For document management systems vendors the “number one competitor” is this idea: “Lets hire 25 more people to handle the work,” notes John Sarich, insurance industry marketing manager for FileNET Corp., of Costa Mesa, Calif. (www.filenet.com).
“Our second main competitor is Lets build it ourselves, ” he continues.
Sarich says more than a third of FileNETs revenues annually derive from the insurance industry. “Were in 80 of the top 100 insurance companies in the United States.
“We have technology thatcan take an e-mail, read it, figure out by context sensitivity or content sensitivitywhat it is about anddetermine where its going in the workflow,” Sarich says.
FileNETs latest such product is Panagon Content Services. The current release, 5.2, is software for creating, accessing, managing and securing business-critical content, says FileNET.
Version 5.2 offers enhanced deployment, enabling customers “to solve their enterprise content management needs while using their existing network infrastructure and software,” FileNET says.
Version 5.2 runs in the Windows 2000 “cluster environment,” the company notes.
With its Web-based system administration tools, Panagon can be managed from any Internet-enabled workstation, allowing remote administrative staff to perform tasks such as adding and maintaining users and groups, storage categories and customer properties, FileNET says.
Sarich says the cost of the FileNET document management products varies according to the size of the organization, how many licenses are bought, and how big a system is needed.
But “the typical installation in a $1 billion plus p-c company[is] between $3 million to $5 million,” he states.
As for return on investment, Sarich says he likes to tell prospects “that the technology you get from us is basically free,” due to the reduced costs, increased efficiencies and improved customer services.
To provide document management products, Computer Sciences Corp., El Segundo, Calif. (www.csc.com) partners with other vendors, says Joanna Creamer, senior vice president.
One such partner, DST Systems of Kansas City, Mo., developed a process management product for the mutual fund market that CSC now exclusively resells to the insurance market under the name Automated Work Distributor.
AWD is aimed primarily at medium to large carriers, Creamer says. It tracks applications and other information that come into an insurance organization and distributes all of the work electronically throughout the organization “based on a set of predefined process flows, service standards, priority levels and skill sets of the workforce,” she explains.
Additionally, AWD has a built-in quality component that helps managers monitor the specific types of errors being made. “You can then spot train if you see too many [employees] making the same kind of error,” Creamer points out. The system also can alert a manager when service levels are not being met.
The latest version of AWD, release 3.0, features faster data recall, greater processing control, a browser-based interface and support for more computing platforms, says CSC.
Creamer says AWD runs on various platforms such as NT, AS/400 and Sun Polaris. “We also have a mainframe version that is ready for a beta customer,” she reported.
She says the 40 or 50 companies tracked by CSC since first installing AWD saw “productivity increases of between 25% and 35%” and cost savings of 20% to 30%. By applying the product to other business areas, they saw productivity improvements in the 50% range, she states.
The ROI, Creamer says, is usually within 24 months. She says one reason for this is AWDs “out of the box functionality,” meaning it can be installed without the need to write code.
Pricing information was not provided.
IFN Systems, of Petach-Tikva, Israel (www.ifnsystems.com), is an international vendor of document management systems. Marketing manager Tal Yakobbi says the company has “extensive experience” in implementing systems for insurance corporations and in FileNETs Panagon technology, which is needed for the IFN product.
IFNs latest product in this field is WINS Insurance for Content & Process Management. Yakobbi described it as a complete, tailor-made document management solution for insurers.
Among the advantages of using WINS Insurance, Yakobbi listed:
Increased productivity, giving staff and vendors immediate access to critical information and documents.
Improved service by enabling customers, insurers and producers to submit claims, check on existing claims and communicate with the insurer through 24-hour Web access.
Substantially reduced costs, with reported savings of 20% or more due to claims-processing cycle times decreases of up to 30%.
Controlled access to sensitive information.
He says the ROI takes place within a year. Pricing information was not provided.
InSystems, of Markham, Ontario, Canada, (www.insystems.com) is another international vendor of end-to-end document management systems.
“We have installations in more than half of the top 100 insurance organizations in North America,” reports Henk Alblas, director of product management-document automation products. Additionally, the company has about 55,000 agent and broker clients, he says.
InSytems flagship is the Calligo enterprise product. Now in version 4.1, it is an integrated solution for creating, managing and distributing documents, Alblas says.
He says Calligo allows for document creation “through a rules-based document assembly capability.” It also handles other documents from within or outside the organization.
He says that increasingly, InSystems clients are looking for the ability to send information in a format and by a channel appropriate to the recipient.
“We cover that scenario both with our core Calligo enterprise product andCalligo eDelivery, which specifically provides that multi-channel user capability,” Alblas says. The eDelivery product was launched last October.
Among the other advantages of using Calligo products, Alblas says, are:
They are Web-based. “Deployment of Calligo to a large user population is extremely straightforward.”
They “provide a strong insurance-focused set of functions.”
They offer distribution management. Alblas explains that after the initial deployment of the Calligo product through a companys IT department, customers generally can develop, modify and manage their own business processes and documents.
Calligo products can be deployed on various Windows platforms, Alblas says. In addition, certain “components most critical to performance” can run on “selected Unix platforms.”
Although pricing varies, Calligo generally starts at around $100,000 for license fees, Alblas says.
E.E. Mazier is an assistant editor for NUs Property & Casualty/Risk & Benefits Management Edition.
Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, June 3, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.