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BUCHAREST, Romania - 14 Mar 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that AXA Insurance, a global insurer with over 95 million clients in 61 countries, has turned to IBM and its smarter computing model for a massive four-year systems integration project in Romania designed to streamline business processes, reduce IT costs, and uncover new business opportunities.
Romania's insurance sector is playing an increasingly significant role in the country's economy. Moves by the government to strengthen its regulatory body and increase program funding from the European Union are creating new demand for insurance coverage. Last year, for example, the government introduced compulsory home insurance regulation that covers approximately three million households. However, according to data recently released by the government-backed PAID Agency (Pool of Insurance Against Natural Disasters), currently there are only 510,000 insurance policies in the country.
To leverage this opportunity, New York-based AXA Insurance established a presence in Romania in 2009 by purchasing Omniasig Life Insurance. Then to integrate Omniasig's systems with its own, AXA turned to IBM Global Technology Services in Romania. Under the agreement signed last year, IBM will provide systems integration and management services to help streamline risk management, consolidate data to provide the company with a single view of customers, and work to lower operational costs by automating several pieces of the insurance process. IBM will facilitate the smarter computing project through its data center in Petrom City.
"While more businesses and individuals in Romania recognize the importance of having insurance coverage, penetration rates still have a considerable way to go if they are to reach those of developed markets," said Violeta Ciurel, President and CEO, AXA Insurance Romania. "AXA Insurance Romania wants to be part of that growth in Romania."
Also as part of the agreement, IBM will migrate Omniasig's client system to a centralized ERP SAP solution and standardize business-use rules across IT applications to enable workload optimization and integration. The moves are designed to create a more open, flexible, scalable, efficient, and secure system that provides AXA Insurance Romania with greater visibility into, and control over, insurance policies as well as help reduce internal investment costs.
"IBM introduced its Smarter Computing approach to IT last year as a way for organizations to realize greater efficiencies, improved reliability and better performance, all at a lower cost," said Bogdan Balaci, Country General Manager, IBM Romania. "Through this engagement, AXA Insurance benefits from IBM's expertise in creating a flexible and scalable IT infrastructure that will enable the company's aggressive growth initiatives in the Romanian market."