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Content is King in Digital World, Integration Helps Manage It

The next wave of enterprise content management solutions can greatly enhance an organization’s ability to capture, share, control and secure content.
By: | November 28, 2017 • 6 min read

InsurTech generates a lot of buzz in the insurance industry. But many of the emerging technologies are focused on the future, rather than the here and now. Reinventing the customer experience and tapping into new data sources to revolutionize underwriting — these trends are promising, but won’t be realized overnight.

Nonetheless, the growing focus on InsurTech and the future of insurance is driving conversations among insurance executives about ways to modernize existing processes and capture more immediate benefits. Many firms refer to these strategies as digital transformation.

“As carriers think about innovation, they are also examining their present state. Today, they have to address how they manage data and communicate information to their employees, agents, brokers and insureds. For many insurers, it is a Herculean task,” said Charlie Hanna, Director Domestic Insurance Sales, Hyland, creator of OnBase.

Brokers increasingly call for easier access to data and a more collaborative relationship with underwriters. While some carriers have experimented with online agent portals, they’ve typically been limited in their functionality.

“There is a bit of panic among legacy carriers about information and distribution,” Hanna said. “That back-and-forth between carriers and their distribution networks is where a lot of hang-ups exist. The exchange of information with brokers should be seamless in order to aid the underwriting process.”

Existing enterprise content management (ECM) solutions can help, but a new class of true enterprise solutions are emerging that can greatly enhance an organization’s ability to capture, share, control and secure content.

From ECM to Content Services: The Emergence of True Enterprise Solutions

Charlie Hanna, Director Domestic Insurance Sales

Most insurers are familiar with ECM as a document management solution. ECM’s basic capabilities allow organizations to scan paper documents to create digital versions, store that data and retrieve it when needed.

Despite referencing the ‘enterprise’ in its name, ECM systems are often siloed by department, with little integration between claims and underwriting functions and limited ability to communicate directly with other systems or distributors. “Implementing ECM as a departmental solution really misses the vision of what an enterprise-wide system is supposed to be,” said Cara McFarlane, Industry Marketing Manager, Hyland. “Legacy ECM platforms typically act as self-contained data repositories with no ability to share information.”

The growing volume of data available to insurers from both paper and digital channels calls for more access and transparency. This growth is requiring insurers to evaluate new ways to ingest, interrogate, process and secure data so they can leverage it and communicate it to all stakeholders.

“Today, insurers need a broader and more integrated Content Services solution that relies less on paper, enables collaboration both internally and externally, and can automate some workflow processes,” McFarlane said.

Analysts at research and advisory firm Gartner, who regularly assess the competitiveness of players in the technology market, recognized the need for a more integrated solution.

This year, Gartner did away with the term “ECM” altogether. In its place, they created the category of “Content Services Platform Providers” to better describe these next generation solutions and to track and prioritize functionalities and benefits.

Best-in-Class Content Services

Cara McFarlane, Industry Marketing Manager

By Gartner’s definition, Content Services Platforms (CSP) provide an integrated suite of products that can work with diverse content types and provide access to that data to different branches within an organization. They enable the sharing of content, information and data across organizations and between many applications in real-time.

With the ability to integrate with both internal and external programs, CSPs signify a shift from the self-contained data repositories of ECM to open access systems.

But what does a best-in-class Content Services Platform look like, and what advantages does it offer over ECM?

1. Core System Integration

“Back-end integration is the key benefit,” McFarlane said.

A modern CSP can work with carriers’ existing legacy frameworks as well as modern core solutions — like Duck Creek and Guidewire — to cut down on implementation time and begin delivering benefits almost immediately.

“Insurers need solutions that will allow them to incorporate some modern capabilities on the front end while still relying on their legacy platforms to provide the architecture. It’s like renovating an old house so it looks and feels new, but the foundation is the same,” McFarlane said.

“This allows for better user interfaces, more mobility, and some added security features without having to overhaul the back end all at one time.”

2. Enterprise Application Integration

“A true enterprise solution has to cooperate with modern business applications, like the Microsoft suite of products,” Hanna said. “So many people live their lives in Outlook. They have to pull data easily from emails, from Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. And the system has to read and route that data automatically without hiccups.”

Out-of-the-box integrations ensure that system upgrades, whether in the existing application or the CSP, won’t break the functionality. Windows updates, in other words, shouldn’t impact the CSP’s ability to work with Microsoft programs.

3. Real-Time Data Sharing

Internally, core systems share stored data with the Content Services Platform. Different departments then use that platform to share information with each other. An integrated platform connects these functions and provides one place where users can see, work with and share data without requiring special permissions.

“This allows for a user to stay inside of their core business application but still have a 360-degree view of whatever they’re working on at that time, whether it’s processing new business or managing a claim,” Hanna said. “And they don’t have to make a phone call to get access to the information they need. They have it at their fingertips.

4. Security and Compliance

It goes without saying that any modern platform must also come with robust security features that not only protect data, but also keep insurers in compliance.

“You need the ability to set parameters on who can see which pieces of data,” Hanna said.

Information viewable through a customer portal, for example, could be limited to a single claims mediator, and made available only for a limited period of time. File-share tools should require dual-authentication by the recipient to ensure content is reaching the right target.

