IBM Unveils Software to Help Insurance Carriers Get Closer to Customers, Improve Agility


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ARMONK, N.Y. - 25 May 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a packaged software offering to help insurance carriers boost client service, increase agility, optimize business efficiency, and better manage risk.  Boosting advanced analytics and process optimization and collaboration capabilities, IBM's Insurance Industry Framework is designed to help insurance companies further automate their processes and turn raw data into actionable intelligence for smarter decision making.  

Insurance carriers are operating within a heightened state of competition across the global insurance industry. In addition, as consumers, brokers, agents and risk managers have become more discriminating with their preferences, they have also come to expect higher levels of customer service. An explosion of data and increasingly complex supply chains pose increased challenges for insurance carriers as they work to get to "know" their customers. This new reality is reinforced in a new IBM whitepaper that details the key imperatives facing the insurance industry. The study has found that the companies most likely to succeed within the industry are those that pursue a model of specialization, focused on delivering customer-centric services and offerings.

Built on open standards technology, IBM's Insurance Industry Framework provides the base upon which insurance carriers can seamlessly upgrade and transform their business models, without ripping-out and replacing legacy technologies. Connecting disparate systems across the enterprise and exposing key information to their distribution channels in a coordinated fashion, the framework enables a company's progressive transformation with proven technology capabilities already employed by dozens of insurance institutions. As a result, insurance carriers are now able to safely and securely update their infrastructure on the fly, more cost effectively and quickly.

Another compelling feature of the IBM Insurance Industry Framework is that it enables smarter business processing through rules and workflow automation. Business processes automation dramatically reduces complexity and cuts administration costs.  For example, Reliance Life Insurance, a large and growing life insurance carrier in India, recently adopted IBM's Insurance Industry Framework to create an insurance virtual office that provides insurance information to customers, employees, and agents. This new self-service infrastructure has played a vital role in enabling Reliance to double its market share in India's highly competitive life insurance market and market its products 50 percent faster than before.

At Reliance Life, connecting with the customers was a priority and it needed a fresh platform to do so. "My job was to inspire people to think differently about self-service, to go beyond what any other [life insurance] companies in India have done," said Mohan Chandrasekaran, Chief Technology Officer.  Since launching its self-service strategy, Reliance Life has been able to deliver tailored product offers, optimize core processes, and increase client satisfaction.  Reliance Life would not have been able to achieve all this, had it not built its solution on a common platform.  IBM's Insurance Industry Framework delivered a flexible software platform allowed the company to better respond to clients needs while reducing the costs of development and maintenance.

The new approach in the framework breaks through the "silos" that often exist between insurance carriers' lines of business, allowing true data transparency and application sharing. For example, enabled by one of the framework solutions, staff within one part of the insurance company will be able to track transactions across multiple business lines in order to identify fraudulent activity before it happens, while other staff elsewhere can use those same analytic tools to understand customer behavior and preferences.

"Smarter Insurance is about applying the strategic use of technology to anticipate client needs and deliver innovative products faster and more consistently than the competition," said Mark Lewis, General Manager, Global Insurance Industry, IBM.  "IBM's unified software offerings are designed to serve as a springboard for transformation so that clients can focus their efforts on growth and innovation. There is no other offering on the market today that can do this with as much ease, efficiency and cost–effectiveness."

In today's digital world, new levels of collaboration, insight and dynamic business process are required to improve business agility and help companies respond faster to changing business needs. The IBM Insurance Industry Framework helps clients to build an integrated platform for all of their operations based on industry standards. This framework utilizes elements of IBM's entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus and Information Management products while leveraging the full range of IBM server and storage products and the industry-specific offerings and consulting expertise of IBM Global Business Services.

IBM has continually worked with insurance industry organizations, such as Acord and LOMA, to promote and support the standardization initiatives.  The contribution of the selected IAA / IIW models is part of the continued effort to collaborate with the leaders in the industry. IBM is committed to realize the value of standards to the insurance industry and to our insurance clients.  

For more information on the IBM Insurance Industry Framework or for details on how IBM is helping clients and Business Partners to make smarter, faster decisions, visit: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/industry/insurance/

Additionally, a new whitepaper on "Accelerating process transformation in the insurance industry with the IBM Insurance Industry Framework" has valuable insight on how insurance companies can leverage Insurance Framework for their transformation.

For more information on IBM insurance industry expertise, please visit: www.ibm.com/insurance

IBM, WebSphere, SmartSOA and the IBM e-business logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. For a list of additional IBM trademarks, please see www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml  

All other company, product or service names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of others. Statements concerning IBM's future development plans and schedules are made for planning purposes only, and are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Reseller prices may vary.

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