Important Innovations in the Cloud

IBM Content Manager OnDemand on Cloud is an Enabling Platform to Improve Performance

KevinCraine By Kevin Craine

“The Cloud” is a popular buzzword today, but it’s more than just the latest technological catchphrase. Cloud computing is a fundamental shift in information technology that is changing the way we do business.

In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive. In the most expansive terms, it means that organizations are no longer tethered to need to invest in, build out and maintain much of the systems and software needed to operate and innovate.

Removing Complexity and Cost

The shift to the cloud has opened the door for organizations of all sizes and from all industries to adopt new technologies and business strategies that would have been too costly and complex to undertake in the past. The adoption of cloud-based solutions and services has exploded as a result. According to a report from Gartner earlier this year, 75% of organizations use public cloud services today and 78% plan to increase their investment in the cloud in the next three years.

Clearly, the shift to the cloud is more than a fad, but what are the advantages over traditional local computing? They include reduced spending on infrastructure, economies of scale, easier ramp-up and expansion, and less technology and training to worry about. And since it takes fewer people to do more work on the cloud, with a minimal learning curve, organizations gain advantage with improved flexibility and a renewed focus on their core competencies and business.

Cloud-based Content Management

Beyond the savings and efficiencies, the cloud is enabling a number of important innovations and strategies that bring even more expansive advantages. One of those advancements was announced earlier this year by IBM with the release of their Content Manager OnDemand on Cloud product.

IBM’s CMOD on Cloud is a significant innovation because these days how well organizations manage content has everything to do with organizational performance. Indeed, business and customer content plays a vital role in almost every aspect of the enterprise – new client acquisition, customer service, revenue generation, spending – all these and more depend deeply on the effective and efficient use of information. Yet despite the increasing digitization of business today, most organizations still distribute the lion’s share of transaction-related content through print documents—even though it is an expensive and inefficient process for both back-office users and customers.

The Cloud and CMOD – an Enabling Platform

The pairing of IBM CMOD and the cloud is an enabling platform to eliminate the burden of paper and improve how organizations manage and leverage enterprise content overall. The improvements include the ability to manage the electronic capture of documents in the cloud, enhance customer service by empowering service reps with anytime/anywhere access to customer correspondence and related data, and the ability to provide customer self-service through the integration of consumer-facing applications and web portals, to name just a few – all without the need to invest in and maintain the technical infrastructure.

Focus on Core Business, Not Technology

Organizations are now able to focus on core business activities rather than being IT shops. Instead of buying it, building it, and maintaining it in house, organizations are free to look to the cloud instead where resources and services are supported elsewhere. In the past, important aspects of Enterprise Content Management like report definition, indexing, security, and document presentment and distribution all fell within the scope and responsibility of the customer enterprise. Today, with solutions like Content Manager OnDemand on Cloud, organizations are able to offload that burden, reduce spending on technology, increase performance with fewer people, and react more responsively to changing conditions in the market.

Moving Forward

How can you move forward and take advantage? One way is to download this IBM Content Manager OnDemand Solution Brief. It details how the solution works and explores in more depth the synergies and advantages using Content Manager OnDemand on Cloud in order to reduce your storage costs and optimize your customer service. Whatever path you choose to take better advantage of the cloud, look for trustworthy providers and partners with the right mix of expertise, capability and vision that will allow you to make the most of the important innovations available to improve organizational performance.

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Guest contributor Kevin Craine is the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy, host of Everyday MBA on C-Suite Radio, and a respected authority on document management and process improvement. He is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. For more information visit CraineGroup.com.

A Customer Story – Shaping a Better Customer Experience in the Insurance Industry

Today’s Guest Post: Misty Ahmadi, WW Content Marketing Manager, IBM Case Manager

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, the insurance industry is quickly changing. Focus and the power of choice have shifted to the customer and insurers have to work harder to satisfy and retain these customers.

One insurance agency that quickly realized that their customers were expecting faster, more personalized service was the Great American Insurance Group’s Property & Casualty Group. They decided to make a shift in how they approached underwriting and claims content processing in order to retain customers. They decided to become more agile than their competitors.

By pairing up with IBM Business Partner Pyramid Solutions, Great American Insurance Group’s Property & Casualty Group decided to replace its existing ECM underwriting and claims solutions with Pyramid’s Insurance eXpeditor solutions, based on IBM’s advanced case management offerings.

