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2. June07


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2. June07

  1. 1. The StandardJune 2007A magazine for employees Completing the Map Invesmart acquisition enables us to enter the New York RP market
  2. 2. The Standard June 2007 Contents The Standard will lead the financial services industry in integrity, expertise and customer service. Our Vision Editor Mark Goldstein Senior Designer Steve Ferrero Writers Amy Bennett Jennifer Floyd Jeff Kuechle Tami Matthews Michael Tevlin Photographers Eric Coleman Corin Dupree Steve Ferrero Director of Creative Services Will Carter The Standard is produced by Standard Insurance Company’s Corporate Communications Department, 1100 SW Sixth Ave., P7A, Portland, OR 97204. Please send story ideas, comments or suggestions to or call 971.321.6039. Recycle! When you’ve finished reading this magazine, please place it in a newspaper recycling container. The Standard is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. To help people achieve financial security so they can confidently pursue their dreams. Our Purpose Sean Wheeler and his Enterprise Architecture team map the present and visualize the future. 8 Profile What qualities did we look for in the team members who will support the California Teachers Association account? 10 Hiring for CTA Brand In Action12 June 2007 The Invesmart acquisition allows us to enter the New York retirement plans market and extend our presence as a national provider. Completing the Map4 IT recently completed a two-year project to improve computer network capabilities for our field offices. 6 Field Office Network Performance The Service Desk supervisor tells us how he’s improving the service and reputation of his team. One-on-One: Pete Guagliardo7
  3. 3. The Standard June 2007 C hange is a word we hear a lot in meeting rooms and elevators every day. Changes in job responsibilities and reporting relationships. Changes in how we identify and address customer needs. Changes to processes and how we measure results. In every area of the company, we‘re doing things differently — and better — than we were just a year ago. We have long had a belief that major changes take a long time, particularly for IT projects. Fortunately, we are dismantling this belief, because the reality is that projects with a large scope and a big budget pose a huge risk. We’ve learned that by breaking complex programs down into small projects — within the context of a long-term plan — we can reduce many of the risks. Moreover, we can manage costs more effectively and deliver successive upgrades that really matter to our customers. This is exactly what we’re doing with the California Teachers Association and Invesmart programs, two of our most important priorities for 2007. CTA actually comprises eight projects; the Invesmart integration program consists of 10. Each project has beginning and end dates. Organizing these large programs into smaller, more manageable pieces is making it easier to produce results on time and within budget. Splitting large-scale projects into smaller ones has other benefits, too. Customers won’t have to wait until everything is finished before they experience improvements. In addition, employees working on projects will see more immediate results as ideas are implemented and new deliverables launched. Successful companies must strategize well. They also must excel at getting the work done and adapting as they go. I’m excited to see concentrated focus on implementing our 2007 plans, not just on the CTA and Invesmart programs but in all service and business units. As we build confidence in our ability to reach the challenging goals we set for ourselves, we will expand our ability to exceed customer expectations and adapt quickly to an ever-changing marketplace. President’s View Eric Parsons Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
  4. 4. The Standard June 2007 The second in a two-part story on The Standard’s New York business U ntil this year, The Standard had provided retirement plan services in every U.S. market except one of the largest ones — New York. Because of its importance, not doing business there might have seemed akin to not bending over to pick up money found on the street. But our absence from the New York marketplace wasn’t by choice, nor was it easy to remedy. The barrier was New York’s complex state regulations on insurance companies and the up-front work on products and systems necessary to sell retirement plans there. We could not legally sell our group annuity product in New York without completing numerous and costly regulatory steps, even though The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York (our New York subsidiary) was formed to make it easier to do business there. Nor could we effectively sell to companies with a New York presence. New York insurance regulations can apply to any company with employees in New York, not just those with headquarters there. So for example, if a Philadelphia-based company maintained a branch in New York, we could not go to New York to hold an employee enrollment meeting. However, we overcame the obstacle to selling in New York last year when we purchased Invesmart, a full-service retirement financial services firm. The acquisition of Invesmart (a name that’s being phased out this year) gave a huge shot in the arm to one of our 2006 goals of growing assets under administration Completing the Map The Invesmart acquisition allows us to enter the New York retirement plans market and extend our presence as a national provider
  5. 5. The Standard June 2007 — increasing that line item from $4.6 billion to $15.6 billion. But beyond the infusion of assets and customers, the purchase brought a longer-term and strategically more significant benefit: the ability to offer retirement products and services in the New York market. The key: a trust platform Invesmart already offered a trust-type retirement product very similar to The Standard’s group annuity product. However, because trust-type products fall under securities laws and not insurance regulations, we are now able to market our retirement services in New York without jumping through insurance regulatory hoops. “That’s what it’s all about: having the ability to distribute a non-insurance-based product branded as The Standard in New York,” said Kent Buckles, vice president of sales, marketing and advisory services for The Standard and the former president and CEO of Invesmart. Trust and annuity products differ in their distribution channels and in how the distributors are compensated, Kent said. Trust products are fee-based and are generally distributed