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IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) has announced that it is building a cloud-based insurance platform featuring cognitive computing, data analytics and integration and security capabilities designed to help insurers expand access to their products and capture new customers. The platform incorporates Majesco’s (Morristown, N.J.) core life, annuities and group benefits technology, and it is informed by deep industry expertise from MetLife (Mew York), which is deploying the platform for its group benefits business.
“This new direction provides us with the opportunity to introduce to the market a unique business model unlike any other,” comments Marty Lippert, MetLife executive vice president and head of Global Technology & Operations. “The strategy represents innovation in our approach to growth and is a testament to the reality that every company needs to become a technology company in order to survive. It brings together the best of MetLife’s insurance expertise and capabilities with leading IBM technology into a single, highly scalable, low cost insurance industry solution.”
IBM’s Industry Platforms are designed in collaboration with the vendor’s clients and partners and are intended to dramatically improve traditional business models using deep industry expertise and advanced technologies such as AI, cloud and blockchain, according to Bridget van Kralingen, senior VP, IBM Industry Platforms. “In the case of insurance, carriers will be able to inject greater innovation and speed into their operating models, and consumers will experience a broader range of products tailored to their individual needs.”
The three-company effort flows from a partnership announced a year ago dedicated to IBM and Majesco joining to create a new cognitive, cloud-based platform available to insurers globally. “The collaboration between all three parties highlights a new era of partnerships that will accelerate the move to industry platforms in the Cloud, allowing insurers to focus on business growth strategies in a new digital era,” comments Ed Ossie, COO, Majesco.
“This underscores our commitment to accelerate the transformation and innovation of our customer’s business models leveraging our core platform solutions in collaboration with IBM solutions,” adds Majesco CEO and Co-Founder, Ketan Mehta. “The software subscription and services agreement has a duration of approximately ten years and represents one of the larger deals Majesco has signed to date, highlighting the growing momentum for our cloud platform offerings across both the P&C and L&A and Group markets.”
Beginning with Small Business
MetLife will pioneer the new solution beginning with its small business customers, according to an IBM statement. The vendor explains that MetLife will have the ability to tailor and scale its benefit offerings from quote to claim, and through a new digital experience, customers and brokers will have access to a broader selection of affordable group benefits, including life, dental, vision, disability, voluntary, and other products.
“Small business is an attractive growth segment for MetLife; we know from speaking to many business owners and brokers that they believe employee benefits are important in attracting, retaining and engaging talent,” comments Michel Khalaf, MetLife’s president of U.S. Business and EMEA. “We’re excited this platform will give our customers greater access to the benefits they need through a simpler, affordable experience.”
Tom Scales, head of analyst firm Celent’s (Boston) Life and Health practice for the Americas, calls the collaboration an an interesting evolution in transformation for insurers. “By combining Majesco’s packaged policy administration suite with IBM’s Cloud capabilities, MetLife is able to benefit from their combined expertise; by establishing the partnership, IBM and Majesco are able to offer their combined strengths to the market,” Scales comments. “Celent strongly believes that the cloud is the future of insurer’s underlying infrastructure. Together these three companies are leading the way, each bringing their own strengths.”