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The Power of Integrated Content and Process Management – SMA

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Article Synopsis :

Insurers live and die by information. The product itself (the insurance policy) is information-based.

 The Digital Insurer reviews SMA’s Report on The Power of Integrated Content and Process Management in the Digital Era

Content Management platforms are core to the digital enterprise 

In “The Power of Integrated Content and Process Management” SMA explores how information can be successfully integrated and assimilated into carrier operations.  The paper also shares best practices for upgrading enterprise content management (ECM) system(s), as ECM capabilities are core to effective information management in the enterprise.

Though it’s true ECM systems have evolved, it’s an open question as to whether they’re capable of integrating with key links of the insurance value chain—namely distribution, underwriting, policy servicing, billing, and claims. The paper identifies three stages of ECM maturity:

Stage I: Imaging and Repository systems: Simple systems allowing insurers to save paperwork and operating costs through document capture and storage in a central repository. Marked by typically complex and highly customized installations, these ‘basic’ ECM systems are widespread with a growing list of demands placed upon them.

Stage II: Document Workflow and New Content: Expands Stage I capacity to handle advanced workflows for new business/underwriting, policy servicing, and claims. Document management (Stage I) plus workflow equals Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

Stage III: Integrated Content and Process Management: Stage II ECM with business process management (BPM) capabilities added, supporting more sophisticated workflow and business process capabilities. Should enable the design and management of content in conjunction with underlying core systems for underwriting, policy administration, and claims.

Stage I and even some Stage II ECM implementations require logging on to separate systems and then toggling between them which not only wastes time but can result in redundant/erroneous data entry. Stage III ECM models provide seamless, integrated workflow operations with advanced content and transaction management. Beyond simple efficiency they also deliver business value in the following ways:

  1. Enhanced customer/agent experience: Building relationships through effective customer experience management is the need of the day. High quality interactions at every touch-point drive the insurer-customer relationship. Efficiently assembling the right content routed to the proper individual (or automated system) delivering the ultimate response to customers (or prospects) holds enormous business value.
  2. Collaboration:  Customer information should flow freely across the enterprise. Modern ECM implementations promote collaboration for better decision-making across the insurance value chain.
  3. Accelerated speed-to-market: Timing is everything. Modern ECM systems contain BPM capabilities enabling the smooth and timely flow of information critical to new product development.
  4. Improved Profitability: Timely, high-quality responses build customer loyalty and loyal customers are always more profitable than one-offs.

The paper recommends three simple steps for insurers aspring to leverage new ECM capabilities:

  1. Define the current and desired future states of the business.
  2. Specify goals and milestones tied to desired outcomes.
  3. Assess available solutions and partners to achieve specified milestones.

Though tedious, the three steps, the paper stresses, should never be skipped. Though ECM transformations promise massive upside the ECM implementations themselves – especially integration – tend to be very challenging. Take no shortcuts in the planning stages of the project.

Digital Insurer's Comments

Ten years ago ‘content’ was just a fancy word for documents. But the rapid proliferation of digital channels expands the definition beyond text to include video, audio, and multimedia.

If responding to customers faster with more accurate and personalized information is the goal then you need an ECM platform (either bought or built) that’s easy to use, scalable, integrated, and interoperable with other applications in the handling of structured and unstructured content.

Whereas older ECM systems were designed to deliver content to internal users new ECM platforms are geared to external users, i.e., customers, who, thanks to the global explosion in e-commerce, expect way more from your business than they used to. In a digital world you could say ‘content’ is just a fancy word for everything.

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