Even for insurers that have attained high levels of efficiency, claims management and processing remains a complex, difficult endeavor. Each claim requires the involvement of different professionals, many of them in varied locations, and many with widely varying degrees of technological sophistication. At many insurers, there are deep pockets of expertise within the claims workforce, but finding and accessing that expertise may not always be easy.

At first glance, the claims workplace might seem to be fertile ground for the application of collaboration technology. However, a number of obstacles stand in the way for insurers seeking to improve communication and increase efficiency in claims management. First and foremost is the state of the systems supporting claims professionals. Although insurers do not like to admit it, some claims management operations are still in the “green screen” era, using outmoded technology to obtain, organize, analyze, and process claims information. Even companies that present a modern face to the publictouting the latest mobile applications, for example, or using social media to initiate conversations with potential customersmay rely on decades-old systems to handle and document claims. Such systems are often stitched together in ways that discourage communication, let alone true collaboration.

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