“Improved case management capabilities will allow our underwriters and claims adjusters to focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience.” – Derick Deleo, Divisional AVP-Enterprise Content Management, Property & Casualty Group IT Division, Great American Insurance Group.

By focusing on creating a case management solution that is user-friendly, intuitive, and correctly automated, Great American is now able to customize business processes on a single platform, and still cater to the unique needs of each unit and department. This solution allows the insurance group to view all necessary customer information quickly, and narrow in to pieces of information as needed. This then empowers insurers to respond to customer requests quicker and will enable higher-quality service.

To learn more about how Great American Insurance Group’s Property & Casualty Group benefited from a customized IBM solution, please visit our Business Case Study page here.

Why Case Management is a good fit for insurance claims

What are the challenges that organizations face when processing claims? Very often it is the very nature and structure of a claim the make a simple answer difficult… because the unpredictability and variations that can be found in claims are often the biggest challenges. I am going to examine why a Claim is one of the business processes that is well suited to using a Case Management tool to process a claim. I will examine the number of activities, unpredictability of a claim, the events that trigger activities and the structure of the claim entity to show this.

If we start off at the beginning, a claim is a request for compensation of some sort being made due to an incident. This incident is referred to as the loss and triggers the claim by the claimant submitting their loss notice. In the past this would be done through the completion of a paper document, in today’s world this is no longer the case. The notice of loss can occur through a phone call, an online form, a mobile app or several other methods.

Activities

Let’s use an example that most people are familiar with, a claim from an automobile accident. When we look at an automobile accident it can range from a single car fender-bender to a serious incident involving loss of life and criminal charges. The list of activities that may need to be performed within a claim are well defined within an organization. The list below contains some of the common activities that can occur when processing a claim:

  • Loss Review
  • Estimate Review
  • Medical Review
  • Legal Review
  • Subrogation
  • Payment
  • Escalation
  • Approval
  • Rejection
  • Appeal

This is by no means a complete list, but just an example of some activities that may be involved in a claim.  Here is the question, which of these activities and how often will they be needed to resolve the claim? The answer is… it depends.

Unpredictability

Each claim is different, even though the incidents and characteristics of the claims may be similar, the exact activities and decisions made to execute them is varied.  Which activities will be needed for this claim are dependent on the details of the claim. Take a moment to look at the questions below an try to think of what types of activities might be  needed depending on the answer to the questions.

  • How many vehicles were involved in the accident?
  • Were there injuries in the accident and if so, how severe were the injuries?
  • Are all claimants policy holders of this provider?
  • Who was at fault in the accident?
  • What happens if the repair ends up being more complex than the original estimate?
  • What happens if a lawsuit is filed?
  • Which coverage may be the responsibility of the other claimants insurance provider?
  • ….

The questions could go on and on. A claim requires that a knowledge worker know not only how to answer these questions but which ones to ask. Due to the wide variety of variables and the number of events that can occur in a claim a large amount of flexibility is required in determining the activities that should be launched. Business rules can be applied to automate the launching of some activities but because of the nature of a claim and the fact that information may change as it is processed necessitates flexibility to be available to the knowledge workers. This cannot be done within a structured workflow process. Ultimately the claim process is very dependent on the knowledge of a person performing the process.

Event and Content Driven

Many of the activities within a claim are event driven. This means that a certain action within the claim will trigger certain activities to be executed or required. This could be a change in claim data, a decision by a user, a decision by the claim processor or the arrival of content. A case based claim system must be able to react to and handle each of these events.

Within an organization the data and user-based events (most of them) can be easily defined and managed. The arrival of documents (the most common and familiar form of content) can trigger activities within the system. But within a claim, third parties are often involved and they often provide content that impacts the processing of a claim.

It is essential that a claim processing system be able to react and interact with the arriving content. As content is increasingly becoming electronically generated, this expands the level in which it can be integrated into the system.

The list below contains a small sample of the types of content that could impact an automobile claim:

  • Estimate
  • Medical Bill
  • Correspondence
  • Demand
  • Photos
  • Police Report
  • ….

Some of these, such as a demand, may change the priority of a claim and apply a deadline to certain activities. The content within a claim is not simply a collection of documents that are used to process a claim but an essential driver to the overall claims process.

Claim Structure

The claim itself contains all of the essential elements to be a prime candidate for using a Case Management system to assist in the processing of the claim.

