Leading French Insurance Company Taps IBM For Deployment of Global Satellite Network

IBM Will Help Link Agents Worldwide, Resulting in Improved Customer Service

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PARIS, France - 12 May 1998: . . . Aiming to improve customer satisfaction in an increasingly competitive market, a leading French insurance company, GAN, has selected IBM to help deploy a worldwide satellite network connecting 1,000 of the company's general agents.

Operating in North America, Europe and Asia, GAN will deploy leading edge VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology -- small, rooftop satellite dishes -- that enables information to be transmitted real-time and more cost effectively and flexibly than a traditional terrestrial network.

The high speed network will help GAN achieve a reduction of up to 20 percent on its current network operating costs, while also providing unique competitive advantages, including stronger account management, improved the time-to-market of new products, and enhanced customer service, according to Denis Bourg, GAN's director of information systems.

"Given the present evolution in the insurance industry, the future depends on the ability to deliver added value and service differentiation for the client. A sophisticated, high performance information technology solution is a good way of achieving this," explains Bourg.

New market entrants like banks make it necessary for traditional insurance companies such as GAN to re-examine their offerings and focus more than ever on customer satisfaction.

IBM Global Services has been contracted to deploy the satellites and manage the VSAT network for a period of five years. The VSAT implementation is the first phase of a larger project under which IBM Global Services will help reengineer many of GAN's core business processes.

IBM is working with General Electric (satellite solution material), GILAT (antennas fitted on the agents' roofs) and EUTELSAT (space segment) to ensure that the VSAT network delivers round-the-clock availability and performance that GAN needs to compete effectively. The project is presently being piloted and will be fully deployed in the Fall.

Satellite technology is developing rapidly in Europe with recent market surveys estimating 100,000 antennas deployed by the year 2000. The largest market for this technology is in the U.S. where there are already 150,000 VSAT antennas.

The fifth largest insurance company in France, GAN has 13,000 employees and three million clients. In 1997, the group generated 53.5 billion francs (about US$10 billion). GAN does business in over 20 countries in Europe, North America and Asia. This international reach enables GAN to support its clients around the world.

IBM Global Services, headquartered in Somers, N.Y., delivers strategic IT solutions that help customers to tra nsform their businesses, improve time to market, and increase shareholder value. With 1997 revenue of approximately $26 billion and 110,000 professionals in 164 countries, IBM Global Services is the world's largest and most versatile IT services provider. Its capabilities span a complete range, including product support and global network services, as well as consulting, outsourcing, systems integration, and education and training. IBM's Global Insurance Industry offers consulting services and solutions specifically designed for the insurance market. Visit IBM's web sites at http://www.ibm.com/insurance and http://www.ibm.com/services.

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