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Knowledge Enabled Insurance Organization


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Open Source Powered Knowledge Management for Insurers

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Knowledge Enabled Insurance Organization

  1. 1. White Paper Knowledge Enabled Insurance Organization Open Source powered Knowledge Management for Insurers Marketing Contacts: Vineet DahiyaOpen Source powered Knowledge InfoAxon Technologies Ltd. Mob - +91-9810425760 Email - vineet.dahiya@infoaxon.comManagement for Insurers
  2. 2. White PaperOverviewThe insurance industry worldwide is going through significant changes driven by tough economic environment and cut-throatcompetition.It is an extremely competitive industry where several insurers struggle to differentiate identical products, chase customers anddistribute insurance products through similar distribution channels.Going forward the ability to differentiate in terms of knowledge, capability to innovate, efficiency in operations and ability to attractand retain best talent will decide the winner.Almost all the top Insurance companies have standardized and achieved efficiencies in terms of managing their core business i.e.Policy & Claims Management. They have spent considerable amount of time and capital implementing business infrastructurefocused on standardized processes supported by plethora of enterprise applications. The truth is that these highly standardized,repeatable, transactions oriented, and automated processes represent a fraction of what really happens in business. Theseprocesses fail to capture the value-creating „human value adds‟ in terms of their experience, expertise, wisdom or in short„Knowledge‟.However in order to meet the challenges and achieve further efficiencies, Insurers need to leverage the combined knowledge of itsworkforce effectively and turn it into competitive advantage.Insurance Industry ChallengesWith recent financial meltdown behind them, Insurance companies are looking forward to generating profitable growth. Manyhowever find it challenging in face of tough economic environment, tight margins, mounting regulations, availability and quality ofinformation for decision making.Insurance organizations worldwide are facing challenges on multiple fronts. These are:  Talent Management  Organizational Responsiveness and Flexibility  Cost Control  Audit & Compliance
  3. 3. White Paper Talent Management • Enhancing employee productivity • Harnessing employee ideas, innovations and expertise more effectively • Reinforcing best practices through cross functional information sharing and training • Skill development & transfer of knowledge • Aiding retention of workforce and building organizational knowledge Organizational Responsiveness and Flexibility • Speeding up transfer of best practices • Breaking Silos of Information & enabling Staff Collaboration • Locating right information quickly and accelerate time-to-market • Enhancing decision making through actionable knowledge • Enhancing Distribution Channel productivity with timely and correct information Cost Control •De-duplicating initiatives, efforts and tasks •Standardizing Processes •Easy sharing of information and knowledge • Staff Trainings • Quick turnarounds of projects and tasks • Getting more done from lesser staff Audit & Compliance •Submitting report & documents for compliance and audit •Ensuring authenticity & consitency of documents •Retaining documents for compliance purposes •Organizational knowledge on audit exceptions and compliance issuesThe vast majority of collaboration and knowledge management in Insurance industry continues to take place through email,messenger and shared drives, with workers passing file attachments.The fundamental inefficiencies of this approach are creating numerous paint points for Insurers. Users cannot find the most currentversion of content. There is very little structure available in email and shared drives to drive best practices. Content artifacts – likedocuments and threaded discussions – are not easily reusable. And it is difficult and costly to identify content that requires specialhandling for compliance, security and privacy purposes. Moreover Content gets created through a series of disparate, inefficient,and unorganized processes which make collaboration and knowledge capture difficult.