  • Data – The claim data is collected and used throughout the process with properties associated with the claim, exposures, property etc.
  • Content – Documents and data from documents drive the process and are referenced within the process
  • Activities – work must be completed to resolve the claim. This work is variable and could be performed in parallel, sequentially and dependent on the nature of the claim.
  • User Driven – Knowledge workers and their decisions not only on what paths to take but what work is needed is critical to the processing of a claim.

It is because of these factors that Case Management and more specifically IBM Case Manager provides a tool that is ideal for building solutions that meet the needs of organizations processing claims. Pyramid Solutions has just released Claims eXpeditor to assist organizations in accurately and effectively processing their claims.  Claims eXpeditor provides a solution that contains the common properties, roles, content definitions and activities needed to quickly configure a solution that is tailored to the specific claims process. Claims eXpeditor is system of enablement designed to act as a complete claims processing solution or to extend and complement existing claims systems.

Visit ecm.pyramidsolutions.com to learn more!

Author Bio:

Brian Benoit is a Technical Consultant for Pyramid Solutions’ ECM practice. He is responsible for pre-sales support and Pyramid product offerings. Brian has over 20 years experience and is recognized as an author of Advanced Case Management with IBM Case Manager Redbook and for developing IBM Case Manager Solutions that are deployed in the financial, insurance and government agencies.

Don’t Get Caught Playing Catch-Up: Stay Up-to-Date with Advances in Insurance Case Management

Today’s Guest Post: Misty Ahmadi, WW Content Marketing Manager, IBM Case Manager

The insurance industry is changing.

I don’t just mean that the industry’s approaches are changing by introducing new spokespeople or investing in Super Bowl commercials. The industry is changing because the customer is changing.

As newer generations of workers are seeking insurance coverage, they’re demanding more flexibility, technology, and commitment to their experience. Is the insurance industry ready to keep up with these demands?

In the latest analyst paper on insurance, titled “Modern Insurance Case Management: Powerful Capabilities, Familiar Tool,” Aite Group explores the complexity of insurance operations and how case management solutions can not only consolidate key data and improve carriers’ operational outcomes, but also how these advances directly impact customer experience.

When an insurance agency is able to effectively and efficiently organize their data and information, they are more open to advances in technology, which allows the organization to react quickly to the growing demands of their customers and workers. Advanced management solutions such as electronic case and content management, text recognition and understanding, and process flexibility helps insurers provide customized experiences to their clients.

Aite Group has found that insurance carriers will see greater retention of policyholders and insurance professionals as a result of improved customer experience that comes from using a modern case management system.

Don’t just keep up – go above and beyond your insurance competitors with IBM Advanced Case Management solutions.

Read more about the changing insurance industry here.

IBM and Box Teams Up in Global Partnership on Cloud Services

IBM has just announced some very big and exciting news: it is teaming up with Box on global cloud services. With this partnership, IBM plans to leverage its industry-leading enterprise and security solutions with Box’s cloud content collaboration platform. This will allow us to combine the best-in-class technologies and solutions from both companies to bring more innovative solutions and services to enterprises worldwide.

More importantly, this is great news for our enterprise content management offerings. We will integrate our industry-leading ECM solutions – such as IBM Content Navigator and IBM Case Manager – with Box to help provide businesses with the most innovative enterprise content solution available. This partnership will allow us to enhance our products to better suit today’s demanding business needs – from a better user experience to expanded product capabilities.

Like with its previous partnership announcements – Apple, Twitter, and Facebook – IBM continues to work tirelessly to bring innovation to its products and services for your enterprise needs and help your business succeed in this rapidly changing world of technology.

Share your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation. Tweet to: @MAttarECM

Biography:
mattarMohammed Attar joined IBM in 2006 as part of the FileNet acquisition. Mohammed has over 15 years of experience in the ECM space, and is currently the IBM Director of ECM Products & Strategy. Mohammed has extensive experience both in product development and management. Mohammed started his career as a Software Engineer focused Performance & Systems Analysis. He later spent time serving as a Product Manager over the IBM ECM Platform. In 2008, Mohammed led his first development team, and since then has continued to serve in a leadership capacity in the business. Mohammed was one of the original development managers responsible for the design, development, and delivery of IBM Case Manager. Mohammed holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton. You can follow him on Twitter @MAttarECM

Announcing the IBM and Box Strategic Partnership

Today’s Post: Doug Hunt, General Manager, IBM Enterprise Content Management

Today, the IBM Corporation entered into a strategic global partnership with Box, a company that helps businesses of all sizes in every industry securely access and manage their critical information in the cloud. This collaboration combines the best-in-class technologies and resources of both companies, transforming how individuals, organizations and industries work by sharing business content through the cloud and via mobile devices.

For clients, this will mean access to integrated solutions that combine industry-leading, on premise ECM capabilities with the leading cloud content collaboration service from Box. An insurance underwriter, for instance, will be able to capture and review inspection reports while mobile, to expedite the approval process; a field worker can access up-to-date manuals to solve problems in real time, while documenting work in a central location to drive collaborative scheduling and planning.

This partnership will provide joint, integrated solutions that will set us on a path that none of our competitors will be able to follow. In addition, this is an acceleration of our move into cloud and will further differentiate us to continue our leadership in the market.

You have seen IBM Case Manager on Cloud and IBM Content Manager OnDemand on Cloud and we have plans to release future offerings on cloud that bring these higher-level ECM functions to our clients as services. And, these services will integrate with Box, further enhancing our strategy and offerings.

The next stages of the ECM journey begin here. I’m excited about how we will help you get there. For more information, please listen to this recorded webcast detailing IBM’s partnership with Box.

Announcing the New Datacap Mobile

Today’s Post: Mark Martin,Advanced Document Imaging and Capture Offering Manager

With the launch of Datacap’s next generation of mobile technology, we’ve taken a big step forward in supporting our customers in their quest for innovative and complete mobile business applications.

Datacap Mobile v9.0.0.2 provides users with a rich, device-centric approach to mobile capture.  Our development team focused on making it as easy as possible for end users to capture documents and process information. For example, instead of taking picture after picture to capture multiple pages, a user can sweep their phone over a batch of documents and the device will select and use the best image of each page.

Datacap Mobile will enhance the image– deskewing it, finding the edges and squaring them up so that any processing will be done on an image of the highest quality possible in order to increase accuracy. And Datacap Mobile supports on device zonal OCR. With the device touch screen, the user can define fields that should be captured, and have the zones processed right on the device.  All of these capabilities are available in Datacap Mobile which can be downloaded from the Apple Appstore and from Google Play. Want to embed these Datacap Mobile capabilities within your own custom application? No problem, you can do that by using the Datacap Mobile Software Developer’s Toolkit that is part of Datacap v9.0.0.2. Use Datacap Mobile however it best suits your needs.

It’s true that all of the features I outlined above are implemented in mobile technology – but if you look a little more closely, they are really about people. They enable you, your employees and your customers to do more with their important documents and to do it more quickly and with more accuracy. Datacap Mobile helps remove the barriers to getting things done – barriers like the physical distance between you and your customer and the time it takes to start a business process. Because removing barriers is important. Especially if YOU are the one waiting on approval for a loan you have applied for or for access to a vital government benefit or service you need.

Check out the new Datacap Mobile. It’s all about people.

To learn more, please visit us at http://ibm.com/thatsecm

Case in Point II

Let’s face it – minor car accidents are a pain; it’s time consuming, inconvenient, and oftentimes a costly experience. Although each case is different, the general process remains the same: a claim is filed, the insurance company gathers the facts, a claims adjuster is dispatched to gather more information, view the damage to your vehicle, take photos, go back to the office and drive the case forward. In addition, a few other companies may get involved, such as the repair shop or the car rental company. This process, as you can imagine, is very long and can range from a few weeks to several months.

icm1

What if we could cut that time significantly while creating a painless experience for the customers and saving the company time and money? By leveraging IBM Case Manager, the insurance company can optimize the case workflow by creating a customized user interface that shows the key information and steps needed – such as key tasks and case history. In addition, by integrating collaboration capabilities, Case Manager also allows case-workers to quickly dispatch tow trucks, connect with car rental companies, and map out preferred repair shops.

datacap1When assessing the damage, the company claims adjuster or repair shop can quickly leverage Case Manager Mobile, optimized for case-workers on the go, and Datacap Mobile, for capture on the go, to take photos and notes of the accident, adding that content to the claim. As the case is facilitated, different case-workers can quickly go through the information and content gathered from the mobile applications to review and approve it as necessary – helping the customer and company settle the claim much faster.

The insurance claims process is just one application of how IBM ECM can help a company provide the right information at the right time to the right people. By presenting the case-worker with the relevant information and actions needed to be completed, we see how quickly a case can be facilitated. By providing the right mobile tools, such as Case Manager Mobile and Datacap Mobile, we empower mobile case-workers to work effectively and efficiently while away from the office. Check out the Apple App Store and Google Play for our IBM ECM mobile offerings and see how your business can leverage the power of mobile case-workers to bring more value to your existing IBM ECM solutions.

