As often happens in the purchase
of software, a company buys the
technology to fill one particular
need and often discovers later that
the software can serve multiple
purposes. That proved to be the
situation with Hastings Mutual
The carrier originally purchased OnBase from Hyland for
its underwriting department,
but eventually discovered there
could be additional benefits if the
software was used in other parts of
the organization. The realization was brought into focus when
Hastings implemented Guidewire’s ClaimCenter solution.
“It became apparent that integrating those two systems
would provide efficiencies and benefits,” says Rachel Duits,
application development supervisor for Hastings. “At the time
there was no integration accelerator so we built the integration
in-house and we’ve been running on that until we implemented
The homegrown solution performed well for Hastings
initially, but it also presented challenges that often come from
such applications. “We had to support it and keep up with the
development,” says Duits. “Unfortunately, a lot of challenges
with homegrown systems come down to time and resources.
Being able to manage the product became time consuming and
quite often got pushed to the back burner when higher-priority
What appealed to Hastings with the Hyland accelerator is
the development maintenance and support ultimately lies with
“Moving to a reliable and stable product was our goal in implementing the OnBase accelerator for Guidewire,” says Duits.
Another challenge with the homegrown integration was
that it became unstable due to outdated and deprecated code.
“Eliminating the need to maintain and upgrade the homegrown
integration allows our resources to address other tasks that
provide value to the business,” she says.
Hyland worked with Guidewire to build the accelerator
so having both those providers onboard made the decision to
switch to Hyland’s implementation product easier for Hastings.
“We were actually going through an upgrade of ClaimCen-
ter, OnBase system, and the integration between those two
systems at the same time,” says Duits. “We brought in Hyland to
help implement the integrator and do the accelerator configura-
tion. That provided quite a few benefits mostly because Hyland
knows the product and was able to perform knowledge transfer
with our team so we can support the product going forward.”
The beauty of the OnBase product, according to Duits, was
there wasn’t much change from the business-user perspective.
Everything business users were able to do before, they remain
able to do today as well as some additional functionality.
Travis Possehn, ECM administrator for Hastings, explains
the integration was smooth and stable. For the users, the system
is intuitive regardless of whether they had prior experience with
the integration. The system administrators are pleased because
they have an easier time maintaining it.
“One of the things we like about the tool is it leverages the
OnBase platform, which in the future will allow us to take
advantage of some of the new features as different versions of
OnBase are rolled out,” says Possehn. “Due to Hyland’s enter-
prise integration system, a change can be made in OnBase or
ClaimCenter and we shouldn’t have to change the integration.
The direct dependencies are out of the picture and makes issues
such as upgrading one system easier to implement and test.”
Duits reports Hastings is in the process of implementing
Guidewire’s policy and billing products, so the insurer will be
able to leverage the OnBase integration product for the entire
Guidewire suite. “That will be helpful to get the integration
with the other Guidewire products up and running faster. It
will also make upgrades easier going forward,” she says. “I think
we’ll have an easier time supporting this product because of its
stability and reliability. The performance is better already. We
don’t have outages where we have to reboot servers. We expect
the performance to be better and faster and we will integrate
that with future Guidewire products.
Possehn adds that as new features are rolled out in any of the
Guidewire products, Hastings will be more nimble in implement-
ing them because the Hyland accelerator is easier to support.
“The users are working within a system they are familiar
with,” he says. “OnBase is just a way to access what they are
already viewing. They are able to leverage the enterprise content
management functionality that OnBase is exceptional at and
still work within the ClaimCenter system that Guidewire excels
at. It’s a streamlined user experience.”
“It’s a very valuable combination,” adds Duits. ITA
More Bang for the Buck
Hastings Mutual received some unexpected benefits from its software purchase
that eases implementation issues.