Mitsui Mutual Life Insurance Co. has selected IBM as its technology partner in a 10-year agreement worth over $US1 billion, the largest ever within the Japanese insurance industry. IBM Japan and Mitsui Life will establish a joint venture company staffed by employees from both Mitsui Life and IBM Japan.
This is the first case of full outsourcing in the Japanese insurance industry and will cover management and maintenance of Mitsui Life's host system, development and maintenance of new systems utilizing the latest developments in information technology, management of network linking servers and the provision of PCs to some 780 offices throughout Japan.
With Japan's financial deregulation, the industry is changing rapidly, and is increasingly utilizing information technology solutions. Mitsui Life has worked closely with IBM for the past 45 years.
Hiroshi Nishimura, executive managing director, said that Mitsui Life's objective in outsourcing to IBM is to increase its competitiveness in the marketplace based on access to a world class IT infrastructure.
“Outsourcing to IBM will take advantage of IBM's information technology leadership in e-business and networking to bolster Mitsui Life's information systems and help us implement information technology solutions that are closely linked to our business strategies, such as new financial products offered electronically 24 hours a day,” said Nishimura.
Takuma Otoshi, president of IBM Japan, said Mitsui Life is one of the most forward thinking insurance companies in Japan and is taking steps to ensure that it continues to provide exceptional customer service and remains a leading player in the marketplace.
“Mitsui Life and IBM have worked together for over 45 years and IBM's understanding of their business will help with the transition to the joint venture company and to fully outsourced IT operations,” Mr. Otoshi said. “This demonstrates that Mitsui Life understands the strategic impact information technology can have on a business and is utilizing that power to achieve real benefits.”
Mitsui Life was founded in 1927 and is one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan. Recently, the company has been involved in the financial markets in Japan and overseas as a major institutional investor. At the end of fiscal year 1998, Mitsui Life held a total of US$832 billion life insurance in force, and its assets amounted to US$83 billion, making the company one of the leading life insurance companies in the world.
The contract will be managed by IBM's services arm, IBM Global Services, the world's largest information technology services provider, with 1999 revenues of over $32 billion.