Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Philly team quits Oracle, starts Adminovate

Ex-AdminServe founders in insurance-software deal with iPipeline

Philly team quits Oracle, starts Adminovate

Christopher Doggett and Christopher Gali sold their previous insurance software firm, Chester-based, 200-employee AdminServer, to Oracle in 2008 for $125 million.

They signed non-compete agreements, turned over the keys to the office (which Oracle later closed), and Doggett went into the bar business. His speakyeasy-themed Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., named for an actual Philly bootlegging enterprise, graced his Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, drawing the attention of neighbors like Paul Melchiorre, president of Exton-based iPipeline, also an insurance software firm.

The non-compete is over. Doggett and Gali are back in the software business, in alliance with Melchiorre's company. Their new firm, Adminovate, based in Center City Philadelphia, has hired at least 6 other AdminServe-Oracle veterans for top positions on its fast-growing staff (currently 36), and is competing with Oracle and other big-named software makers to supply the next generation of core processing systems for large and midsized insurers and their back-office data managers. 

"We've developed products that represent a massive leap forward from where the industry is," Doggett told me. "We have built products that make it very easy for a business person to sit down and configure the system. This is better, faster and cheaper." He says the Microsoft C#-based systems can work by touch with smartphones as well as with PCs. "And it works in the cloud. You'll save a lot of money not needing a mainframe."

Early clients include Health India, which processes payments for AIG, AXA and other big U.S. and European life and health insurers -- an example of the recent counter-trend of India outsourcers hiring U.S. technology firms to update their systems.

Adminovate plans to announce a joint life-and-annuity operating arrangement with iPipeline, the Exton firm that helps insurers quickly process online applications.

"They do the back end, we do the front end," says Melchiorre. "No overlap. Together we're a great solution."

"The key here is the integration between the forward policy-integration (PAS, Adminovate's system), and our industry leading products, for example, iGO (which processes policy application forms online), PolicyEX (which delivers policies online) and and PolicyHS (policyholder services)," said Mike Persiano, iPipeline's chief marketing officer. The Adminovate leaders "are bright, bring great experience to the relationship from Oracle, and have mojo, so we are expecting to see them do some great things within the industry," he added.

Adminovate will move applications from iPipeline through its core processing "and back to the client with confirmation of payment," said Doggett. "We have very complimentary products. Their suite of insurance products, like underwriting sales administration, and our core processing system are a great fit. We're both Microsoft-based technologies, C# systems. And culturally they're a good fit. They're good guys." 

Should Oracle feel silly, to have spend $125 million buying into the business, only to have financed their competitor's "next generation" of the same product? "They're so big, $125 million is a rounding error," says iPipeline's Melchiorre, laughing.

(Previous versions of this item wrongly identified the computer language base as C-plus.)

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano