Asian Insurers Spending on IT-related Services

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Asia's insurance business has been largely unaffected by the financial crisis compared to the other parts of the world. A recent survey of Celent on insurance Chief Information Officers throughout Asia shows that 44% of Asian insurers have not significantly changed their business strategy, budget on IT spending, and production / distribution channels, although growth in certain lines has been negatively impacted. Analyst with Celent's Asian Financial Service Group said that software developed in-house is still the rule rather than the exception in the insurance industry in Japan. But things are going to change in the next few years, an increase in the number of insurance companies considering the introduction of external software and outsourcing.

Asian insurance companies will invest on new technology this year, IT budgets are holding steady and appear to remain unaffected by the global financial crisis. According to a new report, Asia Insurance – The Year Ahead: The CIO Perspective, Celent discusses business themes in the Asian insurance market, including business growth, cost reduction, ease of doing business meeting regulation requirements, time to market, and IT-related initiatives based on a survey of Asian insurance CIOs. More than 85% of those surveyed have either increased or allocated the same budget for 2010 as 2009. And more companies are now increasing their investment budgets, underwriting and policy administration, customer service representative portal and desktop, and agent portals are the top three focus areas in this investment.

Asian insurers' enterprise IT strategy, specifically looking at IT structure, architecture, IT outsourcing, and emerging technology, such as AJAX, social networking, cloud computing, and SaaS. Many insurers said that they will use a SaaS model in no-critical business, such as contact center, CRM and human resource management. And Philippine call centers have been forecast to be the growing provider of these IT strategic services.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model software deployment whereby a provider licenses an application to customers for use as demand service. Automating core business processes increase efficiently and provides valuable information necessary to effectively deploy a workforce. SaaS organizes have access to back-office tools that streamline the marketing, selling, and supporting processes, providing your business with the ability to deliver more intuitive and easier to configure software to your customers. SaaS adoption is fast growing because of its payment nature – pay for use basis or as a subscription, which means companies need not invest too much on their infrastructure because SaaS providers provides the hardware and software for the companies. This solution will most likely penetrate every company at one level or another. Considering that all the benefits that SaaS has given, the next question is – who is the right SaaS partner for your company?

Philippine call centers have distinguished themselves in service providing and customer software solutions. And currently the LAMP Enterprise Philippines ERP have launch their SaaS model software. SaaS can build, respond, or migrate its platform to any business-to-business or business-to-customer application, LAMP have spotlighted a few of their applications. Human Capital Management, SaaS.com develops web-based Time & Labor Management software accessed via the Internet that allows for accurate, real-time data capturing from virtually any data collection terminal. Organizations like yours can easily expand or scale back functionality, making it easier to sell and support small, medium, and large customers across a broad spectrum of industries with a single platform. Functionality may include time and attendance, employee scheduling, benefit entitlements, labor distribution, and other human resource centric integration.Sales Force Automation, Manage contacts, schedule activities, and support ongoing customer relationships with SaaS.com's Sales Force Automation application. Since Sales Force Automation is equally important after a sale, the Feedback Ticketing System provides the ability to actively monitor and resolve customer support related issues, making each feedback ticket visible as it is tied to a contact's record. An easy-to-use utility allows manipulation of data to view primary prospects and their corresponding focus. If your organization currently uses another provider's Sales Force Automation application, existing contacts and historical data can be easily imported into SaaS.com's system. Business Intelligence, this Manage contacts, schedule activities, and support ongoing customer relationships with SaaS.com's Sales Force Automation application. Since Sales Force Automation is equally important after a sale, the Feedback Ticketing System provides the ability to actively monitor and resolve customer support related issues, making each feedback ticket visible as it is tied to a contact's record. An easy-to-use utility allows manipulation of data to view primary prospects and their corresponding focus. If your organization currently uses another provider's Sales Force Automation application, existing contacts and historical data can be easily imported into SaaS.com's system. Companies need to evaluate and understand the trade-offs that SaaS presents. While it limits infrastructure overheads and management, and lowers short- to medium-term total cost of ownership, third-party application tools are limited and SaaS applications cannot be counted as assets on a balance sheet.

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