Blog

Better Than Being There: Insurer Immerses Itself in "Telepresence"

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, January 22, 2010

In my last post, I talked about the disruptive impact of low-cost or no-cost teleconferencing or telepresence may have on the insurance industry, and when face-to-face, onsite interaction still makes sense.

A new article in ComputerWorld explores MetLife's foray into telepresence, observing how the insurance giant has engaged Cisco TelePresence in three dedicated conference rooms in Chicago, New York and New Jersey to enable employees to interact via high-end, high-definition visual and audio communications in an integrated environment.

The environment, which employs large screens, is pretty uncanny. Fans of the TV show 24, for example, have seen the U.S. president employing Cisco TelePresence to make it appear if the Russian premier is right across the table in the same room. (Nice product placement, Cisco...)

Note: there is a distinction between video teleconferencing—such as that with Skype, in which the participants can be seen on a standard computer screen—versus “telepresence,” which provides for an "immersive video experience” enjoyed by MetLife employees and 24's fictional leaders. The more immersed you are, the pricier the experience—a high-end telepresence setup may range in the $100,000 to $400,000 range.

MetLife's setup cost just under $1 million to install, but reports seeing direct cost savings from reduced employee travel. Anthony Nugent, EVP of employee benefits sales, expects double-digit ROI in travel savings.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Trends in P&C and L/H/A Policy Administration Systems

Novarica research shows that nearly 40 percent of P&C and life/health/annuity carriers are currently replacing or planning to replace a policy administration system.

Product Configurators: Moving Insurers toward Self-Sufficiency

Insurers may like a vendorís full service model for updating policy content rules, but they donít want to be held captive if the vendor doesnít offer fast speed-to-market.

How Quote Data Can Deliver Powerful Business Insights

Quote data often is disregarded due to its volume, but properly managed can offer insights into product and pricing strategy, expense control, cross selling and upselling.

Insurers: Let's Be The Best

I donít like when insurance companies are hectored by people inside or outside of the industry about how they arenít innovative. Many insurers are leading the way in gleaning real results from emerging technology disciplines, including big data, analytics, mobile technology, and telematics.

6 Crucial Guidelines for Digital Insurers

Going digital isnít just something that can be accomplished by decree. It takes finesse to keep everything in sync.

Top Stories in Property/Casualty

Novarica Commentaries are available to clients only, but weíve posted direct links to some of the most important stories below.