PARIS; Feb. 6, 2006 – Accenture has been selected to help MMA, one of France’s largest universal insurers, test the viability of digital pen and paper technology in the industrial risk underwriting process.
Digital pen and paper technology combines the portability of traditional pen and paper with a computer’s ability to store, share and act upon the information collected. Used like ordinary pens, digital pens are embedded with electronics capable of storing time-stamped content. Users write on paper printed with a faint irregular pattern of dots similar to map coordinates, enabling the pen to “know” which form is being used, what is being written, and when the data are entered.
For increased security, each pen has a unique identifier allowing all information recorded by it to be traced back to the source. The information stored in the pen is transmitted to a central server for storage, further processing and analysis, or for transmission to colleagues.
MMA and Accenture are working together to demonstrate how digital pen and paper technology can improve the underwriting process, which is currently slowed down by the need to repeatedly enter data on paper forms and then into the insurer’s information systems.
For the trial phase, four MMA business risk insurance assessors have been trained and provided with digital pens and paper, which they will use for approximately 10 weeks during their onsite audits. Trial results are expected by mid-February.
“Through our active, ongoing technology watch, Accenture emerged as the obvious choice for our planning committee, whose responsibilities include launching initiatives like digital pen and paper,” said Patrick Grosjean, senior vice president in charge of the Organization and IT department at MMA. “The fact that Accenture already had the technological expertise and an integrated platform enabled us to launch this trial rapidly.”
Among the technological components that Accenture is working on with MMA are the design and manufacture of digital paper entry forms, handwriting recognition, and the transfer of data from the digital pens to a server at Accenture’s research and development facility in Sophia Antipolis, France.
“This is the first business-specific trial of its kind in France, and we believe there will be many more, leading to broad-based deployment of digital pen and paper technology,” said Michel Lahyani, a senior executive in Accenture’s Insurance practice. “Other trials we’ve conducted have shown that applying the technology to current paper-based business processes generates significant savings.”
With €1.95 billion in equity, €4.3 billion in revenues and €18.8 billion in managed assets in 2004, MMA is among France’s ten largest universal insurers. Through its 5,600 employees, 1 200 general agents and 1,400 sales outlets, the Group provides its 2,15 million customers with a full range of property & casualty and life insurance products and services.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 126,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.