Specialists combine to plant new tree

Specialists combine to plant new tree

Two Australian specialist risk management and insurance software developers have merged to form a new joint venture company hoping to enhance the products of both and broaden the range of products and services offered.

The Figtree organisation and rival Objective Risk Management (ORM) will consolidate into one organisation with approximately 60 staff nationally that will be known as Figtree Systems.

According to Mark Brown, the new entity's national sales and marketing manager, each company had offices in all Australian capital cities and products that were targeted at the same sort of clients.

'The major motivation [behind the merger] was to move into new strategic markets and this will enable us to focus better on those opportunities,' Brown said. 'By coming together we will be able to enhance the product streams on both sides.'

By combining resources of the two companies, Figtree Systems will be able to better attack the corporate insurance industry and concentrate closer on Internet-based solutions. Traditionally, customers of the two companies have tended to be third-party claims administrators, such as insurance brokers, and large corporations who are self-insured.

'We are looking to move our claims management solutions up to the insurer level,' Brown said. 'Basically the core product is a claims and policy management system for self insured clients.

'Part of the strategic direction for the future is to take our joint products and promote them to the insurance industry.'

The type of products the two old companies were peddling included workers compensation claims management, commercial automotive fleet management and occupational health and safety management systems.

ORM was particularly strong in policy management solutions while Figtree excelled in claims management, Brown said.

The old Figtree product was developed using Progress software, according to Brown, while the ORM solutions were developed 'differently' through Visual Basic and 'some other means'.

There will be some issues between the two companies as their products originate from different development platforms, although they perform similar functions.

Brown said that Figtree Systems 'will be looking at individual customers and solutions' wherever differences arise.

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