  4. 4. White PaperTo meet the business challenges and drive further business growth, Insurers need to leverage the combined wisdom of itsworkforce coupled with agile business processes. Insurers need to find the right balance between standardized and efficientbusiness processes and value-creating human contribution which is so essential in bringing out the context and create knowledge.The Value of Knowledge and the Cost of neglecting itMost organizations including Insurers realize that their organizational Knowledge is one of the critical assets. Highly engaged,skilled and productive workforce, with the right skills and strong business knowledge would contribute to the long-term success ofcompany.Most insurers understand that armed with Knowledge that is timely, easily available and can be trusted, they could enhance theproductivity of their workforce manifolds, tap new ideas, rapidly uncover new markets, create new and targeted products faster,enhance customer service and make smarter business decisions.In short, being Knowledge driven, they can consistently outperform the market and their competitors.For Insurers, there are real benefits of effectively managing and utilizing organizational knowledge: Frees up employee time that is otherwise spent on locating the right information and verifying its accuracy leading to increase in employee productivity. Reduction in to-and-fro emails to find information further enhances productivity and reduces costs further. Response time to resolve business issues is drastically reduced through reuse of information. The Knowledge Platform promotes Re-use of knowledge assets resulting improved efficiency. Facilitates cross-learning opportunities among multiple teams leading to new knowledge creation. This automatically breaks information silos. Improves team collaboration, employee connectedness and general staff motivation leading to less attrition. Prevents loss of organizational knowledge when people leave and encourages transfer of knowledge to improve the skills of employees. Creates an environment of transparency and information sharing leading to capture of „tacit knowledge‟.The inability to capture and leverage knowledge of its workers adversely impacts the ability of Insurer for quick turnaround in anindustry where speed is of critical importance. In absence of right framework to capture and share knowledge, Insurers will pay thecost in terms of: Loss of organizational information and knowledge when employee leave the organization Adverse Audit observations Loss Staff productivity Loss of Trust of their customers Poor decision making by not leveraging organizational know-how
  5. 5. White PaperKnowledge needs to be PervasiveAs content volume and the associated processes grows, as content flows via various channels, as need for rich information quicklyto make right decisions grows, Knowledge must be addressed at an enterprise level. Knowledge should become pervasive.Millions of documents such as Best Practices, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) etc., emails, memos, charts, and Web pages,not to mention the tacit information that employees possess, remain undiscovered and their potential untapped. Organizations thatlet such valuable information languish are in danger of missing competitive opportunities or even losing the information forever.Employees duplicate existing work because they are not aware of prior efforts by others or concurrent projects with overlappinggoals. New employees often don‟t know where to look for information or who to turn to for answers. Customers make decisions tobuy elsewhere. Partners miss strategic opportunities.For Knowledge Management initiatives to be successful within the Insurance Company, Knowledge should be made available toeach and everyone within the organization. More and more people need to be involved in knowledge creation, its management andsharing processes. Further Knowledge should extend to all functional areas and departments within the organization and not justfew chosen ones.How to make Knowledge PervasiveEvery Insurance organization generates vast amounts of information while conducting business; yet few are able to leverage it allto generate new opportunities or capitalize on collective knowledge assets.In spite of ad-hoc processes to manage knowledge and limitations of existing productivity applications, every organization evolves away of managing knowledge. It is happening around us in a crude ad hoc manner. During day-to-day life activities, employeesinteract with each other in any or some form of networking and produce knowledge. This interaction generates knowledge inseveral structure and format. However the knowledge remains locked in silos or people‟s head and doesn‟t become part oforganizational memory.Leverage a KM PlatformGood Knowledge management practices, tools and technologies help to Document Management, Collaboration,link people looking for knowledge with those who have it. It focuses on Social Networking and other disciplines allcapturing this information, whether it is explicitly held in a document or come together to form a comprehensivedatabase or exists tacitly in the forms of knowledge and experience in enterprise knowledge management strategy.the minds of employees. This tacit information is exceedingly hard to The base of such a knowledge managementpreserve. Industry analysts estimate that without knowledge strategy is built on search and taggingmanagement practices in place more than 80 percent of the information technology which offers employees thethat employees, customers and partners have is lost to the organization. ability to quickly and easily find existingThe best and the most cost-effective way to realize the vision of a useful content in context and be notified of‘Knowledge Enabled’ Insurance Organization is to use a any new content as it is generated. InKnowledge Management Platform. addition, search for the knowledge assets scattered over the internet.
