Sponsored Content by Hyland

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.



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.

Exclusive | Hank Greenberg on China Trade, Starr’s Rapid Growth and 100th, Spitzer, Schneiderman and More

In a robust and frank conversation, the insurance legend provides unique insights into global trade, his past battles and what the future holds for the industry and his company.
By: | October 12, 2018 • 12 min read

In 1960, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was hired as a vice president of C.V. Starr & Co. At age 35, he had already accomplished a great deal.

He served his country as part of the Allied Forces that stormed the beaches at Normandy and liberated the Nazi death camps. He fought again during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star. He held a law degree from New York Law School.


Now he was ready to make his mark on the business world.

Even C.V. Starr himself — who hired Mr. Greenberg and later hand-picked him as the successor to the company he founded in Shanghai in 1919 — could not have imagined what a mark it would be.

Mr. Greenberg began to build AIG as a Starr subsidiary, then in 1969, he took it public. The company would, at its peak, achieve a market cap of some $180 billion and cement its place as the largest insurance and financial services company in history.

This month, Mr. Greenberg travels to China to celebrate the 100th anniversary of C.V. Starr & Co. That visit occurs at a prickly time in U.S.-Sino relations, as the Trump administration levies tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods and China retaliates.

In September, Risk & Insurance® sat down with Mr. Greenberg in his Park Avenue office to hear his thoughts on the centennial of C.V. Starr, the dynamics of U.S. trade relationships with China and the future of the U.S. insurance industry as it faces the challenges of technology development and talent recruitment and retention, among many others. What follows is an edited transcript of that discussion.

R&I: One hundred years is quite an impressive milestone for any company. Celebrating the anniversary in China signifies the importance and longevity of that relationship. Can you tell us more about C.V. Starr’s history with China?

Hank Greenberg: We have a long history in China. I first went there in 1975. There was little there, but I had business throughout Asia, and I stopped there all the time. I’d stop there a couple of times a year and build relationships.

When I first started visiting China, there was only one state-owned insurance company there, PICC (the People’s Insurance Company of China); it was tiny at the time. We helped them to grow.

I also received the first foreign life insurance license in China, for AIA (The American International Assurance Co.). To date, there has been no other foreign life insurance company in China. It took me 20 years of hard work to get that license.

We also introduced an agency system in China. They had none. Their life company employees would get a salary whether they sold something or not. With the agency system of course you get paid a commission if you sell something. Once that agency system was installed, it went on to create more than a million jobs.

R&I: So Starr’s success has meant success for the Chinese insurance industry as well.

Hank Greenberg: That’s partly why we’re going to be celebrating that anniversary there next month. That celebration will occur alongside that of IBLAC (International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council), an international business advisory group that was put together when Zhu Rongji was the mayor of Shanghai [Zhu is since retired from public life]. He asked me to start that to attract foreign companies to invest in Shanghai.

“It turns out that it is harder [for China] to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

Shanghai and China in general were just coming out of the doldrums then; there was a lack of foreign investment. Zhu asked me to chair IBLAC and to help get it started, which I did. I served as chairman of that group for a couple of terms. I am still a part of that board, and it will be celebrating its 30th anniversary along with our 100th anniversary.


We have a good relationship with China, and we’re candid as you can tell from the op-ed I published in the Wall Street Journal. I’m told that my op-ed was received quite well in China, by both Chinese companies and foreign companies doing business there.

On August 29, Mr. Greenberg published an opinion piece in the WSJ reminding Chinese leaders of the productive history of U.S.-Sino relations and suggesting that Chinese leaders take pragmatic steps to ease trade tensions with the U.S.

R&I: What’s your outlook on current trade relations between the U.S. and China?

Hank Greenberg: As to the current environment, when you are in negotiations, every leader negotiates differently.

President Trump is negotiating based on his well-known approach. What’s different now is that President Xi (Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China) made himself the emperor. All the past presidents in China before the revolution had two terms. He’s there for life, which makes things much more difficult.

R&I: Sure does. You’ve got a one- or two-term president talking to somebody who can wait it out. It’s definitely unique.

Hank Greenberg: So, clearly a lot of change is going on in China. Some of it is good. But as I said in the op-ed, China needs to be treated like the second largest economy in the world, which it is. And it will be the number one economy in the world in not too many years. That means that you can’t use the same terms of trade that you did 25 or 30 years ago.

They want to have access to our market and other markets. Fine, but you have to have reciprocity, and they have not been very good at that.

R&I: What stands in the way of that happening?

Hank Greenberg: I think there are several substantial challenges. One, their structure makes it very difficult. They have a senior official, a regulator, who runs a division within the government for insurance. He keeps that job as long as he does what leadership wants him to do. He may not be sure what they want him to do.

For example, the president made a speech many months ago saying they are going to open up banking, insurance and a couple of additional sectors to foreign investment; nothing happened.

The reason was that the head of that division got changed. A new administrator came in who was not sure what the president wanted so he did nothing. Time went on and the international community said, “Wait a minute, you promised that you were going to do that and you didn’t do that.”

So the structure is such that it is very difficult. China can’t react as fast as it should. That will change, but it is going to take time.

R&I: That’s interesting, because during the financial crisis in 2008 there was talk that China, given their more centralized authority, could react more quickly, not less quickly.

