Twenty billion dollars in new claims from Hurricane Isabel, lowered reserve levels, and other bottom line-threatening factors are prompting insurance companies to strongly consider the benefits of rules-based Business Process Management to save money and deal with new competitive threats.



In the ebizQ webinar Simply Smart BPM Difference, part of the Simply Smart BPM -- A Great Insurance Policy series sponsored by Pegasystems, a trio of industry experts outlined the best practices of “smart BPM,” which cuts costs and boosts agility by enabling business changes to be made at the process level and then automated at the system level.

“Process is not something new,” noted ebizQ Vice President for Strategic Services Beth Gold-Bernstein, who described how better technological tools enabled three large software, apparel and high-tech manufacturers to realize impressive ROI through reduced errors, better inventory control and improved B2B processes, respectively.

“Business Process Management is becoming so important in organizations that it's like the word ‘snow’ for Eskimos. We have many acronyms now, and it's important to understand that they're not all the same thing,” Gold-Bernstein said.

She then melted some of that snow, defining and distinguishing from one another BPM (Business Process Management), BPI (Business Process Integration), WSO (Web Services Orchestration), BPA (Business Process Automation), BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), Workflow and Document Management.

In smart BPM, explained Gold-Bernstein, “the underlying application performs the base functions, but the flow of control across components and applications in the end-to-end process represents the way the way the business is conducted.”

Managing a dynamic enterprise’s processes from a central repository keeps costs down but can be difficult, especially when multiple managers or controls from outside the organization are involved, she added.

IBM Vice President for Insurance Rob Spencer described how insurance companies are struggling to adapt their numerous multi-step, paper-based, error-prone, manual-labor-intensive procedures to a challenging business environment, highlighted by the enormous potential claims stemming from Hurricane Isabel.

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