With the Government’s recently announced 12-point action plan for Insurance, the benefits to the company and policyholders will make Insurance more fundamental and relevant.
The focus on the customer oriented business model will further drive Insurance companies in embracing the emerging technologies. Due to the data-intensive nature of the industry, primarily because it involves collection, processing and maintaining of information relating to insurance policies, IT will continue to act as a critical enabler. In the volatile insurance environment where insurers introduce recurrent changes in process model, product design, IT has helped to gain through web-based, online, front-ending improvements for efficient selling, analysis and decision making. Technology investments will be crucial in the dynamic insurance environment not only to serve the competitive edge but also to maintain the regulatory obligations and hygiene required.
Name: Beena Manoj Simon
Web Site: http://www.futuregenerali.in
Bio: Beena is Senior Manager - Project Management & Operations, at Future Generali India Life Insurance Co.
Traditionally, small parts of a process (work-step/s) have been performed by different workers who add some value at each work-step. However, increasing automation has led to reducing of the repetitive work and work-steps involve very little value addition from each worker. To keep work interesting and meaningful for a knowledge worker, and to enhance efficiencies, each knowledge worker is expected to perform the task end-to-end. This requires knowledge workers to collaborate in both structured and ad-hoc manner depending on how the case shapes up. Typical “case management” application areas include a benefits claim processing, an investigation by a government agency or a loan request processing.
“Case Management” includes usage of content, collaboration and support for dynamic work allocation. Within such cases, exceptions are unpredictable and rather become the norm. Such “ cases” can only be visualized and modeled into a process after they are completed. Therefore, to successfully manage the “Case”, along with the Content Management tools, the information worker also requires social/collaboration tools for the ad hoc work, and tools like BPM, and business rules for managing structured work.
Bio: Rohit Thakur is Senior Manager-Marketing, at Newgen Software
Creating software from business requirements or walking on the water is very easy if both are frozen. No doubt one of the major challenges software companies face is to manage change during the coding phase. A good number of linear and iterative software development model concepts are available in the market. Even though these orthodox Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models have good success rates of providing satisfactory software solutions, most of them fail to provide the solution in time.
More often than not, this happens because of the unforeseen changes or the new requirements which were not included in the requirement documents. Also, this kind of change requests make the entire project susceptible to potential risks as the partially built software may decline the newly suggested changes which are technically infeasible.
Unlike any other software, a BPM software solution always expects to have a lot of change requests during the coding phase. In fact, it will not be an exaggeration to say that the change requests during the implementation phase, best capture all the non-functional requirements for any BPM solution. A BPM solution never works in silos and on the contrary it gets all the individual business systems together on a single platform so that they can work collaboratively. Extensive integrations, rich GUI, user-friendly look and feel, adherence to branding guidelines on the screen (fonts, logos etc.) are some of the requirements which usually come up during the implementation phase. Now this is a challenge for all the BPM vendors and implementers to welcome all those changes and incorporate them in the solution without extending the project delivery time.
All the top notch BPM tools, available in the market are already over saturated with functionalities and features.
So, the discriminating factor between any two leading BPM vendors is not the BPM tool kit any more but their capability to implement the BPM solution in lesser time by addressing all the last minute changes.
All the BPM vendors use their own techniques and procedures for implementation. Newgen Software is not an exception. We have started using the Prototyping model for the BPM solution development which is by the way the most praised and the least followed method across the globe. Prototyping is highly praised because it ensures faster project delivery than any other methods and is least followed because it demands incorporating the continuously evolving solution requirements while developing the solution. The solution developed with available requirements is shown to the client for feedback. The client usually gets an early idea of how the solution will look like in real. Client feedback forms the basis for the requirements for the second version of the solution. After a number of iterations between the client and the development team, the solution becomes ready to be deployed. However, the process is not as easy as it sounds. It requires extensive domain knowledge of developing same kind of business solutions which bring the efforts to perfection in quick time.