through registered investment advisers, benefits consultants, accountants and retirement attorneys. Annuity products typically pay a commission, usually to insurance-licensed, third-party benefits brokers. But while the differences between trust- and annuity-based products may be critical in the eyes of regulators, they matter little to customers. “Both types of plans offer extensive investment choices for people saving for their retirement. And that’s mainly what customers care about,” Kent said. Being on the ground matters As a major step in launching our New York sales effort, we opened a midtown Manhattan Retirement Plans office in March. (It shares pre-existing space with our Employee Benefits Sales and Service office adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.) Gian Bernardi was hired as our New York pension consultant for the new office. “New York is a mature market with numerous entrenched competitors, yet it offers great opportunities to a company with superior products,” Kent said. He added that he’s confident we have what it takes to succeed there, citing products like RightPath, a program developed by Invesmart that gives participants the choice of managing their account themselves or electing an unbiased, fee-based managed account alternative called AdvicePath. “We have a unique combination of products and services that, if we tell our story properly, will allow us to be successful anywhere we go,” Kent said. “It doesn’t mean it’s easy. But we don’t see anyone who can really compete at that level.” RightPath distinguishes The Standard in the marketplace and supports our corporate purpose of helping people achieve financial security to pursue their dreams, said Chris Raudonis, vice president of Retirement Plans. “RightPath was one of the many things that made Invesmart an attractive investment and will greatly enhance the Group Annuity product,” she said. RightPath will be available in all other states through The Standard group annuity platform sometime during the second half of this year. “The objective has been and continues to be to have a nationwide presence, and to be able to distribute our products and services across the country,” Kent said. “So what this has really done for us is to say we truly cover all the major metropolitan areas across the country.” And fill in one big hole in the northeast corner of the U.S. map for The Standard. S Invesmart’s trust-type retirement product falls under securities laws, not insurance regulations, so we can now market our retirement services in New York without insurance regulatory hoops
  6. 6. The Standard June 2007 F ONP sounds a little like the noise made by a person wearing flip-flops down a wooden staircase in an empty house. But it’s actually a project — Field Office Network Performance — that’s designed to give field office employees the same speed over The Standard’s computer network that home office employees experience. A number of teams in Information Technology — namely Network Engineering, Windows Engineering, Network Operations and Enterprise Operations — have spent the last two years working toward meeting this critical business need. That was then “Using The Standard’s network was a challenge,” said Henri Boggs, field service and underwriting manager in the Pittsburgh Employee Benefits Sales and Service Office. Henri said she’d receive customer e-mails and often had to wait 10 minutes or more to launch the attachment. In other words, the network was slow. “You know those commercials about people who still have dial-up? That was us,” she said. “That’s what it felt like!” “We knew the field offices’ experience with our network was a problem, and we were highly motivated to come up with solutions,” said Brian Moore, network architect and one of the initiators of the FONP project. “Everyone wanted the field offices to have the same access to desktop applications and network that home office employees do to deliver training, communications and more. Everyone wanted to provide a competitive edge to our sales personnel.” But they needed the right solution, one with low maintenance costs and which would allow the business to continue working during implementation. The right solution wasn’t available until wide area network (WAN) optimization arrived in the marketplace. This specialized technology accelerates various applications and data over long-distance networks. WAN optimization was just what IT had been looking for. Over the past year, Network Engineering and Operations employees have flown all over the country installing new gear in each of our field offices. Doug Stearns, one of the IT managers who helped initiate the project, said having our employees do the installations instead of using local contractors was the best way to ensure high quality work. This is now So what’s the network like now? “Instant,” Henri said. The Pittsburgh office was the first of 44 field offices to receive the new technology in May 2006. Henri’s enthusiasm hasn’t dimmed in the year since installation. “The benefit is a calmer office with improved productivity,” she said. “It’s been one of the best collaborative efforts between IT teams that I’ve seen,” Brian added. Mike Fajen, FONP project manager, said project team members have been covering for each other when necessary. “In fact, about halfway through the deployment, the team agreed to double the pace. Now the project is finishing seven weeks early.” The field offices now have the infrastructure to support their business needs. IT has a network that can continue to grow and is saving the company money. And not only does this reduce unit costs for The Standard, but we now also have a model that can be followed for the former Invesmart field offices. The Invesmart field office network integration is just getting underway. “We’re excited to get this next important milestone completed,” added Brian. S Funky Name + Collaboration = Faster Computing for Field Office Employees