Hank Greenberg: It turns out that it is harder to change, because they have one leader. My guess is that we’ll work it out sooner or later. Trump and Xi have to meet. That will result in some agreement that will get to them and they will have to finish the rest of the negotiations. I believe that will happen.

R&I: Obviously, you have a very unique perspective and experience in China. For American companies coming to China, what are some of the current challenges?


Hank Greenberg: Well, they very much want to do business in China. That’s due to the sheer size of the country, at 1.4 billion people. It’s a very big market and not just for insurance companies. It’s a whole range of companies that would like to have access to China as easily as Chinese companies have access to the United States. As I said previously, that has to be resolved.

It’s not going to be easy, because China has a history of not being treated well by other countries. The U.S. has been pretty good in that way. We haven’t taken advantage of China.

R&I: Your op-ed was very enlightening on that topic.

Hank Greenberg: President Xi wants to rebuild the “middle kingdom,” to what China was, a great country. Part of that was his takeover of the South China Sea rock islands during the Obama Administration; we did nothing. It’s a little late now to try and do something. They promised they would never militarize those islands. Then they did. That’s a real problem in Southern Asia. The other countries in that region are not happy about that.

R&I: One thing that has differentiated your company is that it is not a public company, and it is not a mutual company. We think you’re the only large insurance company with that structure at that scale. What advantages does that give you?

Hank Greenberg: Two things. First of all, we’re more than an insurance company. We have the traditional investment unit with the insurance company. Then we have a separate investment unit that we started, which is very successful. So we have a source of income that is diverse. We don’t have to underwrite business that is going to lose a lot of money. Not knowingly anyway.

R&I: And that’s because you are a private company?

Hank Greenberg: Yes. We attract a different type of person in a private company.

R&I: Do you think that enables you to react more quickly?

Hank Greenberg: Absolutely. When we left AIG there were three of us. Myself, Howie Smith and Ed Matthews. Howie used to run the internal financials and Ed Matthews was the investment guy coming out of Morgan Stanley when I was putting AIG together. We started with three people and now we have 3,500 and growing.

“I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.” — Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.

R&I:  You being forced to leave AIG in 2005 really was an injustice, by the way. AIG wouldn’t have been in the position it was in 2008 if you had still been there.


Hank Greenberg: Absolutely not. We had all the right things in place. We met with the financial services division once a day every day to make sure they stuck to what they were supposed to do. Even Hank Paulson, the Secretary of Treasury, sat on the stand during my trial and said that if I’d been at the company, it would not have imploded the way it did.

R&I: And that fateful decision the AIG board made really affected the course of the country.

Hank Greenberg: So many people lost all of their net worth. The new management was taking on billions of dollars’ worth of risk with no collateral. They had decimated the internal risk management controls. And the government takeover of the company when the financial crisis blew up was grossly unfair.

From the time it went public, AIG’s value had increased from $300 million to $180 billion. Thanks to Eliot Spitzer, it’s now worth a fraction of that. His was a gross misuse of the Martin Act. It gives the Attorney General the power to investigate without probable cause and bring fraud charges without having to prove intent. Only in New York does the law grant the AG that much power.

R&I: It’s especially frustrating when you consider the quality of his own character, and the scandal he was involved in.

In early 2008, Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap arranging a meeting with a prostitute at a Washington Hotel and resigned shortly thereafter.

Hank Greenberg: Yes. And it’s been successive. Look at Eric Schneiderman. He resigned earlier this year when it came out that he had abused several women. And this was after he came out so strongly against other men accused of the same thing. To me it demonstrates hypocrisy and abuse of power.

Schneiderman followed in Spitzer’s footsteps in leveraging the Martin Act against numerous corporations to generate multi-billion dollar settlements.

R&I: Starr, however, continues to thrive. You said you’re at 3,500 people and still growing. As you continue to expand, how do you deal with the challenge of attracting talent?

Hank Greenberg: We did something last week.

On September 16th, St. John’s University announced the largest gift in its 148-year history. The Starr Foundation donated $15 million to the school, establishing the Maurice R. Greenberg Leadership Initiative at St. John’s School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science.

Hank Greenberg: We have recruited from St. John’s for many, many years. These are young people who want to be in the insurance industry. They don’t get into it by accident. They study to become proficient in this and we have recruited some very qualified individuals from that school. But we also recruit from many other universities. On the investment side, outside of the insurance industry, we also recruit from Wall Street.

R&I: We’re very interested in how you and other leaders in this industry view technology and how they’re going to use it.

Hank Greenberg: I think technology can play a role in reducing operating expenses. In the last 70 years, you have seen the expense ratio of the industry rise, and I’m not sure the industry can afford a 35 percent expense ratio. But while technology can help, some additional fundamental changes will also be required.

R&I: So as the pre-eminent leader of the insurance industry, what do you see in terms of where insurance is now an where it’s going?

Hank Greenberg: The country and the world will always need insurance. That doesn’t mean that what we have today is what we’re going to have 25 years from now.

How quickly the change comes and how far it will go will depend on individual companies and individual countries. Some will be more brave than others. But change will take place, there is no doubt about it.


More will go on in space, there is no question about that. We’re involved in it right now as an insurance company, and it will get broader.

One of the things you have to worry about is it’s now a nuclear world. It’s a more dangerous world. And again, we have to find some way to deal with that.

So, change is inevitable. You need people who can deal with change.

R&I:  Is there anything else, Mr. Greenberg, you want to comment on?

Hank Greenberg: I think I’ve covered it. &

The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]