The Road Wirer
& Dashboarding Insurance Adjusters
by Mark Sedenquist
Here are two more items of interest to dashboarders gleaned from the wireless smorgasboard at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) show in New Orleans:
- "MobileDoc" software created by Xerox
- Dashboarding Insurance Adjusters
Although the cost of this application currently exceeds the reach and scope of most dashboard entrepreneurs, it may point to a solution for other mobile professionals. Imagine being able to obtain copies of documents that you inadvertently left in your office when no one is able to go and get them for you physically, or having 24 -hour access to your database when you can't use a laptop. Employing a hand-held wireless device, (like a PDA or a pager that can access the network server), the user selects a icon that represents the desired file or document. Once it's selected, the user can identify a fax number to which the document will be sent. It can also be sent as e-mail with an attached file. The software handles the selection, acquisition and transfer of the requested documents to any location specified by the user. This application is, in my view, ideal for working in "Dynamic Space" (See Road Wirer 16).
In Road Wirer 7, I wrote about the rugged, on-the-road computers that Itronix (www.itronix.com) was building. In New Orleans I learned about a working application that holds clear promise for dashboard entrepreneurs. Drawing upon the combined resources of several service providers, field insurance adjusters for Country Companies Insurance in the Chicago area are using hand- held wireless devices to send and receive assignments and estimates for vehicle repairs and loss evaluations. Processing time for many claims has been significantly reduced since the appraisers no longer have to return to the office to input the paperwork. Perhaps a logical extension of this approach might involve having the consumer being able to contact the insurance company directly in the event of an accident or other problem through built-in wireless notification equipment.
I am currently looking into some of the pre-paid cellular plans now available, and I will be reporting my conclusions next week. Let's hope I find some that will put an end to the monthly surprises inside the envelope when the roaming bills come home.
Let me hear from you!
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 13, 2000