“A Content Services Platform should also track every action taken with every piece of data so there is a granular audit trail. If an insurer is doing everything right, this is their first legal line of defense if regulators come knocking,” Hanna said.

5. Outbound Communication

A best-in-class CSP should also package raw data for outbound communication. This comes back to automated interrogation and processing of data.

If data can be categorized and routed quickly and accurately, it enables users to easily grab the pieces of information they need to create a customized piece of communication — whether that’s a policy or a general customer letter — and securely send it out to distribution networks via email or a file-sharing tool.

Ahead of the Curve

Hyland has been at the forefront of the digital transformation wave. Its enterprise content services platform, OnBase, has offered all of these features for years and helped to drive the designation of “Content Services” as a new category. The software company’s work in the ECM space earned a recognition from Gartner as a top provider.

“Digital transformation is making its way through the insurance industry. Sophisticated carriers have made the switch from paper to digital, but handling content, data and information that comes from a variety of sources — that is the next hurdle,” Hanna said.

Automated data processing, streamlined workflows and improved communication also translates to big savings and a boost to the bottom line. Because the upfront cost of changing back-end functions often stalls carriers, Hyland offers a value assessment that projects a potential client’s savings over five years if they implement OnBase.

One tier-1 carrier stood to save $35 million over five years by creating workflow efficiencies and reducing paper-based processes.

“And that was a conservative estimate,” Hanna said.

To learn more, visit https://www.onbase.com/en/product#.WgHaRmhSyUk.

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This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Hyland. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.




Hyland is a leader in providing software solutions for managing content, processes and cases for organizations across the globe. For over 25 years, Hyland has enabled more than 19,000 organizations to digitalize their workplaces and fundamentally transform their operations. Named one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For® since 2014, Hyland is widely known as both a great company to work for and a great company to do business with.

Risk Management

The Profession: Curt Gross

This director of risk management sees cyber, IP and reputation risks as evolving threats, but more formal education may make emerging risk professionals better prepared.
By: | June 1, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

My first non-professional job was working at Burger King in high school. I learned some valuable life lessons there.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

After taking some accounting classes in high school, I originally thought I wanted to be an accountant. After working on a few Widgets Inc. projects in college, I figured out that wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Risk management found me. The rest is history. Looking back, I am pleased with how things worked out.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

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I think we do a nice job on post graduate education. I think the ARM and CPCU designations give credibility to the profession. Plus, formal college risk management degrees are becoming more popular these days. I know The University of Akron just launched a new risk management bachelor’s program in the fall of 2017 within the business school.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

I think we could do a better job with streamlining certificates of insurance or, better yet, evaluating if they are even necessary. It just seems to me that there is a significant amount of time and expense around generating certificates. There has to be a more efficient way.

R&I: What was the best location and year for the RIMS conference and why?

Selfishly, I prefer a destination with a direct flight when possible. RIMS does a nice job of selecting various locations throughout the country. It is a big job to successfully pull off a conference of that size.

Curt Gross, Director of Risk Management, Parker Hannifin Corp.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

Definitely the change in nontraditional property & casualty exposures such as intellectual property and reputational risk. Those exposures existed way back when but in different ways. As computer networks become more and more connected and news travels at a more rapid pace, it just amplifies these types of exposures. Sometimes we have to think like the perpetrator, which can be difficult to do.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

I hate to sound cliché — it’s quite the buzz these days — but I would have to say cyber. It’s such a complex risk involving nontraditional players and motives. Definitely a challenging exposure to get your arms around. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll really know the true exposure until there is more claim development.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

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Our captive insurance company. I’ve been fortunate to work for several companies with a captive, each one with a different operating objective. I view a captive as an essential tool for a successful risk management program.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

I can’t point to just one. I have and continue to be lucky to work for really good managers throughout my career. Each one has taken the time and interest to develop me as a professional. I certainly haven’t arrived yet and welcome feedback to continue to try to be the best I can be every day.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

I would like to think I have and continue to bring meaningful value to my company. However, I would have to say my family is my proudest accomplishment.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

Favorite movie is definitely “Good Will Hunting.”

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

Tough question to narrow down. If my wife ran a restaurant, it would be hers. We try to have dinner as a family as much as possible. If I had to pick one restaurant though, I would say Fire Food & Drink in Cleveland, Ohio. Chef Katz is a culinary genius.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

The Grand Canyon. It is just so vast. A close second is Stonehenge.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

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A few, actually. Up until a few years ago, I owned a sport bike (motorcycle). Of course, I wore the proper gear, took a safety course and read a motorcycle safety book. Also, I have taken a few laps in a NASCAR [race car] around Daytona International Speedway at 180 mph. Most recently, trying to ride my daughter’s skateboard.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

The Dalai Lama. A world full of compassion, tolerance and patience and free of discrimination, racism and violence, while perhaps idealistic, sounds like a wonderful place to me.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

I really enjoy the company I work for and my role, because I get the opportunity to work with various functions. For example, while mostly finance, I get to interact with legal, human resources, employee health and safety, to name a few.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

I asked my son. He said, “Risk management and insurance.” (He’s had the benefit of bring-your-kid-to-work day.)

Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]