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

Global Supply Chain, Local Problem

As a technology provider, your clientís ability to deliver products and services to their customers, when and where they need them, is at the heart of their business success.

Legacy Systems Are Increasingly a Competitive Handicap

Legacy systems, while reliable, increasingly hold insurers back, a new study finds

From Her to Watson, and What’s Next?

Imagine a learning system that can replace the performance of your best employee to provide the same level of support across the organization.

Five Reasons to Software-Define Your Operations

It may be possible to provision key services with the click of a mouse, but benefits go well beyond that.

3 Policy Admin Conversion Considerations

Insurers would be wise to learn these lessons before formulating a strategy to convert policies to a new policy administration system.

Boyle’s 4th Law - Response Time Matters!

Why many companies donít do a good job of measuring the thing that clients value the most.