Last month's column introduced the importance of PaaS—People asa Service. It's a concept that can easily be lost in today'senvironment of cool tools providing services on the web or in apps.The most satisfying service experience for customers usually liesin their positive reaction to the personal service theyreceived.

Let's discuss PaaS in the voluntary benefits market. The bigtrends in the past few years in the voluntary business havebeen:

  • Product proliferation

  • Enrollment via systems that are increasingly self-administeredby employees (ie: private exchanges, benefit administration systemsor just voluntary enrollment systems)

  • Economic and demographic diversity and the need to communicatein different ways to different audiences.

You might observe that, in fact, the second item is all abouttechnology. In addition, these systems enable the use of multipleproducts, delivered in multiple ways to diverse audiences. All ofthese trends show they are examples of the use of software as aservice.

While that may be true, the fact (according to Prudentialresearch) is that when employers are asked what employee benefitcommunications methods result in the greatest degree of success,the top two methods were group meetings and seminars (74 percent ofsurveyed benefits managers) followed by individual one-on-onemeetings (72 percent).

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