Sun Microsystems has introduced its Sun Distribution Channel Portal, with which it aims to help the insurance industry open up new markets and better serve customers by making it easier to develop new product distribution channels.

The new package includes Sun servers, storage, services and software to help insurers quickly and cost-efficiently reach new customers through non-traditional channels such as banks, supermarkets, post offices, kiosks, telephones and PDAs.

The Distribution Channel Portal has straight through processing capability to bring the back office systems through to the front office. This means that insurers can rapidly sell existing insurance products – and create, launch and manage new products – without adding IT processes that could delay the sales cycle.

The portal, which operates 24/7 and is accessible via an internet browser, presents a single customer view and covers all insurance products in any language and any currency, through unlimited channels. It also delivers real-time performance monitoring of agents, products and channels, and offers first notice of loss to improve claims handling.

Sun’s portal combines offerings from different vendors. The customer sales and service piece is handled by G2X Agility Software. This software centralizes relationship history, including policy and claims information, in a centralized portal and provides a single view of the customer at all times. It drives more revenue by identifying cross and upsell opportunities and retaining customers through improved service, as well as reduces event time for the sales and services process.

Meanwhile, a core application from UniRisX allows insurers to create new products and new distribution channels in a few clicks with real-time risk management and control. This application offers full end-to-end policy administration from quoting and issuance to documentation production and mid-term adjustments.

In today’s insurance industry, the product is no longer a competitive differentiator. What is most important today is how insurers find and serve their customers, said Larry Scott, vice president of global financial services industry for Sun. Our new solution enables insurers around the globe to discover and implement new distribution channels in order to serve new markets – without increasing expense ratios.