Newgen has its ingenious methods and approaches for the prototyping model. Very recently, we have used this technique successfully for a leading European bank. We have fully automated 7 processes in 18 months and the solution has been deployed across 3 countries with 3 separate document management system implementation. So, the Newgen’s Prototyping model speaks for itself. Below is a generic overview of the model:
By using the Prototyping model, allows Newgen to design and release the 1st level of BPM solution without doing any custom coding. The entire deployment is completed in 3 levels.
Level 1- In the first level, the processes are designed as per the Function Specification Diagram (FSD) prepared for the project. Designing process does not include any kind of coding and is built upon the core functionality available within the product. Level -1 includes the following tasks:
First level usually takes 2 weeks time to implement the solution.
Level 2- In the second level, the validation check is provided. Level -2 includes the following tasks:
The 2nd level usually takes 2-4 weeks of time
Level 3- In the last level, all the integrations with external business systems are done. Depending upon the complexity, the last level takes 3-5 weeks of time.
The level-1 implementation is done by using the extensive domain knowledge that Newgen has on different verticals like Banking, Insurances, Financial Institutions, BPOs, SSCs, Telecom, and Government with the wide range of features available in the BPM suite. So, as soon as the level-1 implementation is over, it can be moved to the production site and the client can start using the BPM solution instantly. That happened with the European bank. The users’ feedback on the level-1 system was used to make improvements for the 2nd level. This innovative implementation approach results into the following benefits:
Bio: Sandipan Chakraborty is part of the Marketing Team at Newgen.
In order to capitalize on the growing market opportunities and mitigate potential risks, businesses need to follow the rule of thumb – ‘Sound business processes are the backbone of a business’. This looks like a simple rule, but when brought into practice turns out to be a rather abstruse proposition owing to the fact that the very definition of a ‘sound business process’ keeps changing continuously. Change is the order of the day, and only processes that adapt and respond quickly to changing market requirements, deliver sustainable business advantages. This ability of a business to identify change and to respond quickly to it is termed as business agility.
Now that we understand the basic meaning of business agility, the challenge before us is to understand not only how to achieve the threshold business agility to rise above competition, but also how to maintain that competitive edge. The solution is obvious – incorporate business agility into the very nature of your business processes.
Dynamic processes, capable of reacting and adapting to an ever-changing business environment, can be achieved by underpinning business processes with an efficient Business Process Management (BPM) platform. BPM is essentially a strategic management discipline aimed at continuously improving processes spanning business functions, bringing about the much needed visibility, and agility to facilitate business innovation. Further, the Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) component of BPM enables better control over process output and extensive process performance reporting. To sum up, BPM combines technology with strategic management practices to address changes in real time with minimal IT efforts and thus drives business agility.
Bio: Garima is Manager - Marketing & Communications at Newgen Software.
Acquiring new customers is the most challenging part in any business. The job becomes even more difficult if you are also trying to enter a new segment of the market, about which your understanding is much less. However a systematic style of working can assure successful market penetration, even against worst competing environment. Preparing for acquiring new customers is like preparing for a WAR. Once you have decided to take a given product/solution to the market in order to acquire new customers, basic background work to prepare yourself for the battleground is a must. You need to have your artillery in place to destroy enemy bunkers and destabilize the enemies infantry.
In our case, it means planning to do face to face events with customers to help them understand your offerings. You want the customers to start talking about your product and organization too. This is the first step. You need to plan for air cover to the advancing ground troops, so that their job becomes easy. In our case it means using web, phone and mail as tools to reach out to more number of customers even before your sales people call on them. You need to prepare your paratroopers to be dropped behind the enemy line to take enemy barracks by surprise. In our case it will mean getting into a given region in a given vertical for a given opportunity without making noise about it. Take the competition by surprise. During my ELX Linux days we did a POC in a government organization and sold the first fifty copies, without Microsoft coming to know of this. They took the OS market for granted and never thought that they can have competition from a small player in Hyderabad. The end result was that this news got flashed in all major Linux portals around the world, giving ELX Linux instant visibility in the marketplace. In the marketing world people call it success through selective seeding of your solution.
