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Ohio Mutual Insurance Wins Interactive Intelligence BPA Innovator Award

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Ohio Mutual Insurance Wins Interactive Intelligence BPA Innovator Award

July 14, 2015
By Peter Bernstein
Senior Editor

The need for organizations of all sizes to be more efficient has arguably never been as high a priority. The global economy of our connected world means competitive threats and opportunities know no time or geographic boundaries, and to the efficient and responsive go the spoils.  It is this very reality that is driving the intense interest in business process automation (BPA) technologies as from frontlines to back office, making work flow faster and more effectively has become business mantra. 

Where this need for speed and agility in deal with workflows has become very pronounced in recent years has been the insurance industry which industry observers have been noting for the past few years has been a notable vertical market laggard when it comes to technology adoption, and hence has left legacy providers open to “disruptors” who are successfully leveraging BPA and other tools to provide customers more compelling experiences at every step along the customer journey.

One insure who is not standing still in terms of enhancing its operational excellence is Bucyrus, OH-based  Ohio Mutual Insurance Group who recently won global customer engagement and unified communications solution provider Interactive Intelligence’s (News - Alert) annual  Innovator Award.  

The award was based on Ohio Mutual’s “unique and forward-thinking” application of the Interactive Intelligence BPA software, Interaction Process Automation® (IPA).  As noted in the announcement of the award, Ohio Mutual deployed IPA to streamline and automate business process flows for its service center and PL (personal lines) and CL (commercial lines) underwriting groups comprised of 46 associates.  

It used IPA to replace disparate systems and manual processes with a single application for automatically capturing, prioritizing, routing, escalating and tracking work within its service center and underwriting groups.  It also has proved valuable in the critical area of compliance.

Ohio Mutual further used IPA with a number of customizations, which include:  

  • The ability to pull data from its policy management system and Salesforce, and push data to its content management system.
  • The ability to request information from external agents and have IPA manage the follow-up.
  • A search function that enables users to find other people's work, view it and make notations.
  • A maintenance process that enables managers to easily and quickly add new work type categories and email templates without assistance from IT.

"Prior to IPA, we had multiple workflows in various formats, which included paper processes," said Bethany Foy, Ohio Mutual's business lines service center manager. "This made gathering, prioritizing and distributing work incredibly labor-intense and time-consuming. It also meant we had little visibility into our volume of work or service levels, thus no good way to prioritize or make improvements."

Foy added that: "We used IPA's simple templates and graphical process maps to standardize and automate the distribution of work among our service center members and underwriters...We were also able to automate follow-up communications with our insurance agents. Combined, this has reduced redundancies, errors, and delays, which has led to dramatic increases in efficiencies and improved service."

"Our associates can now see all their work in one place, which has improved productivity," Foy explained, "and management has a clear view of how much work is actually in progress. This has enabled us to prioritize and adjust work as needed to most effectively meet our business goals."

According to Ohio Mutual's President and CEO Jim Kennedy (News - Alert), the IPA deployment was a perfect application of the company's Guiding Principles.

"I applaud our service and underwriting teams for exemplifying our Guiding Principles through this IPA deployment," Kennedy said. "They were passionate about finding workable solutions to increase efficiency, they took an innovative approach to addressing the complexities of managing thousands of work items, and they established a solid partnership with Interactive Intelligence to make this project a success."

Sight should not be lost on the fact that this was an award for innovation.  In fact, the list of customizations highlights the ingenuity of the Ohio Mutual folks and should put to rest somewhat the notion that older-line insurers are not technologically up to speed.   

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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