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Hot Topics in European Insurance

While many market drivers and strategies are similar around the world, insurers in Europe have a different approach to driving business through customer intimacy, process excellence and operational efficiency.

Key Findings of this Gartner report

• European insurers are more cautious and slow to adopt CRM solutions; however, nvestment continues to rise.

• The concept of business process management (BPM) is new to most European insurers; knowledge of how to improve processes and select appropriate solutions for processes such as claims, product development, underwriting and customer service must be developed.

• Insurers in Western Europe, especially life/pensions companies, are early adopters of service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and SOA component solutions, and they provide best practices on how to effectively use these tools to extend and improve processes held in legacy environments.

Predictions of this Gartner report

• Investment in solutions to support agency qualifications and commission management will increase in 2006 to support the requirements of the European Union (EU) Directive.

• Lead management will be a key investment priority among multichannel European insurers.

• Interest in product configurators and product development tools will continue to escalate, especially among multiline insurers that want to use a single product engine.

• Life and pensions insurers will increasingly replace outdated legacy policy administration systems and outsource their closed books of business to reduce the costs and requirements of supporting legacy systems.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.