Armonk, N.Y. based IBM, announced two offerings in the insurance industry—a solution for improving operational efficiency, and a framework for process acceleration—that are designed to help insurance providers lower costs and increase customer satisfaction by handling core functions, such as claims and policy processing, more efficiently. Once implemented, insurance companies will be able to automate and optimize their business tasks, allowing employees to focus more attention on customer-facing matters, the company says.

IBM’s new Insurance Operations of the Future (IOF) Solution is powered by a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The IOF Solution is designed to automatically recognize inbound work tasks, including those coming from unstructured sources such as paper mail, voicemail, e-mail and the Web, and extract the relevant information, enrich it and then automatically route the work task to an automated process, a clerical process or a specialist process path.

Based on open standards, IBM’s framework strategy enables clients to take advantage of their existing capabilities along with packaged software applications and customized capabilities.

IBM’s independent software vendor (ISV) ecosystem also enables software providers to participate in the framework, giving insurance providers full flexibility in choosing the business applications they need to address specific business processes and challenges.

“Insurance companies are still very dependent on paper documents and other forms of unstructured data to support basic processes such as contact center inquiries, policy processing, claims payments, underwriting and other service requests,” says Mark Lewis, GM global insurance industry, IBM. “The IOF Solution allows insurance companies to dramatically cut costs and better respond to the growing needs of customers, agents and regulators while the IPA Framework provides an agile base for future insurance applications and solutions. These advances provide a glimpse of what the future of the insurance industry will look like,” Lewis adds.

(c) 2008 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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