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CSC Launches FS Mobile Solutions, Partners with Blackberry

CSC has announced the launch of Financial Services Mobile Solutions, which includes mobile software applications, consulting and management services.

Falls Church, Va.-based CSC has launched Mobile Financial Services Solutions, a new set of software and services that aims to help the insurance industry address growing demand from both customers and the enterprise for mobile capabilities and tools, the vendor announced during a Tuesday morning session at its 2009 Connect user conference in Orlando, Fla.

In addition, the company says that it has partnered with Research In Motion (RIM), the Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of Blackberry mobile devices, as part of the initiative and will offer carriers Blackberry production support and Blackberry server management. CSC declined to discuss the specifics of the RIM partnership at this time.

"Mobile applications aren't new to the insurance industry, but widespread adoption has been slow to emerge," Chad Hersh, a principal in the insurance practice of Novarica, commented in a CSC press release. "Individual users and now technology vendors are driving the shift to conducting highly secure transactions via hand-held devices. Of particular note is the deployment of applications to BlackBerry, which is the smartphone platform with, by far, the largest install base."

Mobile Financial Services Solutions includes three main components based around consulting, applications and managed hosting that will help insurers plan, build and manage their wireless communications roadmaps, according to Phil Ehlen, CTO of CSC's P&C divisions.

"The first component of this solution is just basic consulting -- understanding where you are from the standpoint of your business needs, taking a quick inventory of your current [mobile] capabilities that will help drive [the organization] to a roadmap to help move things along the fulcrum," Ehlen said when announcing Financial Services Mobile Solutions at the event.

The second piece of the solutions set is application services, which will allow insurers to leverage CSC for key mobility requirements such as application and infrastructure modernization, data security and scalability, added Darren Klauser, VP of software and systems development in CSC's life insurance and annuities division.

From an application standpoint, CSC has identified over 60 potential applications for all mobile platforms, BlackBerry included, to help carriers expand options, boost self-service and reach new demographic markets in ways that benefit both agents and consumers, according a press release. Those use cases include the ability for a carrier's customers to upload accident scene photos for faster claims handling and providing insurance executives with access to analytical dashboards.

"Mobile devices are the next big platform challenge for the insurance industry," Jim Cook, president of CSC's Business Solutions and Services Sector, said in the release. "CSC is uniquely positioned to lead carriers through this transition because of our credentials in other verticals and our proven track record of helping financial services companies adopt and leverage new platforms."

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