Keep your eyes wide open and ears on the ground. It is always helpful, if you are aware of the local market conditions and the reaction of your customers and competitors. It helps you plan better.
1. Identify the product/s you want to sell: Identify the product which you want to spearhead with. Ideal is to take a product which needs minimal concept selling. Try to address a current existing need. Even if you have a solution which you believe can save the world from all the miseries under the Sun, it may not sell, if your customers do not believe in it. There are few products which are best sold as “add on” products. Hence the first step is to identify the main product and the add on products.
2. Identify the market segment: Identify the market segment where you want to sell. This should include the prospect customer base you want to address and the territory you would like to target. Keep in mind possible pre – sales and post sales issues. Identify few common pain points. Market segmentation helps you plan better and focus better. Identify the buying behavior, the capacity to pay and any success stories which can help the customer relate to the story line and take a decision.
3. Identify five main features of the product : It is extremely important to make a favorable impression in your first pitch to the customer. If the customer starts feeling the need for your offering, then its game point for you. You should identify and articulate the top five benefits of your offerings, review the impact of the pitch every week in the first few months to improvise and fine tune the pitch. In a competitive world where you are not the only one offering a given type of product, you need to ensure that your storyline is interesting enough for the customer to remember you and value your product when it comes to decision making.
4. Practice presenting the product : I have seen many sales people who avoid practicing the pitch as they believe they can manage it in-front of the customer. This can actually prove counterproductive, as its critical to repeat the presentation multiple times to get familiar with the content. Even Amitabh Bacchan and Shahrukh Khan need to rehearse before the shot is canned. Practice your pitch multiple time before you talk to your customer.
4. Avoid trashing competition : When faced with a competitive selling situation, many sales people tend to trash the competition. Instead try concentrating on your products good points relevant for the customer. You do not want to end up creating unwanted curiosity in the mind of the customer. In some cases , the customer develops a soft corner for the competing product which is getting trashed. This makes the sale even more difficult. Under all normal circumstances avoid mentioning the name of the competition unless you are forced to, as you will not like any discussion where you land up discussing competition more then your product. You do not get paid to talk about competition.
5. Learn to demonstrate the product: The technical person should practice to show the five main features in a given sequence. The sales and technical person should follow the same sequence along with a story line. One should practice the quick demo, where he covers the top 5 features in 10 to 15 minutes or so. The aim is to demonstrate the strength of the product and maintain the interest and curiosity . One also needs to practice a full demo of the product where they should cover all the features and anything else the customer may like to know. The golden rule in any demo is show features what are relevant to the projected customer need and not what we know. However as you want the customer to see the important features first hence do tell him what features you want to show him first, but kindly do not avoid answering his direct questions because they are not part of the sequence, and this happens to be a common problem with many a pre sales technical representative. If you do not know something, kindly admit and get back to the customer after you have learnt about that. It is important to control the discussion or else you might land up completing the demonstration without showcasing the important features.
6. Keep a first follow up draft mail ready: Once you come from the meeting, kindly be prompt in writing to the customer and summarizing the discussion and the features of the product. Part of the mail can be common for all hence kindly keep a draft mail ready to make your job simpler, however you must customize each mail for every customer based on the discussion you had.
7. Create visibility :You need to create a basic level visibility about your organization and the product that you are trying to promote. There are multiple things one can do to create visibility and one of the easiest thing to do is to add a home page on the new product in the company website. You can create EDM’s and send it to your customer base, you can do round table discussions with select customers at a given premises or can have a tele caller to call up and talk to the would be customers. The methods can be many, but ensure that you take necessary steps to create the visibility. Define some measurable metrics which you want to monitor and keep checking if the visibility is increasing steadily or not.
8. Positioning of the product : You have to decide how you want the customer to perceive your product. You need to create an image for the product, based on your communication to the external world. This will involve the pain point which the product will address, the reason why the customer should look at the product beyond the given features comparison which they might do with competing products, the pricing of the product etc etc. A perception in the mind of the customer cannot be changed easily. Hence, prepare adequately.