  6. 6. White PaperA KM Platform provides a single integrated environment to quickly build and deploy knowledge-centric solutions. It provides all theservices required such as presentation layer, data model, library services, security, workflow, scheduler, server side APIs, andintegration hooks to quickly create different solution experiences. This not only reduces time to market drastically but also providesa framework for further enhancements and innovations.The KM Platform provides certain features out-of-the box such as dynamic content repository, library services (document check-in /check-out, versioning), central search and collaborative features which could be used straightaway to implement collaborativecontent management solutions within few weeks. Once the users are comfortable using the solution and provide further feedback,the KM experiences could be built further.Open Source ‘Platforming’: A credible alternative to implement KMManaging enterprise knowledge drives innovation and productivity within an enterprise. Today Knowledge Management isconsidered as one of the most important initiatives that an enterprise needs to embark upon.The confusion however remains on how to start and leverage the different products and technologies available such as CMS,Document Management System, Enterprise Content Management products, Social Networks etc in a fashion where it is possible toimplement Knowledge Management effectively.Open Source provides an alternative approach to implement Knowledge Management in ways that suit your business. However, thisrequires a “Platforming” approach where the best of available open source technologies and frameworks come together to deliverthe best that the open source model has to offer. Social Network ContextsThe Platforming approach allows an open source led long termpath that surely delivers results and helps pace the KMimplementation as per the speed of organizational learningaround such initiatives. Knowledge Enteprise FederatedUsing best of breed open source options that solve one Search Management Content Managementproblem well, multiple challenges around KnowledgeManagement can be solved. Organizations such as InfoAxon Environmentuse this approach to develop integrated platforms that bringtogether a potent mix of Dynamic Knowledge Repositories,Enterprise Search, Web Content Management and EnterprisePortals laced with Social Network Contexts. Dynamic Knowledge Repositories
  7. 7. White PaperThe KM Platform Roadmap within Insurance IndustryMost insurance organizations today have either gone or will go through the above stages of knowledge management roadmap ormore likely moving through the following stages: Setting up of Dynamic Knowledge Repositories Collaborative Knowledge Sharing Environment Knowledge Management around Business Processes Knowledge Management with deep meaningful insightsOpen KM Platform for Insurance Industry by InfoAxonInfoAxon provides a pre-integrated open standard based knowledge management platform for Insurance organizations. Using theKM Platform, Insurance organizations can quickly deploy KM solutions and develop their internal business process and taxonomy.The Platform facilitates collaboration and knowledge creation, retrieval and sharing within and outside the Insurance organizationamong the different departments and functions.It allows Insurance organizations to create shared collaborative knowledge spaces modeled around departments, functions,projects, groups and enables users to work in a collaborative environment.The KM Platform offers an ability to share, find and store knowledge assets and expertise according to their most logical context.The main highlights of InfoAxon‟s powered open source KM Platform for Insurance organizations are:Dynamic KM RepositoryThe Platform provides a centralized knowledge repository within the Insurance Company‟s environment where all the employeescould participate actively, contribute and locate wide range of information about company‟s best practices, SOPs, projects relatedinformation, reports, performance appraisal, DR etc. and that is as simple to use as shared drive but with benefits of sharing,workflow, auditing and enhanced document security.
  8. 8. White PaperSmart Knowledge SpacesThe knowledge spaces or sites provide a shared and secure area where employees belonging to a particular department or functioncould become members and get connected to the knowledge of entire team. Once member of a particular knowledge space theycould access the team content and collaborate with other team members and share knowledge. In order to promote cross-learning,a user could become member to multiple „workspaces‟ based on his profile. These knowledge spaces are owned by functionalexperts.Using the KM Platform, Insurance organization could create „knowledge spaces‟ (or „sites‟) modeled around: Insurance departments or functions such as Agency, Operations, Actuarial, IT, Legal, Marketing, Human Resources, Bancassurance etc. Communities of Practice (CoP) such as Quality, Risk Management, Compliance etc. Communities of Interest such as New Product Development, Innovation, economic environment etc. Top Leadership such as CEO, COO, and CTO etc. to help them connect and communicate directly with the organization workforce. Using the Platform, a content folder structure as per the type of knowledge space (i.e. business Taxonomy) to categorize different type of content could be easily created. This goes a long way in quickly provisioning a new knowledge space using the pre-defined knowledge space „Template‟. The knowledge space provides collaborative tools such as shared calendars, blogs, wikis, discussions forums, user profiles and activity feeds and also social content management capabilities such as „library services‟ which provides content storage, check-in, check-out, and versioning, workflows etc.Metadata Driven Information ArchitectureUsing the Platform‟s Workflow and Rules Engine, most of the repeatable activities and processes around knowledge assets could beautomated.Though this helps bringing standardization, it helps little to capture the value-creating staff contribution so essential inbringing out the context and knowledge.To handle this, InfoAxon team has built Insurance industry specific Rich Metadata sets which help manage, execute andintegrate the asset with the business process. These rich metadata (such as user generated Tags, KPI Impacted, Functions,Cross-referenced document etc.) enhances the content‟s context turning it into Smart Content which in turn automaticallyinitiates the right workflows and tasks. Some metadata is created automatically by the software such as author, mime-type, addedby, time stamp, version etc., and some is created by the people working with the asset.The metadata of smart digital assets enable the Insurance Company to manage its processes efficiently, facilitatingstaff contribution to create knowledge and add value.
