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Mitchell launches secure blockchain solution for sharing information among collision industry partners

Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 09:00
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PALM SPRINGS, CALIF — Mitchell International, Inc.. will soon release a secure solution for sharing data among users within the collision repair and insurance claims industry.

Mitchell’s new solution will promote and foster the flow of collision data among trusted industry partners, using blockchain technology to provide a highly secure, distributed and advanced encrypted-data exchange between stakeholders.

Mitchell previewed the system earlier this month — hosting customers and partners at the Program Freedom Experience Jan. 17 in Palm Springs, Calif. — presenting the steps of the program and the look and feel of the software and features.
“Data security has never been more important than it is today, and given the large number of existing systems and partner dependencies, limited efforts have been made to address the risks associated with estimating information saved in either EMS or BMS formats and stored in thousands of decentralized locations,” explained Olivier Baudoux, Vice President of Global Product Strategy at Mitchell. “Although data have been transmitted over the network through secure protocols for many years, EMS and BMS standards have no inherent encryption mechanism to protect information saved everyday on local computers across the industry. Blockchain is an ideal solution, one where stakeholders enroll to become trusted partners and agree to share data through an open and secure framework. We are working with industry partners, suppliers, repairers, OEMs and insurance carriers to encourage the adoption of this technology across our industry.”

The new system builds on Mitchell's three main pillars: expertise, technology and connectivity, said Alex Sun, Mitchell president and CEO during the Palm Springs event. "We continue to invest heavily in technology solutions that enhance efficiency for our users. We continue to partner to create the right solutions for more seamless connectivity for the end user," he said. "All our efforts center around a proper and safe repair and partnering well."

Customer demo event in Palm Springs, Calif. on Jan. 17. The Mitchell team walked attendees through the program and its benefits.

Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, referred to as blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography (source: Wikipedia). By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification. Mitchell is proposing a collision-centric blockchain community that is a secure yet simple way to share data among trusted industry partners. The technology allows for a simplified, open and distributed ledger that is transparent, verifiable and self-administered by the community. As a trusted partner, a company will be able to validate and add to the chain.
“The ideas of a single entity controlling the data and a single server system being used to ensure security are outdated and do not fit the distributed environment of vehicle repair and collision claims,” added Ravi Nemani, Senior Vice President of Product Delivery at Mitchell. “Blockchain, on the other hand, is a modern and more robust method for enabling efficient data exchange in a highly secure environment.”

In Palm Springs, Mitchell then presented six stations for attendees to visit to demo the program and ask questions of company experts. The stations reviewed the process steps: first notice of loss was led by Chris Bainer, Mitchell's director of product management; network certification and assignment was explained by Dune Pagaduan, senior manager-product management and GM's John Eck; repairer connectivity and rental workflow was covered by Steven Hansen, Mitchell's director of product management-repair solutions, and Trent Tinsley with Enterprise; diagnostics scanning, pre-scan was explained by Jack Rozint, Mitchell vice president of sales, service and repair and Bosch's Michael Simon; and lastly cloud estimating was led by Palak Samel, Mitchell senior manager of product development and Toyota's Eric Mendoza; and repair management was discussed by Thomas Butch, Mitchell strategic management leader and OEC's Bill Lopez.

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