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Issue of February 2007

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Document Management

Content management at ING Vysya

ING Vysya Life Insurance Company opened its doors for business in September 2001. Since inception it had to compete with established companies, most of all LIC which had been around for 45 years at that time.

Cost and Service Factors

K R Subramanian, COO, ING Vysya Life feels that in a fiercely competitive market such as life insurance, all players deal in similar products. They use the same Indian mortality assumptions and pricing. “We have to issue policies faster and make sure that normal insurance applications are processed quickly. The front-office can be automated to reduce processing time by at least eight hours,” says Subramanian.

Centralised Model

The company centralised its operations. “Being a new industry, we had to hire people, train them and maintain process purity, so it there was a strong business case to centralise things. The node sending the applications can be located anywhere. This helped manage the business despite its geographical diversity and complexity of products and processes. ” says Subramanian.

Change Management

A strategy was devised to get users to suggest the technology that they would use instead of thrusting a new technology on them which can be quite painful. “Even before the ECM implementation, underwriters had internally developed an underwriting rating engine working on a crude workflow. The ECM became a logical extension of that idea on a superior platform. We followed Japanese methods and spent a lot of time preparing, thinking, brainstorming, gathering requirements and understanding the implication of other activities. The requirements were then converted into business and technical specifications followed by the prototype,” confides Subramanian.

  • Filenet has been successfully implemented.
  • Processes such as Straight Through Processing (STP) have been introduced Currently this is executed using the transaction processing system. The workflow will soon migrate to a full-fledged rules engine.
  • To reinforce the BPM system the organisation has deployed SAN to ensure high availability, quick retrieval of images and reduce the backup window.
  • Policy servicing has been completely migrated to a workflow system which gives the company a strategic advantage with regard to customer service.
  • The company is using its enterprise content management system in other functional areas such as advisor recruitment, compliance etc
  • ING Vysya Life is soon launching customer and advisor portals to leverage IT for its business needs which, in turn, will be linked to a BPM solution to close the loop of the entire service cycle.

Compatibility Issues

The application has value-added features, which can be enabled as and when they are required. The company uses customised Life Asia for transaction processing. The customisation was done internally. In the insurance business, it is necessary to maintain records for several years. The solution uses satellite communication for integrating the transaction system with the process of sending messages to customers about various schemes, information and bank payments.

“Our strategy is to use ECM as a basic system and plug it into other systems. Our integration approach is focussed on getting more information from the transaction processing system to overflow,” explains Subramanian.

Tangible Benefits

“The tangible benefit of ECM is that everyone in the company is aware of what is going on. It also permits parallel processing and skills-based routing. The non-tangible benefits include raising employee retention due to simpler working mechanism. The biggest benefit is the possibility of decentralising operations without losing control,” feels Subramanian.

“We have a state-of-the-art insurance architecture and are trying to standardise it in terms of service levels and for compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We will use IT as a strategic tool to provide functional value from sales automation, for agency remuneration, and customer and agency portals, which integrate into the transaction system through overflows. We also have a clear Business Continuity plan (BCP) as a part of BS7799 standards.” says Subramanian.

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