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Zurich US's Enterprise Risk Division focuses on Web-based service, not sales.

While many insurers are focusing on selling products over the Internet, Zurich US has been focusing on service, especially for its top 1,000 clients that have large workers' comp policies.

"This group has taken a customer service approach," says Frank Colletti, director of e-business solutions, Enterprise Risk Division, Zurich US ($10.2 billion in assets, Schaumburg, IL). "We don't see a lot of our competitors putting an emphasis on service. They are focusing on the sales transaction. But when the sale is a multi-million-dollar policy, pulling $200 out of the transaction by using the Net doesn't really save a lot."

Zurich's e-business solutions group has been focused on a project called the Information Exchange-an extranet application designed to better share service-related information with Zurich top clients, over the Net. "The Information Exchange is designed to provide our top customers, brokers and co-insurers with a shared technology that greatly improves their experience in accessing the services we offer," says Colletti.

Rather than using e-mail, faxes and paper, Information Exchange centralizes all data on a policy at one location-on the Internet. Users can check claim status and run customized reports directly from their browsers, says Colletti. Users also can add or remove information, place new documents on the site or just reference the site. Customers that use the Information Exchange have high claim volumes and are regularly checking claim status.

The Information Exchange was developed with strict guidelines set by Colletti and members of Zurich US's IT team. "Because I have an IT background, I can spot the smoke and mirrors when vendors demo products," says Colletti, who spent nine years in Zurich's IT department before becoming di-rector of e-business solutions in March 2000. "The business experience has really rounded off my technical background," says Colletti.

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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