IBM helps insurers prepare for e-business

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As insurers, software developers and services organisations worldwide move to web-enable legacy applications, IBM's Insurance Application Architecture (IAA) is gaining momentum among firms who want to transform themselves into e-businesses.

IAA helps create a map of existing systems, facilitates the integration of legacy business applications with new e-business applications, and creates common data management and customer-centric applications.  IAA enables customers to streamline business processes, while cutting development time and costs.

“IAA is a critical tool that enables the enterprise to create a clear view of its multiple systems while understanding the flow of business and the data necessary for the creation of new products and services,” said Daniel Yellin, IBM distinguished engineer.  “Need for fast response and time to market is driving insurers and financial services firms to rethink their business strategies and the products that will be most profitable.  But getting to the finish line can be a long and tedious trip through legacy systems unable to react on a dime or talk to other systems in the enterprise.  IAA helps alleviate these roadblocks.”  

Insurers like New York Life and ING have all recently licensed IAA.  Dan Patsey, vice president technology strategy and architecture, ING Americas said,  “As a multinational financial services company, our focus in the U.S. has been to acquire businesses with their own distribution channels and manufacturing capabilities. We are now embarked upon integrating our businesses in the US to develop a comprehensive customer-centric view of ING's business without replacing the individual business unit systems. 

“The idea is to provide the appropriate cross product information needed for both internal and external customers. IBM's IIW (Insurance Information Warehouse), which is based on IAA, will be used as a foundation for an integrated data warehouse. ING will also consider utilising IAA to help create an integrated view of our back office transaction systems.”  

IBM has also begun a process to work with standards organisations like ACORD and Object Management Group (OMG) to promote further implementations.

Services providers to the insurance industry are recognising the value of IAA. 

“We licensed IAA when we decided to rewrite our portfolio of applications to leverage the benefits of next generation technology,” said Marc Sollosy, chief information officer, Corporate Systems.  “We provide several high volume, high-performance claims, automation and reporting services and systems for insurers.  Without IAA our job would have been much more time consuming. It is a wonderful tool designed to demystify the complexities of the insurance system landscape.” 

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