Industry observations and opinions from the staff
Do We Need an E-mail
If It feels as though messagIng-related data has gotten the better
of you, it has.
If you manage these systems for your organization, you must consider which of the recent
proliferation of hardware, software, platforms and apps your employees should be using. and you
must decide this at many levels, from basic internal employee PC e-mail access to the mobile apps
used by claims adjusters or sales reps in the field. from security and productivity standpoints, other
questions arise: Who should have access to what data? how much time is lost by employees just
processing the hundreds of messages that appear in their inboxes each morning?
In the past, only doctors, nurses, police and fire personnel were required to be constantly “on
call.” now, most american workers are all on call, using their “out of office” function in a futile effort to manage expectations. at most insurance customer service centers, e-mails must be answered
within 24 hours. many insurers also consider e-mail messaging an internal customer service tool.
Ignore at your peril.
In “the tyranny of e-mail,” John freeman cites estimates from 2007 that the average corporate
worker spends more than 40% of his or her day sending and receiving some two hundred e-mail
messages.that was more than three years ago.today, your employees are interrupted every 15 to
20 seconds by a blip on the screen, usually by a request for a response from an internal or external
all told, if employees are spending up to 50% of their work day scanning and responding to
online messages, how productive can they be?
and what are we doing about it? We’re enabling it. We hit “reply all,” drawing others into indi-
rect discussion when the message could be succinctly routed to the sender only. We ask ridiculous,
time-wasting social questions, such as “how are you,” in body copy of e-mails that deal specifically
with business issues.then we answer similar ridiculous questions with a return e-mail. our eyes
dart back to the monitor, hoping to keep up.
Insurance technologists need to do more to help employees make sense of this digital deluge.
While many aftermarket technologies exist, a simpler solution may simply be educating employees about the robust, rules-based message management and filtering options already included in
programs such as microsoft outlook. While this may do little to cut down on the overall volume
of messages, it will considerably reduce the time employees spend manually sifting through their
inbox, dragging and dropping messages into various folders.
If technology ultimately fails to address the problem of messaging overload, our industry may
just need an intervention. I’ll start: my name is Pat and I’m an e-mail addict. now let’s talk about
550 W. Van buren st., ste. 1110 ll Chicago, Il 60607 ll fax: 312-566-0656
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ll www.insurancenetworking.com
Editor-in-Chief Patricia speer 312.777.1376
Editor Carrie burns 312.777.1366
Senior Editors William Kenealy 312.777.1372,
alex Vorro 312.777.1378
Contributors doug bartholomew
Online Contributor Jennifer morrell
Art Director michael r. Vella
Group Editorial Director John mcCormick
SVP & Group Publisher rob Whitaker 212.803.8844
Publisher holli gronset 847.428.0627
Business Development Manager michael mcCaffrey 646.271.9687
Sales Coordinator michelle Vega 312.777.1361
Customer Service 800.221.1809
Reprint Services Joylyn Yaw 212.803.8368
Group Marketing Director edward hanasik 212.803.6572
of Audience Development george ortiz 212.803.8544
Executive Director of Manufacturing stacy ferrara 212.803.8293
Group Production Director elina shnayder 212.803.8210
Associate Production Manager maria marcoff 212.803.8992
Distribution Manager michael Candemeres 212.803.8538
BOARD OF ADVISERS
eric bulis, EVP of Operations and CIO, SBLI USA Mutual Life
ursuline foley, SVP and CIO, XLRe at XL Capital
dick mucci, Chairman and CEO of New York Life International
dennis mehmen, CIO,VP, Business Information Services,
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co.
mike murray, VP of Finance, OneBeacon Insurance Co.
michael romano, SVP, Risk & Administrative Services, Highmark Inc.
anthony sisti, Information Systems Director, Travelers
Jan tomlinson, Past EVP and International Field Operations Manager,
The Chubb Corp.
Chief Executive Officer douglas J. manoni
Chief Financial Officer richard antoneck
EVP & Managing Director Banking and Capital Markets Karl elken
EVP & Managing Director Professional
Services and Technology Group bruce morris
EVP & Chief Content Officer david longobardi
SVP, Inside Sales and Technology adam reinebach
SVP, Conferences John delmauro
Vice President, Finance Jamie brokowsky
Senior Director, Human Resources Ying Wong