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Sunday, 24 May 2009





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Ceylinco Life launches auto-underwriting

Underwriting, a key element in the process leading to insurance, will be entrusted to computers for the first time in Sri Lanka, following the development of auto-underwriting software by Ceylinco Life in collaboration with iOM Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., a leading software company in the Asian region.

The new software deployed by the life insurance leader eliminates human error and inconsistencies in analysis, leading to faster and uniform decision making on insurance proposals, with the underwriting component taking less than three minutes per policy, the company said.

Numerous factors considered for Life Risk Assessment, including a prospective policyholder's medical reports, habits, occupation, hobbies, area of residence, previous claims history and even Body Mass Index (BMI) can now be analysed in seconds, generating a decision whether to insure a person and at what rate.

"This results in a quantum leap in precision and consistency," said Upamalika Ratnayake, Senior AGM Information Systems / Chief Information Officer at Ceylinco Life. "The software is 100 percent parameterized and follows the underwriting guidelines of Swiss Re, our reinsurer.

We simply key data into the core system, and the software does the rest.

The saving in time is very significant." She said the potential for selling the software, which is jointly owned by Ceylinco Life and iOM, in the international market is being explored.

Commenting on this new development, Ceylinco Life Deputy Chairman R. Renganathan said: "For five years, Ceylinco Life has been the life insurance market leader in terms of premium income. Clearly, our leadership extends into other aspects of our business, from service delivery to process, adoption of best practices and research and development."

In June last year Ceylinco Life became the first insurance company in Sri Lanka to deploy leading edge information and communications technology in field sales and customer servicing, with the launch of `e-assist' a PDA-based mobile insurance sales office that revolutionised the way insurance sales people work. Sophisticated GPRS-powered Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs with specialized software allow the company's sales consultants to carry their office in their hands and into the homes of their policyholders and prospective clients, offering a new dimension in speed, accuracy and convenience.

Ceylinco Life which has more than 750,000 lives covered by active policies, ended 2008 with premium income of Rs. 8.2 billion and a Life Fund of Rs 22 billion. The company's solvency margin is five times that specified by statute.

Singer ties up with Dialog

To deploy disaster recovery ICT solution:

Singer Sri Lanka recently entered into a partnership with Dialog Enterprise. Dialog Enterprise, an integrated business division of Dialog Telekom PLC, to deploy a disaster recovery ICT solution using Dialog Enterprise Data Centre infrastructure and fourth generation WIMAX technology.

As part of this tie-up, Singer's mission critical sales and financial Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications have been co-located at the Dialog Enterprise Data Centre along with its IBM servers. This helps Singer to have zero down time of its mission critical EPR and financial applications while offering superior customer service at its Centres.

This tie-up facilitates smooth business continuity for Singer Sri Lanka together with greater customer satisfaction in the event of a disaster situation. The solution also provides speedy and efficient connectivity between the Singer Data Centre at Union Place, the Dialog Enterprise Disaster Recovery Facility and Singer's remote offices via WIMAX technology

General Manager Dialog Enterprise Ramanan Divairakam said that this was a strategic win for Dialog Enterprise with Singer being one of the top brands in Sri Lanka. Not only does this tie-up facilitate business continuity and efficient connectivity, it is also a very cost effective solution with one supplier for all services. This is once again yet another triumph for Dialog Enterprise and endorses our ability to cater to the changing demands of our customers. We are firmly convinced that our advanced technology resources enable us to meet these diverse demands. We are also very positive that our ICT solutions will not only deliver value results to Singer's thousands of customers, but also be totally cost effective in the long run".

Director IT at Singer Sri Lanka Ajith Paranawitharana said, "Dialog Enterprise was the obvious choice when it came to choosing an ICT partner for an ambitious project of this nature. I am confident that Dialog's coverage on WIMAX, its technology expertise and commitment to investing in cutting edge ICT infrastructure, will contribute to the ultimate success of this partnership".

Telecom sector leading the market

Frost & Sullivan, at its recently hosted South Asia Enterprise Security Summit 2009, unveiled the report titled `Overview and Way Forward on Sri Lanka Network Security Market'.

The report states that the telecom sector is leading the market when it comes to adopting network security technologies in Sri Lanka with most of the telecom players catering to the domestic market. BFSI stood as the second largest spender.

BFSI companies in Sri Lanka are attuned to the concept of having an active role in monitoring and upgrading their security strategies.

However, due to the economic slowdown, the performance of BFSI in Sri Lanka was not as impressive in 2008 as expected.

The spending by the Government in Sri Lanka remained pretty strong and focused in 2008 and attained the third position.

This also goes to show the commitment of the Sri Lankan Government in addressing all relevant IT matters, as well as its salient role in driving network security business and trends. This vertical is expected to show the highest growth amongst all verticals in the forecast period 2007-2015.

However, as there are no strict guidelines or rules by the Government or any other body in Sri Lanka that needs to be followed by different companies, verticals like manufacturing and retail, which traditionally are not very proactive in IT security issues, are still not very IT-complaint in Sri Lanka.

Highly competitive

The report also reveals that 2009 is expected to see many global network security players entering the Sri Lankan market, which would make this market highly competitive in terms of pricing.

Moreover, the companies that could provide a complete suite of UTM capabilities and integrate all vital technologies into one appliance and make it easy and reliable for the customer can be expected to be able to fulfil the market need of security combined with affordability.

Besides the study, Frost & Sullivan also conducted a CIO Survey in Sri Lanka.

It revealed that major threats for IT security were highlighted by 85 percent of the respondents who believed that Virus, Worms, and Trojan Horses are the major disquiet in today's IT environment. 55 percent respondents felt that data security was one of the major concerns for them and that they would take appropriate measures against them.

Downtime and physical security were also some of the other security concerns for CIOs.

It was also noted that adoption of IT regulations and guidelines amongst most organizations remained quite dismal, with only 36 percent companies following some IT guidelines laid down by various bodies, purely based on their business needs.

Commenting on the overall enterprise security scenario for enterprises, Girish Trivedi, Deputy Director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East, said `The Internet is becoming an enabler.

However, threats in the networked world are getting bigger and becoming more malicious and moving from external to internal.

Enterprises need to evaluate and preempt these threats as the gap between attacks/attempts made, to detection is abysmally low. As most attacks go undetected or unreported, enterprises maintain the misconception that they are safe, and the consequences (resulting from a security breach) can be anything from losing reputation, customers, and competitive advantage, to legal issues, leading to considerable financial loss.'

Revolutionary forms

Arun Shetty, Senior Manager - Systems Engineering, Cisco Systems - India and SAARC further said, `The world is changing and flexible new technologies delivering revolutionary forms of collaboration and communication are transforming the way businesses interact, both internally and externally. Mobile devices and virtual platforms have torn down the already wavering notion of a "network perimeter"; this has led to newer threats and risks, and as these have evolved, so have our responses to them.

Cisco with the approach of Comprehensive Threat Intelligence, End-to-End security solution and Business-enabling Services provide a rich, highly secure Collaborative experience using Network as the Platform.

The Summit, through presentations and discussions, covered some of the key areas like the Evolving Role of the Chief Information Security Officer, Collaborating with Confidence, Best Practices in Security Implementation, Establishing Trustworthy Computing in an Enterprise, and Managing Security on a Limited Budget.The keynote address was by Aditya Sapru, Senior Vice President (Strategic Alliances), Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific.

 CEO of NetSuite at the ReutersGlobal Technology Summit

Zachary Nelson, CEO of NetSuite Inc., speaks at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York May 20, 2009. Courtesy Reuters


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