Insurers seeking to improve operational efficiency using predictive analytics will have new solutions from which to choose, and professional assistance in their implementation, thanks to an enhanced partnership between Dublin-based Accenture and Cary, N.C.-based SAS, announced today.

The companies plan to develop, implement and manage next-generation predictive analytics solutions, a first for both companies.

As part of the expansion, the two companies intend to jointly invest in the development of solutions focused on industry-specific predictive analytics applications, starting with the financial services (including insurance), health care and public service sectors; as well as cross-industry solutions in the customer and enterprise management domains. They also plan to begin delivering sophisticated analytical capabilities as a managed service.

“As the insurance industry emerges from the financial crisis, analytics is seen as a possible accelerator to speed recovery,” Stuart Rose, global product marketing manager for insurance at SAS, told Insurance Networking News. “The SAS and Accenture alliance will enable insurance companies to analyze the vast amount of data available, not only to gain competitive advantage over their peers, but also over other financial service organizations.”

In forming the Accenture SAS Analytics Group, the companies intend to bring together Accenture’s industry and functional business knowledge with SAS’s analytics solutions and capabilities to help insurance and financial services companies and government organizations understand and implement predictive analytics solutions.

This means software and consulting services will be designed to help insurers create more sophisticated statistical modeling, forecasting and optimization techniques to anticipate the impact on business outcomes.

“As the partnership matures, insurance companies will see SAS’ analytical software integrated into Accenture’s insurance solutions to improve operational efficiency and increase customer insight,” Rose added.

Accenture’s foray into next-generation analytics comes at a fortuitous time, as companies look to analytics to solve business problems and uncover strategies and models by which to improve business.

“In our long experience providing analytic insights to our customers, we’ve never seen leaders so readily adopting analytic approaches across their organizations,” said Jim Goodnight, CEO at SAS. “The Accenture SAS Analytics Group will help these companies take their business results to the next level by applying best-of-breed predictive analytics and best practices to complex questions and decisions. Together, we will deliver a high performance analytic platform combined with management and industry expertise that is platform-independent, so organizations can leverage their existing IT infrastructure.”

The Accenture SAS Analytics Group plans to initially focus on developing a series of predictive solutions for the financial services industry, including insurance and banking; health care services, including payer/provider and pharmaceuticals; as well as the public sector, in areas such as federal and human services. In addition, cross-industry functional solutions are expected to start with customer acquisition and retention, as well as enterprise analytics.

Plans also call for the formation of joint analytics showcases in multiple locations, starting with Chicago, London, Milan and Shanghai, where the companies intend to demonstrate their new industry and functional predictive analytics capabilities to clients.

The latest deal between Accenture and SAS marks a 10-year history of working together to help more than 100 global clients across a variety of industries. Joint clients include: Safeco Insurance in the United States, Norway Post, Italy’s Snam Rete Gas, and UBS, the global financial services firm.





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