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Editor's Note: Want to learn all there is to know about the cloud? Don't miss our Cloud QCamp coming up on April 7, 2010.



The economic environment has never been more challenging than it is today. Insurance companies face severe pressures to run profitable operations, ensure the best customer service while at the same time restricting risk exposure and increasing returns for stakeholders.

Business Process Management (BPM) technology not only enables insurance companies to meet the above objectives but also thrive in a very competitive environment.

Five key advantages that BPM delivers to insurance companies are as below:

Boost profitability. BPM ensures significant reduction in costs by eliminating redundant manual effort. Insurance companies can model, simulate and streamline processes using BPM tools thus ensuring increased throughput at lower costs. This effectively translates to higher profitability.

Automate underwriting. BPM suites provide for definition of business rules. This enables under writers to concentrate on knowledge based aspects of underwriting, while allowing the process to ensure that risk is always within acceptable limits.

Enhance Productivity. Insurance is largely a paper intensive industry.
BPM suites eliminate paper-based transactions, manual reconciliation, laborious and time-consuming data entry. Enhanced productivity is thus ensured.

Align execution with business strategy. Implementation of processes that are in line with business strategy is critical to success in the insurance sector. BPM is a framework technology which ensures that the partnership between IT and business users can be leveraged to make insurers more responsive to customer needs and market trends.

Ensure real time visibility and better control of processes. BPM suites provide for Business Alerts Monitoring which ensures compliance with regulations like SOX and HIPAA at all times. These suites also provide real time dashboards which enable senior management to constantly monitor business performance and track the status of the activity at all times.

The choice before insurance providers today is whether to build such BPM platforms in-house or buy these off the shelf. While in-house development will certainly ensure complete adherence to a given providers processes, it also demands a high level of development maturity and investment to create a robust solution. A faster, cheaper and superior solution can be obtained by buying BPM platforms off the shelf and tailoring them to suit the insurance provider's needs.

Improving efficiencies and reducing costs is critical to success in the insurance sector today. Given the above advantages, BPM is the one technology that can ensure success and help manage business challenges related to the insurance sector.

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