As the pace of business in the insurance industry continues to grow, agencies are increasingly looking to technology to help them better manage their daily operations and grow their businesses. Jeff Hiegert, senior customer advisor for insurance at Hyland, is taking us through the many different ways technology solutions are improving every facet of today’s modern insurers.Read Transcript
|Kate Storey:||Welcome to the Paperless Productivity podcast, where we give you the tips, tricks and know how to solve your biggest workflow challenges, and bring great productivity into your workplace every day.
Papers, and evidence, and claims, oh my. You know, I recently watched The Wizard of Oz again for the first time in several years and it got me thinking, Dorothy’s arrival into Munchkin Land was just an insurance claim waiting to happen. If her house had dropped on the Wicked Witch of the East today, you can be sure that her evil sister would be filing a theft claim on those ruby slippers, and probably whipping out her cellphone to capture photos and videos of the scene as well.
So, how might the Insurance Magistrate of Munchkin Land, or in more realistic terms, today’s modern insurers, pull all that information together to quickly and accurately process the claim? How do you keep multiple forms of information in different forms easily accessible across different parties while still providing superior customer service? Because even the Wicked Witch of the West deserves an excellent customer experience.
Our guest today is Jeff Hiegert, Senior Customer Advisor for Insurance at Hyland, ImageSoft’s technology partner. Jeff might not be the Wizard of Oz, but he can tell us more about how we can follow the Insure Tech Road to find the digital solutions that will help insurers live a little more happily ever after. Thanks for being part of today’s discussion, Jeff.
|Jeff Hiegert:||Thank you, Kate. I’m very happy to be here.|
|Kate:||Great. So we had a little fun in the intro, but I know that one of the biggest difficulties insurers face is improving operational efficiency, especially as the pace of business in the insurance industry continues to increase. Why is it business technology solution the answer to that issue? What are some of the most impactful ways that insurers can use technology to make sure that their business is running more smoothly and efficiently?|
|Jeff:||Good question. Some time ago Arthur C. Clark said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. So, who knows? Maybe I am from Oz.|
|Kate:||I like that. That’s great.|
|Jeff:||Anyway, I think that quote really holds true with today’s technology, whether it’s artificial intelligence, or machine learning, or simply converting paper documents and the information that’s on them into actionable data. What we can accomplish with technology today would appear to be magic to an insurer from not so long ago. Technology enables us to do so much more and be so much efficient and effective at conducting the business of insurance than we used to. That’s really the core of most of the technology projects I’ve been a part of, it’s how can we do what we do better and faster? More importantly, how can we do it more in tune with what our customers expect from an integration and an implementation, and an interaction standpoint?|
|Kate:||Yeah, it seems that the expectations along with that business pace really continued to increase. We’ll talk about the customer side a little bit later, but something that I know in terms of expectations that insurers often have to face is the pressures from regulations and meeting state and federal requirements in order to stay compliant. I’m sure that adds quite a level of expectation and pressure as well. How can insurers implement technology to make sure that they’re helping to manage those requirements, and make it easy to report out the right information?|
|Jeff:||Yeah, that’s right. Maintaining compliance with both external regulations and internal service levels can be difficult. In many situations, maintaining compliance works directly against productivity and efficiency. So really, carriers need to look at leveraging the capabilities of modern process management and case management technology that can greatly simplify that challenge.
I was at a conference recently, and one of the speakers talked about leveraging technology to reduce the cognitive load of the human processor. When you think about that, it’s about your knowledge workers, your claims examiners, your underwriters that are required to constantly choose between what’s quick and fast versus what’s complaint. They may not always be making the right decision.
Carriers need to look at letting workflow and process management, and case management technologies manage the compliance requirements of a process. That enables their knowledge workers to focus more on improving the experience for the customer. There’s no getting around compliance. The technology can certainly help ensure compliance without sacrificing efficiency.
|Kate:||Yeah, I can imagine that that puts quite a burden on the insurers, and those processes internally making sure that everything is managed well while still needed to meet those external expectations from customers. I know that that part of the technology really helps to help things internally, but what about customer-facing? For better business management, what are some ways that these solutions could benefit the customer experience overall?|
|Jeff:||That’s right. It’s no secret. Consumers are becoming more digitally oriented. They look at the way they engage with their insurance company, and wonder why it can’t be like other companies: retailers and banks for example. As a result, they’re looking for, or actually more expecting, digital channels to communicate with their insurance provider to submit information and content, to access information about their policy or pending transaction.
The carriers really need to understand how their current as well as their future customer base is going to want to interact with them and use technology to meet those expectations. That means establishing mobile and digital channels in addition to the more traditional channels of communication. That means making content available to them in a self-service channel, and digitizing traditional paper-based processes.
