As the document automation space has matured, there has been a convergence of functionality and features offered by vendors. This is a positive development for clients, but can make the selection process difficult. Insurers will need to answer some questions about their usage of a document automation solution before making a vendor choice.
Document automation is the authoring or automatic generation of a document to communicate with external parties. Because the majority of incoming and outgoing communication in most stages of the insurance life cycle is still paper-based, simplifying document generation through automation solutions is a high priority for CIOs. In a new report, Document Automation Solution Vendors for Insurers 2007, Celent examines 11 document automation vendors and solutions.
Recent years have seen a substantial amount of convergence among document automation solutions. Nearly all vendors now offer a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) interface for template design, as well as both ad-hoc and batch capability. At an even more detailed level, most vendors build templates from document components, allowing a content author to create text blocks, rules, and logic once and then reuse it across multiple templates.
As service-oriented architecture (SOA) has become a landmark in most insurers’ technology road maps, all the profiled document automation vendors have made a major commitment to SOA, either building solutions from the ground up using Java and/or .NET or providing web service wrappers.
Vendors are providing solutions that will allow customers to rethink their entire document production strategy, giving new kinds of users access to the process and extending the life cycle of an electronic document beyond printing,” says Jeff Goldberg, Celent senior analyst and co-author of the report. “Future developments in the space will continue to push the boundaries of the concept of a document,” he adds.
The report features Celent’s ABCD Vendor View, which is a standard representation of a vendor marketplace designed to show the relative positions of each vendor in four categories: Advanced technology, Breadth of functionality, Customer base, and Depth of client services. Unlike a simple “four-quadrant” map, solutions in the upper right are not necessarily the best solutions-there is no one “best” for all cases. Insurers should consider which factors in breadth, technology, experience, and client service are most important to them and use the profiles and comparative tables in this report to generate their own shortlists. Only fully profiled vendors are included in the ABCD Vendor View.
The 59-page report contains eleven in-depth profiles, five figures, and seven tables. A table of contents is available online.
Celent’s service offering falls into two categories, consulting and research, each of which is dedicated to technology in the financial services industry. We help banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies use IT to enter new markets in the shortest possible timeframes. All of our services are geared towards facilitating better informed, faster decision making. For more information visit www.celent.com.