  7. 7. The Standard June 2007 One-on-One Pete Guagliardo tells us how he’s improving the effectiveness and reputation of the Service Desk A lmost a year ago, Information Technology’s Service Desk changed its name, its hours of operation and some of its processes in an effort to improve customer service. Pete Guagliardo, supervisor of the Service Desk, recently sat down with The Standard to discuss how his team has changed over the year. Last year, your group’s name changed from the Response Center to the Service Desk. You also began offering service 24/7, instead of just from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Why the change? Information Technology recognized that the business doesn’t shut down at 6 p.m. — our employees travel and work in multiple time zones. Employees work evenings and weekends, too. We wanted to be available to assist employees whenever or wherever they might be working. How did you make that happen? Did you hire more people? No, we partnered with another IT team — Data Center Operations — to help. They handle after-hours IT support. Service Desk operations are transferred to the Data Center at the end of each work day and then back to the Service Desk early each morning. How is that working? There were some challenges early on, but for the past six months feedback I’ve received from employees seeking evening support services has been very positive. I no longer worry about customer service when I go home at night. What do you worry about? There’s an increased awareness of the Service Desk within the company. We now average about 250 customer contacts per day. The increased call volume is great, but it can affect customer satisfaction if you are not prepared for it. What’s the impact to your customers? On a scale of 1 to 5, our customer satisfaction rating has dropped from 4.25 to 4.10 over the last two quarters. This past quarter, the rating drop might be related to system changes that occurred early in the year — Daylight Saving Time, the voice mail upgrade, two Treo and Blackberry updates, etc. I’m keeping a close eye on this. What is your team doing to prepare for IT’s two big 2007 initiatives — California Teachers Association and Invesmart? The Service Desk is working on the Invesmart initiative on several fronts. We’re involved in the general roll-out of IT services such as Exchange and Tivoli Identity Management (TIM)/Oracle accounts. We are also developing a support model by integrating the IT support teams. For CTA, the Service Desk is working with the infrastructure teams who are building the new environments as well as preparing for future end-user support. Continued growth is going to affect your team. How do you plan to manage greater demand? Definitely through process improvements. IT Services, including the Service Desk, is not increasing headcount at the same rate as the business units. Instead, we look for ways to be more efficient and focus on continuous improvement. For example, I recently developed a new staffing model that employs half-time employees. This allows me to place more agents on the phone during peak call periods. We’re also asking more of our vendors who directly perform end-user IT services, such as printer support technicians. TIM is another example. The most commonly asked question is “What’s my password?” The TIM self-service system is a great tool people can use to manage their own accounts and look up their Oracle passwords. Any last thoughts? Our challenge will be to maintain high levels of customer service and satisfaction as the work volume grows. I feel really lucky to work with a team of IT people who really like our employees and want to help. That’s why the Service Desk is here. We want people to come to us first, instead of their neighbor in the next cube. It’s our job and we love doing it. S Manning the Service Desk are (clockwise from left) Pete Guagliardo, Cavan Mannenbach, Chris Young, Ken Jacobs, Zinette Pratcher, Cathy White and Rhonda Brande.
  8. 8. The Standard June 2007 L ike an architect who creates the master plan for a skyscraper, The Standard’s chief enterprise architect has a daunting task: develop a technology infrastructure and strategy that supports our business mission, strategy and processes. Keeping in mind both current systems and future technologies, he must design a technology environment that keeps us competitive in the marketplace and takes advantage of our strengths. The architect and his team are responsible for defining the current state of our technology and where we want it to be in the future. Sean Wheeler, a blunt-speaking native Australian and The Standard’s assistant vice president of Enterprise Architecture, may be the perfect person for the job. Unafraid of tough assignments, he focuses intently on the future while also searching for ways to deliver the quality solutions that are needed today. And he has a background that will help, having arrived at The Standard 18 months ago with an impressive track record of overseeing technology strategy for Allstate in Chicago. David O’Brien, senior vice president of Information Technology, offered him a challenge: Transform our enterprise architecture from a highly specialized, internally-developed collection of IT tools into a seamlessly integrated, broadly applicable network of technologies created by external vendors. The goal: save money while developing a technology structure that can be used throughout the company for years to come. “Many of our competitors are ahead of us technologically, and we need to catch Designing Our Technological Foundation and Future Sean Wheeler and his Enterprise Architecture team map the present and visualize the future up,” Sean explained. “Customers expect their interactions with us to be customized to meet their needs. Online banking is a perfect example. Try to be a bank today without providing online banking, and you’ll fail. It is simply what we as consumers expect today.” From his perspective, the stakes are huge: “If we don’t get to where other companies are with the use of technology in delivering business solutions, we are not going to be a player in the market,” Sean said. How to catch up For the past several months, Sean and his team have been meeting with employees in all areas of the company to map the current technology. They’re noting areas where we want to dominate the market versus where we simply want to keep up. It makes a big difference because there’s only so much money to spend, and we want to make sure our money goes toward the right technology at the right time. “We’ve started with trying to understand the business through mapping 192 business capabilities across the company. But our technology dollars can’t be spread 192 different ways, so we’ve worked with the business units to prioritize what’s important and link that to the technology dollars that are available,” he said. He believes the solution is relatively simple. 1. Buy, rather than build, much of the technology the company needs to thrive so our employees can focus on our areas of expertise. “We’re a financial services company, not a technology company. Considering 70 percent of our “We need an overarching experience that links users efficiently to all of our back- end systems based on their needs … Our competitors are committed to delivering this type of experience for their customers and have already started to get there.”
