The 2016 Executive Excellence Awards: Theo Beack
SVP & CTO, Vertafore Inc.
January 28, 2016
When Theo Beack arrived at Vertafore, he didnt know anything about the insurance industry the software solutions company served. But he was sure it was behind the times. Project schedules at the Bothell developer were still tracked using index cards and sticky notes. Spreadsheet data were being collated by hand.
He promptly fixed those inefficiencies. Harder to resolve was navigating the bounty of acquisitions the company had aggressively pursued, piecing together a puzzle of at least eight technologies that had never been designed to work together. Beacks learning curve was steep as he came to understand how the highly regulated industry worked and spoke, with a client base that ran from global providers to tiny businesses.
What he learned, he says, was that the challenge is as much about people as technology. Keeping the focus on what people need to do their jobs helped in integrating their product lines into unified systems, where data can be exchanged between them through a common user experience.
After four years of effort, Beack reports that the system has seen phenomenal adoption by an industry that can be slow to change. Clients ranging from corporate sales executives to storefront agencies use Vertafores cloud and mobile tools for sales, processing claims and auditing to improve their own performance.