When Red Hat Linux Server was launched, it was perceived to be free, where as the subscription cost of the Advanced Server for a five user license was equal to SCO Unix Server cost or Microsoft Server cost. The funny part was that if you added three years cost, then Red Hat Linux Server became more expensive then SCO Unix or Microsoft Windows. This was not all, the Linux Server in the initial few years was not technically strong enough to exploit all the features of Intel Pentium processor, which SCO Unix could do very well. The perception in the mind of the end users was different and this lead to complete devastation for SCO. They almost got wiped out of the market. SCO Unix could not reposition its product effectively based on the changed ground realities. The end result was that a product which was technically less efficient, more expensive in the long run had beaten an established market leader in the Intel Server space. Suse Linux using the same Linux Kernel, slightly lower in pricing compared to Red Hat, has not managed to eat into the Red Hat market share yet. Red Hat controls 80% of India market in the Linux space. Right positioning can help you get the desired mindshare of the customer, resulting in more business.
9. Tips on preparing your positioning statement: a) Newgen is among the top five companies in the world which gets featured in the magic quadrant of Gartner – This point proves that the customer is going to buy one of the best products in the world (b) Enterprise class solution – It runs on top of a RDBMS, Application Server and Imaging Server capable of handling billions of documents – This point proves that if you are thinking of enterprise solution think of Newgen (C) All installations are successful installations – This proves that no one gets fired for buying Newgen (D) Newgen is in this business for 19 Years, much before the competing companies entered in the business of ECM and BPM – This proves that the product/solution is much more matured then what competition offers (E) Now Newgen product are available as shrink wrapped products from partners too – This proves that one has got option to pick and chose the vendor from whom they want to buy.
10. Organization is bigger than individuals : It is good to have more then one point of contact from your organization to the customer, even though most sales people will not like it. This ensures that the customer does not see your organization from the perspective of one sales persons relationship management, with whom they are interacting. Secondly with the change of the sales person, interaction with the customer will not end, which does happen in many cases.
Secondly when everything is equal between you and the competing product, it is the image of the organization which can be the differentiating factor. People come and people go but the organization remains constant. Keep looking for opportunities to showcase the strength of the organization.
Human Resources have always been an integral part of any organization and the success of an organization is largely dependent on the quality of its resources. To achieve optimum utilization and efficiency of human resources, various strategies are introduced by different organizations, such as training and development, reforms in policies for recruitment, selection or retention, change management, better compensation, programs to enhance employee motivation, recreation, employee benefits, facilities and so on, the list is never ending.
Many organizations feel that productivity can be increased by motivating employees or providing training; many feel that change in management structure is required, recruitment should be proper, working environment should be improved or policies should be changed while some others feel that incentive or payment structure should be improved. Similarly many more thoughts are there to debate, but in this post I would not discuss the improvement in employee productivity through these means, but explain how supporting employees by providing tools which can help them to gain edge faster, as compared to traditional means of improvement, which can at times prove to be sheer wastage of time and resources. In simple terms if you are weak in calculations then instead of learning mathematics and going through the learning classes, just use calculator and move forward. So in my opinion, we should improve our abilities instead of improving our inabilities. I don’t know how many agree with me but this my perspective.
Please do not misunderstand me, as I am not at all against any of the traditional means to increase employee productivity, but I am attempting to suggest methods to synergize the ability of employees. Based on the above argument, IO believe that every organization must have automated business process for the tasks which are repetitive in nature or require fixed or closed ended operations, such as approval of a loan for a certain value on fixed parameter, or classification of customers for insurance approval, or calculation of perks, incentive, targets etc based on fixed calculations, or taking any kind of business decision based on business rules, or physical activity like retrieving a physical document from the record room etc.
