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Business Process Automation Case Study: IPA Helps Life Insurance Firm Go Paperless, Improve Services

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April 25, 2011

Business Process Automation Case Study: IPA Helps Life Insurance Firm Go Paperless, Improve Services

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Every organization is driven by processes. Some of these are industry-specific, or vertical. Others are horizontal in that they apply to all types of organizations. An organization’s overall success is largely driven by how well it implements and executes both types of processes.

The challenge with processes is that they tend to be complex, expensive, and counter-intuitive to the people they affect. Solutions designed to help organizations better handle processes often do not adequately address the human factor and thus fail to instill positive, lasting change.

In recent years, Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) has developed its own approach to business process automation, which focuses both on communications and process. This approach is called Communications-Based Process Automation or Interaction Process Automation (IPA), and it is built on the premise that processes can only be successfully automated if the method used to do so connect intelligently with an organization’s communications systems.

This approach has been used successfully to help contact centers significantly improve their process automation efforts using intelligent queuing and routing, presence, workforce management, recording, real-time monitoring and VoIP. 

One such example is the case of AccuQuote, a life insurance brokerage firm that enlisted Interactive Intelligence’s help to improve business process automation. The initiative’s goals were to increase sales and customer satisfaction, eliminate costs by going paperless, eliminate human error and latency, eliminate disconnected and redundant processes, and deliver a hard ROI with unified communications.

Interactive Intelligence helped AccuQuote deploy IPA to achieve all those goals. The project involved re-architecting the company’s processes and then migrating to a paperless system. Result: significant savings in both time and money.

“We were printing documents at the beginning of the process, in the middle of the process, and again at the end,” notes Geoff Calhoun, director of IT, AccuQuote, in a video case study, summarizing inefficiencies of the old system.

Using IPA, AccuQuote increased agent selling time by 5 percent, saved 40 percent on material costs starting from Day 1, cut training time for application processors by 50 percent and increased productivity by 33 percent. In short, the new system means AccuQuote is able to offer faster service at a lower price.

“We took what has traditionally been a paper-based workflow and move it to an electronic format,” explains Calhoun in the video case study. “Theoretically, we will never print another piece of paper again. That’s the holy grail in life insurance.”

Mae Kowalke is a TMCnet contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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