Many of you are trying to migrate off Lotus Notes but have too many custom applications to shut down. Have you looked at the potential of upgrading a tool that you probably already have—Microsoft Office SharePoint?

Progressive companies recognize the growth potential that can result from modernizing their infrastructure. The insurance industry’s traditional complexity and paper-intensive operations can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty, with the degree of back-office efficiency making or breaking relationships.

The industry’s demand for more sophisticated workflow tools, data management, and analytics leads us to continuously evaluate systems and processes that can provide an edge over the competition. With the number of insurance companies that still work around the limitations of legacy environments, it’s no surprise the opportunity cost of inefficient systems continues to take a toll on the bottom line.

Migrating to a web-based environment that offers instant collaboration among agents, brokers, insureds, and back-office functions is one key to delivering an optimal customer experience—in a more efficient way. But this doesn’t necessarily involve a time-consuming, wholesale change; it could be as easy as upgrading a tool that you already have: Microsoft Office SharePoint.

SharePoint 2010 was built to support growth goals across all industries by focusing on productivity, analytics, and information sharing. Designed to deliver the best productivity experience with a familiar Microsoft Office experience, it enables people to access the business information they need to do their jobs, quickly and easily.

Compelling features.
How can upgrading to SharePoint 2010 help you manage relationships and information? Consider these features:

System integration:

  • Transforms labor-intensive and paper-based processes, such as claims processing, into scalable automated solutions
  • Interfaces with other applications to introduce scanned images into a workflow
  • Provides web-based global portability regardless of location or time zone
  • Reduces the number of systems required, thereby reducing IT costs
  • Maximizes investments in existing systems

 Internal processes:

  • Streamlines processes and operations with a powerful workflow tool
  • Routes documents for approval
  • Collects data from unlimited locations and resources
  • Creates shared databases; for example, intercompany transactions or financial schedules
  • Creates dashboards and scorecards; develops key metrics
  • Manages projects regardless of team size
  • Facilitates version control
  • Organizes documents with tagging and interactive visual search
  • Builds corporate communities through social media applications

External processes:

  • Facilitates collaboration among agents, brokers, and insureds
  • Provides real time dashboards and scorecards
  • Allows key metrics to be matched to specific strategies and then shared, tracked, and discussed
  • Simplifies the exchange of data and reports
  • Provides easy access for marketing support and presentations

Client connectivity and management:

  • Provides forms that enable self-service functionality (e.g., certificates of insurance, claims status, accept payments, dispute resolution)
  • Enables holistic evaluation of clients to customize experience and increase retention
  • Publishes easily accessible information

Advantages over other platforms.
SharePoint 2010 surpasses other collaborative tools such as Lotus Notes in enterprise content management capabilities, offering a superior integrated system that includes:

  • Search capabilities, including a new level of advanced keyword tagging and indexing to enhance search results
  • Workflow management that enables users to upload, update, and annotate records and documents to share information and status—critical for policy administration, claims management, customer information, and history
  • User-friendly, out-of-the-box functionality allowing users to do many things that Notes developers would have had to build from scratch; anyone with Excel skills can create an application in SharePoint
  • Microsoft Office integration that enables collaborative editing of Office documents; multiple users can open the same Word document simultaneously and see changes made by other users almost instantly, and users can view and edit documents in SharePoint without having to install Office
  • Cost-efficient, unified infrastructure that reduces costs by consolidating intranet, extranet, and internet sites on a single platform—on-premises or in the cloud

All of these features and functions can be critical to optimizing customer experience and driving competitive advantage. And all of them may just be an upgrade away.

West Monroe Partners’ portal, enterprise content management and SharePoint experts have helped more than 50 clients utilize SharePoint capabilities to address business and technology needs. We can work with you to strategize, plan and implement a cost effective, integrated and scalable SharePoint solution. For more information, please contact Cindy De Armond at 312-846-9938 or Jill Lambert at 312.846.9932.

(Additional resource: “How and Why to Migrate From Lotus Notes to Microsoft SharePoint for Decision Makers”, presented by Gary Devendorf, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation, 2011.)