It’s about using technology to meet your customer where they want to be met. In many cases, that’s online.
|Kate:||Yeah, is there anything else that you think that insurers really need to be able to focus on? You mentioned focusing on now as well as in the future. What else do you think insurers need to be thinking about when they’re choosing a technology solution? What do they need to keep kind of top of mind?|
|Jeff:||I think it’s important to have a plan before they set out on any technology projects. I’ve seen too many times where companies will acquire or build technology solutions, and then look for a problem to solve with it. That’s never going to work. It’s really important to get the business and IT on the same page in terms of identifying what the root business problem is first, and then kind of defining together what “better” looks like, better from both a process and technology standpoint. What does “better” look like now, and what will it look like in three years or five years?
Going digital, or implementing technology, should never really be the end goal of a project. That’s just the method by which the goal is achieved. It’s important to pair up with a partner, a technology vendor that has experience and a proven track record to not only solve the business challenges of today, but help you set up a situation in an environment to help you solve challenges that you know will come in the future.
Again, it’s not about just employing technology for technology’s sake, it’s transformation by design, defining what the end looks like, what “good” looks like in your particular business situation, and then the business and the IT side work together to come to fruition.
|Kate:||I would imagine that a strong technology system would allow that type of collaboration, right? Because I think that’s a good point that you made, that it’s not just one department that makes these types of decisions. The business department has to work with the IT department, which I imagine trickles over into other areas of the business as well. I would imagine that having a solution that allows all the important stakeholders to be able to contribute and feel in the loop is probably pretty critical.|
|Kate:||We’ve seen a lot of advancements in the core platforms that are available for claims and policy management. Do you think adopting a modern core platform is enough? Or do carriers need to do more?|
|Jeff:||That’s also a very good question. I think it really comes down to a wrap or replace decision. Carriers that have legacy platforms for policy management or claims management, who maybe aren’t ready for or don’t have the appetite or the budget to acquire a modern core system can look to solutions like what ImageSoft and Hyland provide that kind of can wrap around those legacy systems and provide them with the ability to run additional business rules and manage content, and manage processes and tasks that fall outside of the capabilities of those legacy systems giving them the ability to digitize things without maybe having to do the larger investment of a core replacement.
If they are a carrier that is looking at replacing their core platform, or has already done so recently, you’re right. Those platforms have made a lot of strides. They’re much more flexible, they’re based on business rules, you can adapt to changes in the marketplace, you can get products to market much faster. But those systems certainly can’t do everything from end to end of a business process. That’s where you still need systems and technology from a process and content management space to, again, kind of augment the capabilities that the newer platforms are providing, again, to manage the tasks and the content, and activities that need to be managed outside of that core system.
|Kate:||Jeff, can you share some examples of how carriers have augmented capabilities of their core systems with additional technology?|
|Jeff:||Sure. It looks a little different from carriers that retain their legacy systems versus those that have invested on modern core technology. If you’re talking about a legacy system, one that’s older, doesn’t have a lot of intuitive user interfaces… So what I’ve seen carriers do is leverage processing content management or case management platforms to sort of sit in front of those systems and provide their associates, their underwriters, their claims examiners with a more modern user interface.
We can use business rules and electronic forms to basically recreate entry to where it’s a more streamlined, and a more seamless process for the end user to interact with those legacy core systems and they’re not using the green screens or the mainframe type of technology. It makes them more efficient. It makes it easier for them to do their job. On the other side where you’ve got situations where you’ve got modern platforms that are in place, most of those have the ability to develop pretty intuitive user screens as they’re navigating through a particular transaction, where those maybe fall a little bit short in terms of content management.
In those situations, we don’t necessarily put a system in front of those systems. We put technology behind those systems that can render content within the context of the stream that they are using. If I’m on Claim Number 123, I can immediately render content or render all the documents that are related to Claim 123 so that the user doesn’t have to use “swivel chair” technology by logging in and out of different systems and different technologies.
It’s all about presenting the end user with the content within the context of what they’re processing, whether that’s sitting behind and supporting a modern core system, or sitting in front of a legacy system and providing a better user interface.
|Kate:||All right, great. Where can our listeners find more information about insurance solutions from Hyland?|
|Jeff:||I guess the first place I would have them start would be going to Hyland.com or OnBase.com, or ImageSoft.com. There, they’ll be able to find all kinds of information about Hyland, about ImageSoft, about our experience in the insurance industry, and how we have helped insurance organizations achieve their goals, as well as information about our industry-specific solutions that are available to them. They can also, from these websites, request a demonstration and see how OnBase or any of the other technology offerings that Hyland has, can help them achieve their goals.|
|Kate:||Great. Well, thank you so much Jeff. It was really great to have you on the show, and I appreciate you sharing some of this insight today.|
|Jeff:||Thank you, Kate. It was a pleasure speaking with you today.|
|Kate:||All right. Well thank you everyone for joining us today. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Paperless Productivity where we tackle some of the biggest paper-based pain points facing organizations today. We’ll see you next time.
Thanks again for joining us today for this episode of Paperless Productivity. This podcast is sponsored by ImageSoft, the paperless process people, which you can learn more about at ImageSoftInc.com. That’s ImageSoftInc.com. Join us next time where you’ll learn how to harness the power of technology, supercharge efficiency, and accomplish your organization’s goals.