needs when changes and customisations have been necessary,” comments Strauss.
Gawie Erasmus, SilverBridge channel executive, says that competitive pressures and a need for product innovation mean that financial services companies need to invest in solutions which are scalable, can be quickly changed to meet their needs, and offer a low cost of ownership.
“We are seeing businesses like Stangen invest in their systems as part of their strategy to stay ahead of a changing market,” he adds. “Exergy is designed to meet their business challenges by offering low administration costs, high levels of return on investment and adaptability in an integrated, event-driven system.”