The CRM platform Salesforce.com was a vanguard of cloud computing, and for insurance organizations -- which often have big field forces of agents, producers, and more -- have found it a safe place to begin exploring the cloud. The system has expanded functionality often over the past few years, but, says Alistair Firmin, VP of customer service for The Standard, some things had still been missing.
"Every time you want to connect to a different platform that's not on the Force.com platform, you have to get IT involved," he says. "One of the challenges was moving data back and forth once you have it in the Salesforce environment."
The Standard wanted to use data in Salesforce to produce customized documents like letters and correspondence for its policyholders. It was looking for a way to solve the data migration problem when it happened upon a project HP, an existing partner, was working on: HP Relate, which was launched in full last month.
"In the process of engaging some of our partners, we stumbled across HP building a [document automation] offering that was completely connected to the Salesforce platform," Firmin says. "We now use the HP Relate platform to generate documents using the data we already had stored on the Force.com platform."
A major reason why The Standard wanted to be able to build documents directly within Salesforce was data security, accuracy, and compliance, Firmin explains. Before, creating a document related to a specific life or disability claim required a lot of extra work from IT to get the right data and find the right template. Now, the templates are stored right within Salesforce.
"It's furthered our ability to deliver a personalized doc for our customers while not being a drain on our IT resources," Firmin says. "Now our front line employees don't have to go into multiple systems if they don't need to -- Relate allows us to do is based on how we've already secured our data."
Firmin says Relate has been a boon to customer experience by enabling a clearer view of each customer -- whose cases can often vary.
"It's not a choice between accurate and timely anymore," he says. "Our employees, if they're looking for some more information, can talk about some of the conversations they've had with people on the phone. As we all strive in the insurance world to allow tech to help us be more effective and efficient, we don't want to lose the personal side of it."
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio