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Catering to Buying Habits

IBM rolls out a new marketing approach for financial services.

To appeal to the buying habits of financial services customers, IBM has unveiled a new integration and vertical markets strategy. As part of its model, the Armonk, N.Y.-based firm will offer systems for insurers, banks and securities firms.

Based on extensive research, IBM has found that its customers "prefer to buy solutions rather than point products," reports Cynthia Maike, IBM market segment manager for insurance.

IBM's insurance offering will include pre-built middleware component solutions for integrated claims management, underwriting, policy management, insurance channel distribution integration, and insurance customer insight. The approach combines a common set of data and integration capabilities with applications from independent software vendors. Insurance technology partners include PureEdge (Orlando), MapInfo (Troy, N.Y.), CSC (Austin, Texas), DWL (Atlanta) and Chordiant (Cupertino, Calif.).

IBM's new strategy addresses business issues for which IBM "can provide a predefined recipe of middleware and consulting assistance," says Paraic Sweeney, IBM's vice president of marketing and industry solutions.

IBM has also shifted its sales approach from solution-based to more vertically-focused, relates Maike. "In the past, insurers could have multiple [IBM representatives] calling on them," she says. "Now [sales reps] are more aligned by industry."

Editor's Note: This article, written by Steven Marlin with contributions from Julie Gallagher, originally appeared in InformationWeek.

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