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Protective Insurance



  • Ephesoft for document classification and extraction
  • Alfresco as a single content repository
  • Zia Initial Consulting Engagement (ICE) for assessment


  • Migrated 10 million documents in seven days
  • Reduced mailroom processing time from two days to 15 minutes
  • Phased migration of claims library into Alfresco
  • Strong user adoption by enabling them to work in native environment
  • Delivery of electronic documents rather than millions of pieces of paper

Protective Insurance specializes in marketing and underwriting insurance for the transportation industry. Through its many property and casualty insurance companies and brokerage firms, the company accepts risks covering more than a dozen different specialty products and services and provides brokerage services for all kinds of risk.

The Challenge

As a premiere property and casualty insurer for the transportation industry, Indiana-based Protective Insurance handles millions of documents in its policy, billing and claims departments. The company needed a new system for document capture and imaging and a seamless way to migrate all of its content into a single core application that was both easy to use and collaborative.

“Organizationally, we were divided into silos by product line. Over the years, we had created mainframe solutions that were also in silos,” said Brian Gray, Protective Insurance’s SVP and CIO “As a result, we ended up with six different policy admin systems, six different claims systems, and six different billing systems.”

Protective Insurance’s imaging platform had been acquired and discontinued by Oracle, who did not have a migration path for the company to transfer content to a new product.

The Solution

After evaluating several solutions, Protective Insurance chose Alfresco as its new enterprise content management platform. The company partnered with Colorado-based Zia Consulting to help them migrate all of their content from Oracle to the Alfresco platform.

“We told Zia that if they could migrate 10 million documents in 30 days, we would sign a contract with them for the full project implementation,” Gray said. “They migrated 10 million documents in less than seven days—and all during non-peak hours.”

Zia then spent the next 30 days learning the business of Protective Insurance both remotely and onsite. They also spent time talking to internal users of the platform about their content management needs.

Ryan McVeigh, VP of ECM Solutions and Sales at Zia said, “Through our Initial Consulting Engagement (ICE), we delved into how their daily operations worked so that we could create a customized solution. Because of our ability to understand how the system needed to work, we were able to increase user adoption making the whole solution function properly and give them great results.”

“We knew if we wanted to deliver something that business users valued, appreciated and would actually adopt, we had to turn this into a business initiative and not just an IT initiative,” said Gray. “We didn’t just want to implement a new system, we wanted to revolutionize the way we do business and really take a look at our processes internally.”

The Results

Today, Protective Insurance is migrating its claims library to Alfresco. The migration process has also begun for the company’s other primary lines of business with Alfresco as the single system of record.

“All other systems point to Alfresco, which enables people to work in their native environments while leveraging the backend technology and benefits of the platform,” Gray said. “The vision and key to our success is engaging our business users.”

New claims material is added using large scanners right in the mailroom. This enables operational efficiency gains and directly connects the mailroom processes with the backend system of record, Alfresco.

From a technical perspective, the company wants to leverage open standards so that they are not boxed into a customized solution. They plan to implement a “front-end data capture” process to reduce the some 300,000 printed materials generated by the claims department each week.

“One of the big upcoming initiatives is the electronic delivery of content,” said Gray. “We used to print the millions of pieces of paper that were mailed out to our clients. Our goal is to offer secure document enablement and access through Alfresco to our customers and policyholders.”

Once content has been migrated from the company’s business departments, the next step is centralizing content in various SharePoint sites and shared folders into Alfresco and expanding internal workflows to include tracking and records management.


“We have a lot of business leaders who have been here 20 years, doing things the same way,” said Gray. “We thought pulling off a cultural change was going to be a challenge, but it turns out, once you get people engaged and excited about something, they trigger the change and you don’t have to drag them along. Today, change is a way of life for people. We didn’t think it would be easy to convince them to change at all.”

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