  9. 9. White PaperCapturing Tacit KnowledgeOne of the ways to capture people‟s knowledge (tacit knowledge) is to capture discussions around content, documents etc.This is made possible through the „Comments‟ feature which allows members of the Knowledge Spaces to put their comments orthoughts on a particular content or document. These „comments‟ then get attached with the document and are available for theentire team to view. The same applies to the workflows where different users put their comments when it passes through multiplestages and from one user to the other. It bringing context to the document and retain precious knowledge when people leave.To drive „innovation‟ and user participation, it is important to capture employee „ideas‟ and allow these to be shared with otherusers. Using the Platform‟s „Idea Sharing‟ feature, employees can post their ideas around solving the problems in the company orimprove upon existing processes. Other employees could see, rate and even search for ideas that they could use.User Empowerment: Helping in KM AdoptionOne of the major reasons for the failure of KM programs is non-adoption by end-users as they do not find the solution intuitive orhelping them contributing in their daily work. InfoAxon team works closely with the Insurance Company stakeholders to create theright „user experience‟. InfoAxon has developed a library of themes and templates to facilitate KM adoption within the InsuranceorganizationThe entry point to the Knowledge Platform is through user personalized Dashboard which provides a snapshot view of users‟interaction with the platform in concise and intuitive way and also acts as a gateway to other corporate applications.The Dashboard could be customized by the users as per personal preferences and business role. The contextual information relatedto users‟ interactions is provided in form of various „dashlets‟ which provides a quick view of the consolidated information. Some ofthe key „dashlets‟ configured in the platform are: • Provide real time aggregate feeds of all activities performed in My Activity Feeds the knowledge spaces to which the user is member of. Such as new document /wiki post/calendar event added. My Knowledge Spaces • Knowledge spaces user is member of. My Profile • Rich user profile with mashup of information pulled from LDAP and personal information updated by user. My Documents • Documents user has added, modified or editing.
  10. 10. White PaperBased on Insurance Industry‟s unique requirements, the KM Platform provides: Creation of Insurance specific Taxonomy to help categorize the content. This includes creation of specific content types such as SOP, best practices, training manuals, performance reviews, DR, New Ideas etc. Administrator provided with capability to associate relevant content type with specific knowledge spaces. Upload of content with mandatory rich metadata such as content types, functions, sub-functions, impact, KPIs, cross referenced content, tags, approval date etc. Alert the user about „duplicate documents’ at the time of document upload Automated Workflows (specific to Insurance Vertical) leveraging the combination of information pulled from LDAP to decide the next recipient of workflow tasks and the metadata-type entered during content upload. Some of the inbuilt workflows are: i. Upload Approval and Publishing of Knowledge Assets (SOP, Best Practices etc.) ii. Escalation Workflows Integration with third party enterprise applications such as IBM Lotus Notes, MS Office, HRMS etc. Rich Drill Down Reports both system-wide as well as knowledge space-wide to provide visibility on the health of the Knowledge Community, Workflow Status, User dependencies etc.Rich Drill-Down ReportsThe Platform comes with integrated BI framework that churns out Rich Drill Down Reports both system-wide as well as knowledgespace-wide to provide visibility on the health of the Knowledge Community, Workflow Status, User dependencies etc. Some of thekey reports are: User Participation & Contribution metrics. Knowledge Products submission. Workflow Status and User dependencies. Administrator level Reports.
