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Doug Roller is co-founder and board chairman of Duck Creek Technologies Inc., a insurance software provider that has expanded its reach into Canada and the United Kingdom.
Doug Roller is co-founder and board chairman of Duck Creek Technologies Inc., a insurance software provider that has expanded its reach into Canada and the United Kingdom.

2011 Dynamic Dozen No. 10: Duck Creek 
Technologies Inc.

Posted online
Navigating the insurance industry can be tricky, as companies look for ways to market their brands, sell and track policies, handle renewals, and bill their customers.

Bolivar-based Duck Creek Technologies, however, has carved its niche in leading carriers through the maze with the user-friendly insurance automation software it develops and sells.

“Our software is designed in such a way that business users can participate in the software design process, and it doesn’t just take technical people running code,” says Jody Chaffin, Duck Creek’s director of administrative services. “With our software, companies can decide they want to sell a new insurance product and, in a very short amount of time, they can develop that product and take it to market.”

Founded in 2000, Duck Creek posted 2010 revenues of $40.3 million, up 31 percent from 2008. That increase, according to Doug Roller, co-founder and chairman of the board, can be partly attributed to signs of economic improvement.

“Carriers tend to be conservative, and at the same time, they’re cognizant of the need to automate their computer systems, so they backed off the first part of 2009, and toward the end, we made several sales,” Roller says. “The pent-up demand of that drove the increased revenue through 2010.”

Another contributing factor was the company maintaining a focus on innovation with its products, Roller said.

“New features in our products continue to roll out,” he said. “Beginning in 2008, we grew our development team significantly, adding 30 people over the last two years to that team alone. I think that’s had a big impact on improving the product and allowing us to do some things we had wanted to do, but didn’t have the capacity to do.”

According to www.duckcreektech.com, Duck Creek serves more than 40 customers in the insurance industry, including Farm Family, Humana, Balboa Life & Casualty and United Healthcare.  About 48 percent of those companies purchase policy administration software, which Chaffin said takes care of functions such as marketing, tracking, selling and renewing.

To reach those companies, Duck Creek has expanded well beyond the Missouri border. The big picture, says Controller Jera Shive, is to expand where the company is already strong and break into new markets.

In July, Duck Creek announced its acquisition of Duck Creek Technologies Europe Ltd., a separate entity that was founded in 2007 to introduce the company’s products in the European market. In addition to its Bolivar headquarters and United Kingdom presence, Duck Creek also has offices in South Carolina, Connecticut and Canada.

Duck Creek primarily sells to property and casualty insurance carriers, Chaffin says, and while the company doesn’t plan to intensely seek more sales in the health arena, he’s not ruling out expansion in that arena, either.

“We do have some health customers, and we’ve had a few more health companies look at us just because of the complexity of the new health care laws that are requiring them to be more flexible,” he says. “It’s something we’ll look at doing opportunistically.”

In the meantime, Duck Creek is continuing its momentum by looking at ways to drive down the prices of its software.

“Our belief is we can reduce that dramatically so the cost of implementing becomes half to a fourth of what it is now,” Roller says. “Doing that allows more insurance carriers to move into the acquisition of the software, which gives them less risk and more confidence.”

Click here for the complete 2011 Dynamic Dozen overview.[[In-content Ad]]

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