Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE: GWRE), a provider of software products to general (Property/Casualty) insurers, recently held its Innovation in Insurance conference in Brussels. This event brought together insurers from 15 countries in Europe, Middle East, and South Africa (EMEA) to share their experiences of innovation, explore the impact of emerging technologies, and gain perspective on technology trends. Conference attendees included a mix of business and IT functions.
The conference included case study presentations from EMEA general insurers, who shared their experiences of how they transformed their businesses, what enabled the transformation, the challenges they faced and overcame, and lessons learned. It explored the impact of emerging technologies and the resulting impact of changing customer demand. It also considered methods for successful change implementation. Speakers offered essential insights into driving successful key business initiatives and discussed developing trends, including digital and omni-channel. They also stressed the importance of business and IT alignment during their successful core system projects.
Keith Stonell, managing director EMEA, Guidewire, began the conference talking about the significance of customer-led and customer-owned IT strategy. He referred to the reality of continuous business transformation for insurers, which is driven by transaction, process, and insight. Increasing customer demand in terms of functionality and channel were mentioned as vital constituents of insurers’ technology development, but fundamental at all times is the enabling core software.
Keynote speakers from leading EMEA insurers presented on stage:
P&V Belgium: Marc Beaujean, administrator and board member, described P&V’s experience in selecting its claims solution and the lessons learned. He said that pre-inception detail and preparation are key. A broad ambition, clearly defined goals, a clear view of the benefits, and the pay back, are all vital for success.
Santam: Luna Vogel, commercial lines business owner, also highlighted the essential role of detailed preparation in the successful outcome of Santam’s transformation project, and the collateral benefits of that planning phase to the business. She also described how her organisation spent time during its pre-work phase rationalising its products before even starting the planning phase. This, too, positively and significantly impacted the ultimate success of the project.
Tinkoff: Fedor Voronin, chief operating officer, explained how Tinkoff seized the opportunity to become a new direct insurer in a fast-changing market, and how its partnership with Guidewire resulted in a successful five-month implementation. He mentioned that major factors contributing to the project’s positive outcome were the use of Agile, Guidewire’s Value Consulting methodology and, at all times, a united team.
Zurich UK: Adam Warwick, chief information officer, underlined the importance of business partnership with IT as vital to a successful implementation. He described a complex project, entailing multiple key integrations, where time taken to build the right team, with the right skills, located in the same placed, paid off. Rigorous focus, a one team approach, and a clear business vision ensured that Zurich’s transformation work was completed on scope, on time and on budget.
“It is a great to have so many EMEA insurers come together, to hear them share their experiences, and the challenges they have faced in core system replacement,” said Keith Stonell. “Guidewire appreciates the opportunity to work alongside the insurance community and to develop solutions that support the fast-changing demands on technology. What we are observing in the insurance market is that successful organisations accept continuous business transformation as the new normal.”
About Guidewire Software
Guidewire is the platform P&C insurers trust to engage, innovate, and grow efficiently. We combine digital, core, analytics, and AI to deliver our platform as a cloud service. More than 400 insurers, from new ventures to the largest and most complex in the world, run on Guidewire.
As a partner to our customers, we continually evolve to enable their success. We are proud of our unparalleled implementation track record, with 1,000+ successful projects, supported by the largest R&D team and partner ecosystem in the industry. Our marketplace provides hundreds of applications that accelerate integration, localization, and innovation.