These repeated activities generally do not involve creativity and decision making, but can result in employee dissatisfaction or monotony in job or wastage of human intelligence for the jobs which can be performed through automation. Automation will help employees in performing their jobs with accuracy (through automated tools) and allow them to devote more time in improving processes to increase operational efficiency and reduce turn around time.
Identifying this need of business organizations across industry verticals, Newgen has developed software products like Document Management System and Business Process Management System to take care of all possible process automation needs of organizations and help these organizations in synergizing employee productivity; just like what calculators did to enhance the productivity of individuals with weak calculation skills.
Web Site: http://www.newgensoft.com
Bio: Hemant is Senior Manager - Processing Services with Newgen Software Technologies Limited
The recently held global award competition for Adaptive Case Management (ACM) implementations, in the USA, was an eye-opener for those who could not envisage Case Management emerging as the next big thing in the IT industry. The prestigious award competition was organized by a veteran award organizer Future Strategies Inc. – most of the times recognized by its director Layna Fischer, and KMWorld- a well recognized magazine for knowledge management. By the way, Layna Fisher is associated with organizing the Global BPM excellence award for almost 2 decades. Unlike any other award competition, the ACM award competition was held globally, which made it more challenging and interesting for all the case management solution providers. Vendors participated and nominated their clients across all the geographies like APAC, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Oceania, North America, South America. The award organizers categorize the nominations into: Customer Facing, Innovation, Legal and Courts, Medical and Healthcare and Public Sector. All the top notch BPM and ECM solution providers across the globe came and showcased their case management solutions implemented by their clients. Some of the vendors even nominated more than one client for this prestigious award.
From Newgen, I was spearheading this project and it was a wonderful experience for me. We nominated one of Newgen’s prestigious clients- Lakshmi Kumaran & Sridharan (L&S) for this award and submitted our nomination under the Legal and Courts category. Finally the comprehensive exercise of case study building, client’s approval, constant follow up, meeting deadlines and co-ordination with the event organizing committee, that lasted three months, did paid off when Newgen’s implementation at L&S emerged as the Gold Award winner.
In my last two blogs, I did talk about the Case Management Solution in generic, but in my upcoming blog I will take the opportunity to showcase Newgen’s Gold Award winning case management solution to you. Broadly I will be covering three aspects: the business challenges faced by the client that led them to look for a case management solution, the solution and its uniqueness, and the business benefits gained by our client.
Bio: Sandipan Chakraborty is part of the Marketing Team at Newgen.
In this tech savvy age, where the world is now one big global village owing to factors like Globalisation and Liberalisation, India is in the midst of an IT boom. Amongst the companies that have helped India carve its niche in the world IT market is a Company by the name of Newgen.
While starting out in 1992, Mr. Diwakar Nigam, the founder of Newgen, could envisage the need for Imaging-based Process Automation and Management solutions. At that time, the processing power was limited and memory was costly, but he rightly anticipated that it was bound to grow with time and be affordable, and one would eventually be able to support Document Management System (DMS) and Imaging capabilities through software. Discoursing on the path of its nineteen-year long journey, Newgen has now reached the milestone of a market leader in Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM).
Newgen’s network is wide spread with bases in the country in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bombay and international branches operating in the US and Middle East. Software engineers, Sales & Marketing department, Global Business Development team, Operations department, Purchase department, IT department, HRD department, Legal department, Finance department, and Training department contribute to its strength of over a thousand employees.
The company ever since its inception has put its best foot forward in its sphere of work. Having spent almost two decades catering to its customers, it has provided them with nothing but the best. In this rat race what keeps Newgen going strong is its belief that ‘good’ is not good enough; services have to be the best. Newgen, today doesn’t stand out in this crowd of the IT world merely because of its position as a market leader, what makes Newgen a class apart from the rest is that even in today’s ‘modern’ times, it stands firmly rooted and driven by its work ethics. The company has earned a respectable reputation for itself today owing to the credibility of its products, and its relentless drive to achieve excellence.