  9. 9. The Standard June 2007 applications have been built internally, this is going to be a challenge,” Sean said. 2. Focus on: • the user experience we want to provide • business processes • the business rules that govern decision making and the processing of information • reporting and analytics. 3. Develop an “open” technological architecture, rather than being business unit- or service unit-specific, so data moves between systems seamlessly. “Get rid of point solutions for each specific business problem,” Sean said. For example, Sean says one area where enterprise architecture would pay significant dividends is in the Web initiative that’s scheduled for 2007. (The initiative is contingent upon IT resources being available). “Customers and business partners have very high expectations of our Web,” he said. “The Standard needs to provide a consistent user experience across the Web, voice systems and documents, such as policies, letters, bills and marketing collateral. We need an overarching experience that links users efficiently to all of our back-end systems based on their needs. It needs to be able to identify the user by having centralized security that can deliver the personalization that consumers demand. Our competitors are committed to delivering this type of experience for their customers and have already started to get there.” Creating a flexible enterprise architecture is an evolving process, not an end-state, Sean said. “We’re going to need to continue to improve. The market will change, technologies will evolve and prices will fluctuate, and we have to be adaptive enough to shift gears easily.” He stressed that enterprise architecture is a deal-breaker, not a deal-maker. “What will get us business is our products and our expertise. What will cost us business is our inability to integrate through technology or to deliver the personalization of services that the market is demanding. The technologies that enable these areas would have been nice to have in the early 2000s but are must-haves today.” S
  10. 10. 10 The Standard June 2007 A t their first-day orientation last month, members of the team handling the California Teachers Association (CTA) account were warned that, as with any start-up business, they wouldn’t be doing anything in their job descriptions for a little while. That didn’t throw anyone for a loop — the key criteria for joining the team include flexibility, an interest in new things and an entrepreneurial spirit. In many ways, the CTA team will run a business within our business — self-sufficient and dedicated to a single customer. However, a number of new technologies and processes being put into place to help the CTA contract run smoothly when it goes into effect in September are designed to be usable throughout the company, helping prepare The Standard for additional growth. Making a promise To win the largest contract in terms of premium in The Standard’s history, we made CTA “100 Promises,” detailing everything from how claims would be submitted and handled to how we would provide top-notch customer service. Monica Rotzien, our CTA staffing partner, has been busy finding the right people to make good on those promises. With 75 positions to fill for the CTA team, plus dozens of others left open when CTA positions were filled by internal candidates, staffing resources have been increased to handle the whirlwind of recruitment, interviews and hiring. Sorting through sometimes hundreds of applications for each position, recruiters look for applicants with excellent customer service skills, attention to detail, computer skills and analytical skills. “We are all working to ensure we are successfully staffing CTA and meeting the needs of the benefits teams as well,” Monica said. “There has been tremendous internal movement.” CTA requested that at least one-third of the team dedicated to their account be internally hired. In fact, most of the 42 team members hired so far have been existing employees who were attracted by the opportunity to do something different, as well as the eventual move to a new office in the Tanasbourne complex in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro. “By hiring a large number of internal employees, we’re ensuring that the CTA team is staffed with experienced individuals who are a good representation of The Standard’s culture and values,” said Cristi Dayton, director of benefits and services for the CTA team. Stand out? Join The Standard By now, you may have seen the efforts to attract high-quality external candidates to quickly backfill open positions vacated by internal transfers, as well as fill another 35 positions within the CTA team. A new campaign — including newspaper ads, transit billboards, radio spots and Web promotion — encourages prospective employees who “Stand Out” from the crowd to join The Standard. Even though the labor market is making talented employees scarcer, Monica said external interest in these positions is high. One reason is The Standard’s reputation for quality; another is the customer. Monica was surprised to find that many local people are