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Electronic Chat with Steve Comer

The stay-at-home orders and other business disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have companies in virtually every industry scrambling to solidify remote work teams and introduce other changes to keep them in business.

Hyland, a leading developer of content services and process management software used in a variety of industries, including insurance, is working closely with its customers to help them remain operational now and after the pandemic subsides.

What are the biggest challenges your customers face in the current pandemic environment?

Now more than ever, organizations are seeking the best ways to support remote work as the new normal. But this can be a challenge for those that haven’t set digitization as a priority up to this point. They must start using enterprise technology solutions like content services platforms to securely access information and continue critical business operations during this unprecedented and challenging time.

We’ve been working to help our customers and partners enable a remote workforce, ensure business continuity and efficiently respond the business needs with a flexible, scalable and quickly deployable platform.

Are some businesses still lagging when it comes to working in the cloud?

Unfortunately, there are organizations that, for a variety of reasons, were hesitant to set digital transformation and cloud strategies as a priority who are now being forced to address it. For more than 20 years Hyland has been working with organizations to digitize processes, increase efficiency and establish alternative engagement channels beyond traditionally paper-based or person-to-person models. Providing insurers with access to on-prem and cloud hosted technology and capabilities that enable their associates to access important information to continue business from anywhere.  

How are businesses using technology platforms to remain operational?

The social distancing and stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 crisis have generated a lot of visibility on the technology platforms that can help enable a larger remote workforce and support “no-touch” customer engagements. While content services platforms are an essential part of the digitization organizations need right now, these solutions aren’t new and aren’t going away.

Insurers can leverage cloud-based sharing and collaborations platforms. These systems are secure and scalable, allowing employees to access and act on information, keeping processes moving from anywhere or any device with internet access. This supports collaboration on files that need higher security protocols than sending through email. Documents like new claims or applications, financial transactions, contracts and employee or personnel actions are good examples.

Remote work is the key element for business survival during the pandemic. How is Hyland helping businesses with this?

Hyland has identified a number of ways it can help its current customers address needs, including new low-cost or free resources while they are affected by remote work challenges.

Content and communication drive most of the business processes within an organization, including how those businesses interact with customers, partners, suppliers and other external stakeholders. But on-premises deployments of such platforms can be negatively impacted by the inability to have staff onsite, including managing physical infrastructure, troubleshooting issues and ensuring continued availability of the database. Insurers should embrace cloud-based content services to provide secure remote access to critical content. Our OnBase product, hosted in the Hyland Cloud, is a hosting option that can free up time for staff and removes the burden of in-house data maintenance and protected storage, with dedicated support 24/7/365.

Another example is with ShareBase, Hyland’s cloud-based file sharing and collaboration platform, delivers a secure way to access, collaborate and share information to keep processes moving. Hyland is also offering customers additional licensing alternatives to help address escalated needs during this time of crisis.

Your company works with a variety of industries, not just insurance. What specific needs does insurance have that could be affected by operational limitations resulting from the pandemic?

In the midst of a crisis, insurers need to respond proactively – not reactively. A crisis management tracking application empowers organizations to track and support affected individuals in emergencies. If an employee becomes infected with the contagious virus, he may self-report to the HR staff. HR can then track the lifecycle of the incident – from initial self-report through any actions that need to be taken to close the case, such as working from home until healthy, and follow-up with other employees who may have come in contact with that individual. By tracking individual cases, HR can better understand the needs of employees and maximize assistance during their time of need.

Hyland’s crisis management application includes access to a library of crisis management tracking resources including documents, videos and an upcoming on-demand webinar, gathered to support our customers and partners through times of difficulty. The OnBase crisis management application is available for all customer on OnBase 18 or higher, free of charge.

Even during a crisis, insurers must quickly respond to policyholder needs. Self-service models, coupled with advanced field resource management, helps insurers remotely document, inspect and review claims in real time or asynchronously. Modern content services platforms grant access to these solutions from any mobile device to support a variety of workflows from customer collaboration and self-service to professional onsite loss inspection. By creating an end-to-end loss inspection and claims management tool, both customers and employees in the field can collaborate, document and close claims faster than ever before. In addition to the productivity gains, claims collaboration platform are a no-touch engagement – meaning claimants and examiners can follow stay at home orders and social distancing recommendations while still following the outlined process to file a claim. OnBase Onsite is Hyland’s claims collaboration platform that help insurance organizations remotely document, inspect, and review claims.

How can a business’s employees get up to speed to these changes?

Although travel is currently restricted and in-person events cancelled, organizations can still gain the software training and education they need to continue to move their business forward. Many enterprise software providers are building enhanced virtual education and training opportunities to ensure their customers gain the knowledge they need to continue to provide the level of service they promise their customers.

In the coming months, many people may need to take time off to focus on their health and the health of their family members. Leading software providers have long-standing programs in place for temporary coverage for both system administration assistance and developer roles. Whether you need help with that specific offering or are looking to free up your admin to cover another business gap, this offering can augment coverage to ensure critical business process are not disrupted.


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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.


April 5th – 7th, 2020
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