In a world where human touch is missing by and large from the corporate culture, Newgen is extremely sensitive to the needs and welfare of its employees. Newgen’s Employee Welfare Society (NEWS) has made an important contribution in this regard. Ranging from NEWS weeks, to educating kids of fourth class workers under the action plan of Sadbhavna, the Newgen management board has been keenly involved in looking out for its employees.
True to its motto of “One world, one workplace”, Newgen is striving to emerge as a global leader in spearheading further condensation of the world through Information Technology and Document Management. With celebration of its 19th Founder’s day just passed by and many more to come, Newgen moves ever onwards to be a giant in the field of Information Technology.
Bio: Rakesh Singh is part of the Operations team at Newgen Software, and is an active member of Newgen's Employee Welfare Society.
The 1980s saw the emergence of the concept of “Shared Services” and ever since, a number of factors, global as well as local, have converged to give it a rapid momentum. Be it the economic downturns or the waves of mergers & acquisitions or the insistent need to enhance productivity with fewer resources; each trend reinforced the need for Shared Services.
Incorporating holistic vision & operating strategy, end-to-end process optimization, business performance management and sourcing strategy lead to a complete business transformation. As the chief enabler of shared services – IT and Communications Technology – advanced, the world became a smaller workplace and the distributed operations centralized.
The above underlined the widely practiced perception of an SSC: a processing unit to enhance productivity, improve efficiency and reduce operational cost. However, that was till recently. My recent interactions with the SSC leaders and senior executives bestowed some interesting insights into the changing priorities and their new focus area : the SSCs today aim to evolve from cost centers to fully responsible business units.
Centralization, standardization, orchestration, optimization & cost-reduction have been achieved and delivered already; SSCs today strive to go one essential step further; they are evolving as service set-ups and entering into service level agreements with the various process owners/ internal customers, similar to the BPO approach. They aim to render transparent services, set up monitoring mechanisms and find a way to charge their services appropriately to their internal customers. To the extent, that some of these really advanced SSCs have turned into full fledged business units of their respective corporations. Besides captive customers, they serve third-party customers as well and operate as profit centers.
So while the business case is clear, the business challenges grow even pressing. As the SSCs gear to transform into the services way, there rise an imperative need for an efficient process framework and a robust monitoring mechanism. While the diverse disciplines need to be integrated with the risk and control structures; these structures should incur substantial agility to incorporate changing business dynamics. So while the focus remains to guarantee success & growth at cheaper rates, the eventual challenge is to ensure that services meet the expectations …
Bio: Monnika Bisht is Territory Manager - Global Business Development for EMEA at Newgen Software technologies Limited.
Masaaki Imai introduced the Kaizen method for continuous incremental improvements to the corporate world, through his book, ‘Kaizen: The key to Japan’s success’, in 1986. The concept spread across industries like fire and became a fad the world over. The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen is about constant continual improvement at low cost, involving everyone at all levels in the organizational structure, and applying much common sense.
Assuming that every aspect of our life should be driven by constant improvement, Kaizen aims at elimination of waste (activities for which the input – output ratio is extremely low). It often refers to rearranging processes in a better and less complex workflow. The next step is standardization of this better process. The cycle of Kaizen activity also known as Shewhart cycle or Deming cycle has the following four steps that are repeated ad infinitum:
Manual coordination of activities in organizations leads to inefficiency and errors in the operational process and often obstructs process improvement itself. Business Process Management (BPM) was recognized by the academic world in the fifties and sixties as an effective tool for managing quality. Later, Hammer & Champy (1993) defined a process (business process) as “a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer.” With their definition they highlighed the benefits of process management, process (re-) engineering, and workflow management to business managers. They established the importance of BPM to the success of modern enterprises. BPM leads to a continuous cycle of process improvement. Ideally it aims at saving money, saving time, improving compliance and adding value to an organizations workflow. The BPM lifecycle involves the following major steps:
Today, BPM in its capacity as a continually evolving set of technologies, to establish goals and strategies for the improvement of operational processes that affect an organization’s performance, to some extent is Kaizen.
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