Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Visiting IBM Forum La Gaude

Monday and Tuesday this week I was part of a small delegation visiting IBM’s industry solution center, IBM Forum La Gaude at La Gaude, Nice. The participants were representatives from selected Nordic insurance companies plus two of us representing TIA Technology. The focus of the visit was getting a glimpse into the possibilities when IBM applies its muscles to innovation in the insurance industry.

First of all I will make a short note - coming from many months of rain in Denmark visiting Nice in March was a nice change – including seeing the sun and the snow covered mountains. At least until I broke my glasses Tuesday night – after that most of the things at a distance got a bit blurred.

La Gaude is one out of several industry solutions centers across the world where IBM showcases its latest technology solutions within a variety of industries including insurance. During the two days we saw a selection of prototypes and sample applications relating to claims processing, call center applications, home surveillance solutions, tele health care, insurance sales processes and more. Everything put together by IBM in cooperation with several ISV’s and partners.

All in all a pretty impressive collection of demos from which I am sure all of the people watching could be inspired. The actual technologies behind the demos seemed to me to be available on the market today, the impressive thing was the time and effort it must have taken to put it together and make it work. Some of the underlying concepts I believe I saw put in use was web services, SMS gateways, RFID tracking, rich client applications using Eclipse, remote web cam surveillance, secure signature pads and more. The technologies were applied to insurance scenarios for claims processing, sales quoting and others.

Overall two interesting days and most relevant for insurance companies as well as us in TIA Technology to get an impression of what is available and possible for our customers today in terms of technology and innovation from IBM.

Finally I cannot help sending a thank to Anders from IBM how arranged the trip and especially the amazing experience in French cuisine Tuesday night, where a seven course dinner was served with several delicacies including Oyster ice cream (!), lamps feet and pork brain. Never have I tried anything quite like it :-).

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