Share your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation. Tweet to: @MAttarECM

Biography:

mattar

Mohammed Attar joined IBM in 2006 as part of the FileNet acquisition. Mohammed has over 15 years of experience in the ECM space, and is currently the IBM Director of ECM Products & Strategy. Mohammed has extensive experience both in product development and management. Mohammed started his career as a Software Engineer focused Performance & Systems Analysis. He later spent time serving as a Product Manager over the IBM ECM Platform. In 2008, Mohammed led his first development team, and since then has continued to serve in a leadership capacity in the business. Mohammed was one of the original development managers responsible for the design, development, and delivery of IBM Case Manager. Mohammed holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton. You can follow him on Twitter @MAttarECM

Content in the Field: Capture It, Process it, and Get Work Done!

Today’s Guest Post: Misty Ahmadi, WW Content Marketing Manager, IBM Case Manager

Customers today are at the center of every business. Your customer can be your patients, your clients, your students, or even other businesses. With so much involvement with customers and their experiences on the line, it’s important that business are able to quickly and accurately create and consume business content.

So what’s next? Your business has content – applications, forms, pictures, and more – and you need to keep track of each individual customer experience. This content, rich with information, needs to be put to work at the right time, in the right place, by the right person. Now, with the continuous reliance on smartphones and tablets, this business content needs to be mobile and easily accessible. These devices are making it easy for customers and businesses alike to capture images and documentation for faster, more accurate and more cost effective processes.

AIIM and IBM recently produced a research paper titled “Maximizing your Content Value: Capture, Case Management, Compliance, Mobile Workforce” which is available for download here. This paper explores the benefits that a business can see from combining the forces of a strong case management system joined with an ability to extract data from a captured image.

In an effort to continue the education around Case Management and Capture, AIIM and IBM are hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 17 at 2pm EST called “Content in the Field: Capture It, Process it, and Get Work Done!” Registration for the event is open here. Join Toby Bell, ECM Marketing and Offering Strategy Lead at IBM to learn about how companies across industries are maximizing their content value through mobile workforces.

Discussion topics include:

• How financial institutions use mobile capture for new customer on-boarding and loan processing.
• How insurance organizations enable claim adjusters with mobile capture to capture photographs, forms and accompanying documentation, all with easy large batch mobile upload capabilities.
• How government agencies, universities, and organizations are finding easier and more inclusive access to information enhances decision-making ability and service.

Register today!

BPM and Case Global Summit

Today’s Guest Post: Trent Shupe, Portfolio Marketing Manager, Case Management and Smarter Process

Your organization deals with business content everyday. Regardless of the industry and focus of the organization, you have to interact with content in order to produce the desired business outcome. A business in any industry will have the need to solve issues dealing with customer requests, problems, claims, or services. Case Management helps you improve business outcomes by providing the right information in context, to the right person, at the right time.

IBM is a leader in Case Management, and is the only vendor cited as a leader in both the Gartner MQ for ECM and the Gartner MQ for Case Management. That’s why we’re really excited to be a part of the BPM and Case Global Summit coming up in June. The event is being held at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City in Washington, DC from June 22 – 24th, 2015.

Last year, two IBM Case Manager customers won a WfMC Global Case Excellence award for their innovative case solutions built on IBM Case Manager. TIAA-CREF received an award for their solution that improved customer satisfaction by providing a 360-deghree visibility to all stakeholders, achieving incremental cost savings of 80%. The State of Hawaii won an award for their application of Case Management to improve social services to its citizens. Their solution improved fraud control, allowing case workers to access pertinent information in just seconds, compared to 15 minutes before implementing Case Manager.

I am looking forward to seeing which IBM customers win awards this year. There are so many creative and compelling use cases that are being deployed using IBM Case Manager. If you haven’t signed up for this event already, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to hear about the latest capabilities and solutions available for Case Management and BPM. I encourage you to take a few minutes and register for the event here.

If you are going to the event, be sure to catch our IBM sessions:
Monday, 6/22/15
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM – The Next Generation Work Coordination Platform – Vijay Pandiarajan
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM – IBM Capability Demonstration – IBM BPM

Tuesday, 6/23/15
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM – Case Management Solutions for Legal Matters – Mike Prentice
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM – IBM Capability Demonstration – IBM Case Manager

Be sure to stop by the IBM Booth on the solution floor when you have a break from sessions. Hope to see you in DC!