By James Mullarney, Senior Product Strategy Director, Oracle Insurance
Insurers are awash in content and documents - from marketing materials to regulatory filings - and are drowning in systems to manage that content. Modern insurance enterprises struggle to manage and, ultimately, embrace, new communication channels and publishing formats that range from cloud-based documents to blogs, tweets and instant messages.
How can insurers turn this content to their advantage - eliminate redundancy, speed production, get costs under control, and, most importantly, seize the power of new communications channels to improve service?
The inspiration can be found in taking an "enterprise" view of document functions - by thinking about and running content creation, production and distribution more like a manufacturing business - with the focus on measuring and improving efficiency, productivity and impact. To move forward, however, insurers must begin to leverage a combination of Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics in use elsewhere in their organizations, next-generation automation and document management solutions.
Visibility, automation and control are the watchwords for success as insurers begin this journey.
Insurers require visibility on multiple levels. To drive efficiency, they must know what content they have, where it is located and what publishing formats it supports. Insurers also need to understand exactly how their business units and divisions are utilizing publishing formats and communication channels, what content is being delivered via which channels, and how their strategies align with current and emerging customer and partner needs and preferences. Finally, insurers must understand the true costs of creating, producing and managing their content and documents and be able to quickly identify opportunities to reduce costs and increase agility.
The ultimate goal is to be in a position to mine content - enabled by smart archiving, which is the ability to analyze in real time thousands of forms, identify key content such as a section or a paragraph, and understand when it is used and how it is used. Insurers need to be in a position to analyze content in archives to do things like "How many of my contracts written in Ohio for physicians used paragraph X?" This is true document intelligence. In an environment of rapid regulatory change - where compliance often comes down to changing or removing certain policy clauses - such intelligence can dramatically reduce the time and cost required to make changes.
Just as insurers rely on BI tools to help them map sales trends and financial positions, assess marketing programs and identify risk, they can put the same tools and strategies to work in their document "enterprises." Analytic capabilities, integrated into a document management platform, can help insurers identify opportunities for reducing costs, accelerating production, encouraging content reuse and improving overall impact. Ideally, these tools should put power in the hands of business users, letting them create and run reports as they need them, without IT team assistance.
Automation - while not a new concept for document production and content management - continues to evolve. The goal is end-to-end automation, which optimizes production and delivery of high volumes of individualized documents through multiple (print and electronic) channels. As such, insurers increasingly require open and flexible document production platforms that can quickly and easily expand to support new channels and document streams. Again, BI is essential to an organization's document automation strategy, providing insight on where to focus for the greatest impact.
Control is the final frontier for document management. A single point of management, or dashboard, can provide visibility into the entire document enterprise and enable insurers to make changes involving production resources or priorities at the push of a button. This dashboard view can be equally beneficial in trouble-shooting emerging problems in the document enterprise to avoid delays that might impact marketing and sales initiatives or even compliance requirements.
Insurers - faced with managing exponential content growth and new communication channels, often with increasingly lean staffs - are looking for ways to keep costs in check while improving the impact of their communications and ensuring content compliance. By running the document automation function as a "business" - with the support of an intelligent document automation platform - insurers can make great strides in yielding promising returns from their content "enterprises."