IBM and MetLife create transformative insurance platform

The IBM Insurance Platform was built in collaboration with MetLife and Majesco using the IBM Cloud

By | 2 minute read | October 11, 2017

Photo: Jürgen Stemper Bloemche | Flickr

From the introduction of the mainframe to pioneering efforts in artificial intelligence, IBM has consistently developed technologies that are relevant to the insurance industry. Today we announced another milestone for the insurance industry: the IBM Insurance Platform with an initial focus on end-to-end core processing for group benefits and to be offered “as a service” on the IBM Cloud.

We are not only delivering a new platform-as-a-service to our clients but delivering it in a way that affords them the financial flexibility to invest in both technical and business innovation. This consumption-based, as-a-service model enables insurers to innovate faster and more efficiently, and it gives the flexibility to redirect capital making possible the investment in new markets and capture of emerging revenue pools.

This business model also addresses an endemic challenge in the insurance industry: legacy core applications that are inflexible, expensive to maintain and lack the ability to deliver real-time insights. Legacy systems that are siloed stifle the ability to innovate and leverage new data sets such as weather and IoT in real time, while the data is most relevant and valuable.

MetLife is our anchor client on the group-benefits instance of the platform. They intend to use this platform initially to grow their emerging small- and mid-market enterprise business. Collaborating with a client of MetLife’s scope and reach has resulted in a system that meets the needs of enterprise-level insurers.

For group benefits products, the platform gives MetLife the ability to offer both customers and brokers a comprehensive benefits experience—including enrollment, benefits and claims—across multiple channels and in an end-to-end environment. With business operations streamlined on one flexible platform that runs on industry-leading product and data models, MetLife will have the ability to offer a wide range of group benefits, including life, dental, vision, disability and voluntary insurances, all across a wide range of customer types.

MetLife was deliberate in selecting IBM as a partner for this important work. Built in collaboration with MetLife and Majesco, the platform will feature cognitive computing, core insurance systems (Majesco L&A and Group Suite), data analytics and integration with third-party providers. The platform, using IBM Cloud technology, meets the stringent enterprise security and compliance requirements they and other insurers demand, providing resiliency in changing market and regulatory conditions.

The result of our joint effort is a platform that is relevant for how insurers operate today, providing the flexibility to easily integrate with internal and external systems.  Moreover, the IBM Insurance Platform provides a configurable environment with cognitive tools for blockchain, AI, IoT and data partners. This empowers insurers on the IBM Insurance Platform to either highly differentiate their front-end to deliver a unique customer and distributor experience, or start with a preconfigured front end to achieve speed to market. In addition, clients on the platform will be able to perform business analytics using prebuilt functionality or leveraging other tools.

The key principles that are foundational to the system, and drove the decision of MetLife, are important to all insurers. Cloud and consumption-based models free up capital invested in expensive legacy systems and give insurers the business flexibility to scale up businesses rapidly to take advantage of new market opportunities. Insurers can also realize significant cost savings over time as back-office innovation costs and functionality are shared among platform participants and third-party partners.