  11. 11. White PaperIntegration with Other Corporate IT SystemsInsurance business is people-intensive and locating the required talent and expertise within the organization waste lots of time andefforts.To address this issue, „Profile‟ feature of the Knowledge Platform provides rich and wide range of information on members andusing the links available, the members could then be contacted.The Platform supports integration with Insurance Company‟s LDAP server (Microsoft Active Directory, Sun Directory Server etc).This allows fetching of corporate information on employees such as employee name, employment no., department, designation,phone number, email id and also the business reporting hierarchies such as „reports to‟, „employees reporting to him/her‟.This information is further mashed with user editable information such as job profile, work expertise, experience, qualifications andareas of interest. Additionally, the contextual information related to the member such as „employee is member of‟, „contentcontributed by the employee‟ etc. further adds to the richness of information. Further the entire information could be searchedbased on various parameters detailed above.The Platform‟s REST based APIs support integration with other standards based enterprise applications such as ERP, HRMS,Groupware, Exchange Servers etc.Google like Search makes Finding Information EasierA Google like search (both Basic & Advanced) is available which provides searching of all type of content within specific knowledgespaces as well as entire knowledge repository. Employees could search for relevant information using keywords, categories,enhanced metadata, user generated Tags etc. The search results provides rich information display such as content type (document,wiki, blog post, calendar event, discussion forum), knowledge space content is associated with, Tags etc.
  12. 12. White PaperChoosing the right Partner for your KM ImplementationChoosing the right technology platform and the right partner to integrate, customize, deploy and support the Knowledge Platform isa major decision for the Insurance Company. The other criterion are Platform‟s scalability potential to handle ever growing userbase and volume of content, its flexibility to make further enhancements, future readiness, use of open standards and last but notthe least cost effectiveness as the company wanted to give access of its Knowledge Platform to all its employees and also extend itto insurance agencies, advisors and partners.The Insurance organization needs a right partner that can help them make right choices keeping in mind their long term vision andhave enough technology expertise, experience and business consulting depth in open source model to guide them and see themthrough their KM journey. Most importantly the vendor should be willing to collaborate with their IT and business teams to see thisinitiative through.InfoAxon is uniquely positioned to assist Insurance Organizations in creating a roadmap for Knowledge EnabledInsurance Organization and deliver the right KM Platform to locate, organize, share and transfer organizationalknowledge leading to an agile and responsive insurance organization.InfoAxon is India‟s first Open Source Integration Company with expertise in delivering Open Source powered KnowledgeManagement & Business Intelligence Solution Platforms to verticals such as BFSI, Retail, International Development organizationsand Public Sector.InfoAxon has successfully worked with some of the largest Insurers helping them with KM, BI and Help Desk Management solutionsleveraging open standards and open source powered pre-integrated Platforms.InfoAxon‟s Open Source „Platforming‟ expertise provides an ideal fit for the Insurance organizations as it allow them to takeadvantage of the rapid innovation from InfoAxon‟s R&D and the open source community, much lower TCO as compared toproprietary options and avoid proprietary lock-in.
  13. 13. White PaperOur Customer Showcase
  14. 14. About InfoAxon Technologies InfoAxon is a leading provider of enterprise services and business solutions powered by open source. We design, architect and support complete “Enterprise Solution Platforms” using Open Standards, Web 2.0 next generation technologies and Open Source Frameworks providing end-to-end solutions to business problems. India‟s First Global Open Source Integration Company We are Indias First Global Open Source Integration Company providing business solutions in areas of Content & Knowledge Management, Web2.0 Collaboration and Business Intelligence powered by our unique open source „Platforming‟ expertise.INDIA OFFICE: UK OFFICE:InfoAxon Technologies Ltd. InfoAxon Technologies UK Ltd.H-189, Sector-63, Building A, Trinity Court,Electronic City, Wokingham Road,NODIA-201307, U.P Bracknell, Berkshire RG42 1PL,India United KingdomPhone :+91 120 4350040, Phone : +44 1344 668000Fax :+ 91 120 4350065 Fax : +44 1344 668148Website: | Blog: | E-mail: Slideshare: | Facebook: