Simple File Sharing for Insurance: Improving Employee Productivity
Simple file sharing for insurance professionals is both an imperative and a challenge. Insurance companies must make forms, customer data, proprietary research and other sensitive information available to an increasingly mobile workforce. Making insurance information readily available is complicated by the fact that it’s stored across multiple content silos that make finding, using and sharing it slow and cumbersome.
Enterprise content integration – how organizations connect end users consuming data to the secure data repositories storing and managing data – makes simple file sharing for insurance possible.
Simple File Sharing for Insurance Challenge #1: The Elusive Search for Content
Content accessibility has impeded simple file sharing for insurance professionals for quite some time. One example: insurance companies often grow through mergers and acquisitions. Combining companies often produces disparate IT systems, which can be difficult and expensive to integrate. All too often, insurance company employees and independent contractors have to make do, accessing information in “stovepipes,” un-integrated enterprise content management (ECM) systems, such as Windows File Shares, Microsoft SharePoint, Open Text, etc., managed with their own access controls and usage policies. The advent of cloud computing and cloud storage systems like Google Drive, SharePoint Online, Dropbox, OneDrive and others only complicates file access further.
The “stovepipe” approach to content management makes access, management, sharing, and analysis more complex. Consultant and author Joe McKendrick described the problem this way in a column for Insurance Networking:
The issue may be too many stovepipes across the industry. I’ve spoken with many insurance CIOs . . . who had five or more policy administration systems under their domain, the result of acquisitions and new product line launches. These separate systems continue to function for their narrow product lines. This also reflects the challenges in getting to a single enterprise view of these applications and data sets, to facilitate analytics.
The typical knowledge worker spends 1.8 hours per day looking for information. In the insurance industry, this number may be even higher due to the unusually high volume of content (e.g. forms and claims) in a typical insurance organization.
Migrating content to one system so that insurance professionals have unified access to all information seems unlikely. Such a project would cost millions of dollars and take years to complete, disrupting existing workflows in the process. It would also be extremely risky given how integrated these systems are with other IT systems.
Simple File Sharing for Insurance Challenge #2: Juggling Devices
The information insurance professionals need and use isn’t the only asset distributed across a vast ecosystem. Insurance professionals themselves are scattered across the country and, in larger companies, across the world. For some employees, work is done in an office. For other employees, work is done on the road or in the field. The variety of places work needs to be done requires a variety of devices.
The typical mobile worker is now carrying three mobile devices: a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop. To be useful, all of these devices – even the ones personally owned by employees – must have access to the data that employees create, review, and manage every day. Synchronizing data across devices can be complex, though, if that data is locked away in different on-premise and cloud-based content systems with different passwords and permissions. Accessing these systems remotely through VPNs only compounds the complexity, especially on mobile devices where VPN access is notoriously cumbersome and slow.
Naturally, the higher the number of devices containing customers’ personally identifiable information (PII), the greater the risk of one of those devices being lost or stolen and exposing sensitive information to unauthorized users.
The Accellion secure file sharing and governance platform enables simple file sharing for insurance professionals by integrating with legacy content systems and making all content available to authorized users, no matter where they’re accessing it or on which device.
Key features that enable simple file sharing for insurance professionals include:
- secure Microsoft Outlook plugin
- secure web folders with the same ease of use found in consumer file sharing apps
- dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android
- secure Microsoft Office and Office 365 plugins for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- enterprise plugins for Salesforce, iManage, and Microsoft SharePoint
- Unlimited file sizes
More than 15 million business users and 2,500 of the world’s leading enterprises—including OneAmerica, AAA, Marsh & McLennan, Kaiser Permanente, Tower Group, Chubb, and other insurance companies—trust Accellion to simply connect people to enterprise information from any device.