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Censio Internet insurance based on Zurich's virtual marketplace technology

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Zurich, Switzerland, 29 August 2000—As announced at a media event in Frankfurt/Germany in mid-August of 2000, IBM, Siebel Systems and Internet insurance broker Censio have jointly developed a new, integrated e-commerce system that for the first time ever makes it possible to use the Internet to compare the quality of different insurances instead of merely comparing prices.

Based on the Virtual Marketplace (ViMP) developed at IBM Research - Zurich and on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software from Siebel Systems, the solution provides direct access to core rate-computing facilities at participating insurance companies. According to Censio, 18 of Germany's 20 largest insurers are already available for comparison.

"Based on an individual ranking, we arrange for each insurance customer the most suitable product on the best terms. To do this you need a technology-supported system for comparing insurances, and ours is unrivalled for quality," said Censio CEO Dr. Marco Arteaga who was speaking at a joint press conference held in Frankfurt by start-up company Censio AG and IBM Deutschland GmbH.

Since May of 2000, Censio has offered private health, life and automobile insurance on the Internet. The company is rapidly extending its portfolio and is alone in its sector in opting for a multichannel sales strategy. Customers can take out insurance directly via the Internet, by phone with the help of an online adviser, or face-to-face with a broker or Censio franchise partner. Integration of these sales channels was made possible by IBM-developed standard architecture on which Siebel Systems' Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and IBM's ViMP work together.

IBM's ViMP makes it possible to set up, manage and use a virtual Internet marketplace in which a large number of different companies can offer even complex products and services. This enables providers and brokers of insurance and other financial services to respond quickly and directly to inquiries and to present attractive offers to their target groups. As ViMP saves them the job of visiting a large number of relevant Web sites, interested parties find the offers of various providers on the Internet markedly more easily and quickly. With the help of ViMP the operator of a virtual marketplace can easily administer a large number of offers and supply customers with up-to-date information at all times. Implementation at Censio is the first productive use of ViMP worldwide. The Censio system also makes use of the tried and trusted DB2 Universal Database and IBM WebSphere solution.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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