familiar with CTA and are interested in supporting it. “There is a high level of visibility and awareness to this business venture, at all levels,” she said. The positions remaining to be filled are primarily within the Benefits team, including customer service representatives, examiners, analysts and policy administrators. There also are a few sales and marketing positions that will be filled soon. The external hires will start their new positions on June 11, making the CTA team about 95 percent complete. (A few remaining positions will be filled in July.) At that point, the entire team will participate in an extensive and broad training program. The customer experience specialists in particular are being trained on more aspects of the business so they are able to answer a variety of questions — with the goal of resolving the issue on the first call. From a Promise to a Reality: Building the CTA Team
  11. 11. The Standard June 2007 11 With many different positions open for the CTA team as well as other groups, now is a great time to take advantage of the Employee Referral Program. The Standard offers cash awards ($500 or $1,200, depending on the position) for successful referrals. For all the details, visit referral.html. Refer your friends stand out. The Standard is a marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and subsidiaries. Insurance products are offered by Standard Insurance Company of Portland, Ore. in all states except New York, where insurance products are offered by The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York of White Plains, N.Y. Investment services are offered through StanCorp Investment Advisers of Portland, Ore. Product features and availability vary by state and company. THIS IS WHY. There are those who choose a different path. People who strive to make a difference in their career and their community. Those who welcome new challenges, embrace change and stand out from the crowd. Sound like you? InsuRanCE REtIREMEnt InVEstMEnts adVICE TS 834 - CTA Nsp ad-Boots_WWeek.1 1 4/18/07 4:06:31 PM stand out. The Standard is a marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and subsidiaries. Insurance products are offered by Standard Insurance Company of Portland, Ore. in all states except New York, where insurance products are offered by The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York of White Plains, N.Y. Investment services are offered through StanCorp Investment Advisers of Portland, Ore. Product features and availability vary by state and company. tHIs Is WHY. There are those who choose a different path. People who strive to make a difference in their career and their community. Those who welcome new challenges, embrace change and stand out from the crowd. Sound like you? INSURANCE RETIREMENT INVESTMENTS ADVICE TS 834 - CTA Nsp ad-Flippers_WW.1 1 4/23/07 4:33:48 PM stand out. The Standard is a marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and subsidiaries. Insurance products are offered by Standard Insurance Company of Portland, Ore. in all states except New York, where insurance products are offered by The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York of White Plains, N.Y. Investment services are offered through StanCorp Investment Advisers of Portland, Ore. Product features and availability vary by state and company. THIS IS WHY. There are those who choose a different path. People who strive to make a difference in their career and their community. Those who welcome new challenges, embrace change and stand out from the crowd. Sound like you? InsuRanCE REtIREMEnt InVEstMEnts adVICE TS 834 - CTA Nsp ad-Point_WWeek.1 1 4/23/07 4:34:44 PM Right: These three ads, as well as the ad on the back cover, are part of the “Stand Out” ad campaign, which currently is running in the Portland metro area. The four ads are running in Willamette Week and The Oregonian, as well as inside MAX trains and TriMet buses and on some bus shelters and benches. Making the customer happy Through regular updates, CTA has been well-apprised of our progress filling positions within their team. Jon Shervey, National Accounts implementation analyst and liaison for CTA, says they’re “excited about the management and leadership in place so far and recognize just how many extremely qualified people they have on a dedicated team.” Jon adds that after more than three years since the proposal process began, CTA is “happy to see the promise becoming a reality.” So are we. S
  12. 12. standout. TheStandardisamarketingnameforStanCorpFinancialGroup,Inc.andsubsidiaries.InsuranceproductsareofferedbyStandardInsuranceCompanyofPortland,Ore.inallstatesexceptNewYork,whereinsuranceproductsare offeredbyTheStandardLifeInsuranceCompanyofNewYorkofWhitePlains,N.Y.InvestmentservicesareofferedthroughStanCorpInvestmentAdvisersofPortland,Ore.Productfeaturesandavailabilityvarybystateandcompany. THISISWHY.Therearethosewhochooseadifferent path.Peoplewhostrivetomakeadifferenceintheircareer andtheircommunity.Thosewhowelcomenewchallenges, embracechangeandstandoutfromthecrowd.Soundlikeyou? InsuRanCE REtIREMEnt InVEstMEntsadVICE