Insurance giant Aviva is to pilot the use of RIM Playbooks for simple risk assessments, using a custom-built app to cut down on duplication of effort.
Aviva worked with financial software companies Float and the Formicary Collaboration Group to develop the app, which allows risk surveyors to carry out simple assessments using predetermined drop-down fields and sliders. Ted Kenrick, Aviva’s technical and risk solutions manager, said that the tablets would only be used for the simplest risk assessments, but that they would allow them to be completed more quickly.
Kenrick said that Playbooks were chosen for their ease of integration with Aviva’s existing governance frameworks, which have already been tested for BlackBerry smartphones – also made by Canadian company Research In Motion.
"We already have BlackBerrys within Aviva," Kenrick said. "Bringing in the Playbook meant we didn’t need to go through any governance process."
Kenrick added that tablets would not be replacing pen and paper for Aviva’s surveyors any time soon, while in relation to complex projects, redeveloping the app would be more effort than it’s worth.
"Where we see the value is for commercial properties that we insure. Often we’re doing the survey unaccompanied, but it would be interesting to see whether using the Playbook proves a distraction when carrying out surveys alongside customers," Kenrick said.
Research In Motion recently admitted that its Playbook inventory is worth less than it previously estimated, triggering a $360 million write-down charge. The iPad remains the dominant tablet, although Kenrick said it wasn’t suitable for use in the Aviva pilot due to the challenge of ensuring data governance of the devices.