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Applied Systems acquires
Canada's Compu-Quote Inc.

Acquisition is part of a multi-pronged strategy in Canada

In early June, insurance software company Applied Systems, Inc., acquired Compu-Quote, Inc., which provides comparative rating services, business rules automation and analysis tools to the Canadian insurance market.

Reid French, CEO of University Park, Illinois-based Applied Systems, says that Applied has been partners with Compu-Quote in the Canadian market space for about 20 years. The acquisition expands Applied's Canada-based workforce by more than 100 and "makes Applied Systems the leading insurance software provider in Canada," French says. Compu-Quote's toolset is not used in the United States.

"Over 80% of the Canadian brokerages that use a comparative rater use Compu-Quote," he says. Applied Systems' Canadian users can expect the integration with Compu-Quote to be "tighter, faster, stronger," he adds.

The acquisition is part of "a multi-pronged strategy for the Canadian market space," French says. Applied Systems Canada is headed by Jeffrey D. Purdy, who was named senior vice president and general manager in mid-June. It's a bit of a homecoming for Purdy, an Ontario native, who joined Applied's Canadian operation in 1989. He relocated to University Park in 2002 to lead the North American sales organization.

French says that Applied will be opening a data center in the greater Toronto area in the third quarter of 2012. "The online environment is a high growth market for Applied Systems. Every year there are thousands of additional users coming online," French observes. "Historically, we've been hosting our Canadian customers in one of our two data centers in the U.S. We want to be able to transition those customers into the Canadian data center."

Since Applied rolled out its Epic® agency management system in the United States three years ago, adoption has been brisk, French says. "We now have over 500 agencies and 18,000 users on Epic," he reports. "But we haven't had a Canadian release yet." He says Epic 7 will go into controlled release in the United States and Canada the first quarter of 2013, with the general release following in 2Q13.

"We needed to prepare Applied Systems Canada for Epic," French continues. "The Compu-Quote acquisition helps with that, with the increased number of personnel and two additional offices. Jeff Purdy's role will be to integrate Compu-Quote and Applied Systems Canada into one entity and also to bring Epic to the Canadian market space."

Once the Toronto data center opens later this year, Applied Systems Canada will have increased capacity to service TAMOnline®, CSR24®, the hosted version of Compu-Quote, and eventually EpicOnline®. "The online environment makes all the sense in the world for the majority of brokerages out there," French says, because they don't have a dedicated IT person. At best, he says, they have a half person or they've outsourced it. "Wouldn't you rather have the people who created the software managing the upgrades, rather than the person for whom it's a part-time job?"

Prior to joining Applied last September, French had been COO for Intergraph Corp., a global company that operates in 60 countries, with offices in 40. He says his international experience will benefit Applied's Canadian customers. "If you're going to be successful globally, you have to understand that your 'theater' operations need to be led by the indigenous people. We want to create a solid, robust Canadian organization—one that is led by Canadians."


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