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EDS Focuses Insurance Strategy

Firm embarks on a more vertical and "holistic" approach.

Plano-TX based IT services giant EDS is embarking on a new strategic approach to the insurance market, emphasizing greater attention to specific industry needs while providing solutions for the entire insurance enterprise, according to Faith Trapp, newly appointed managing director, global insurance markets.

"It's about more than just one aspect of insurance, such as policy administration, claims statements or agency management," Trapp says. "You have to look at a company from a holistic standpoint."

Trapp says EDS has identified three areas of focus: digitizing the value chain, fostering cost-effectiveness and leveraging innovations from other market sectors. According to Trapp, EDS is building on existing strengths and reputation to "focus on how we e-enable businesses, how we take innovations from other parts of the organization and apply them to insurance, and how we verticalize the offerings, leveraging things that were common across industries so that they are focused on the unique characteristics of insurance."

As examples of the digitization of the value chain, Trapp cites efforts toward product transparency; digital product filing initiatives, such as EDS subsidiary SOLCORP's (Toronto) SERFF solution for electronic filing of life insurance products through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC, Kansas City); transformation of the P&C claims process through creation of digital claims objects, and leveraging EDS's capabilities in straight-through processing for capital markets to insurance processes; and providing business process outsourcing services to the industry.

The firm's increased focus on insurer cost-effectiveness reflects attention to major trends, according to Trapp. "One of the primary drivers that insurers face today is looking at how they can be more cost-effective, and therefore, more competitive," she says. "We're doing a lot of work through simple steps such as helping with document management, imaging and storage."

EDS is also looking to help insurers negotiate the demands of convergence and globalization, according to Trapp. "We're looking at how insurers remain competitive when banks and other entrants are moving into their space; we're working with them to do things such as providing the technology to enable them to set up a virtual bank and have it up and running very quickly," she says.

Global Focus

EDS will seek to support insurance carriers negotiating globalization on several levels, Trapp asserts. "We can provide the underlying technology through SOLCORP, and through EDS consulting subsidiary A.T. Kearney we can help devise strategy for moving into a particular market," she notes.

Trapp, who was vice president, marketing, at Austin, TX-based CSC, started at EDS this past October. Describing her new duties, she says, "I'm looking at the trends, the drivers and needs of insurers around the world and looking at the critical success factors, and helping to coordinate EDS's response."

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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