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From Hunted to Hunter: Guidewire Cologne Insurance Forum Considers Turning Digitalisation Challenges to Advantage

From Hunted to Hunter: Guidewire Cologne Insurance Forum Considers Turning Digitalisation Challenges to Advantage

Insurers share insight into how to thrive in the era of digitization and customer engagement
MUNICH Germany, March 28, 2018

​Guidewire Software (NYSE: GWRE), a provider of software products to general insurers, recently held its second insurance forum in Germany. Insurers from across the DACH region, and Poland, were able to share their experiences and offer best practice insight.

The day began with Niels Zijderveld, sales director, Northern and Central Europe, Guidewire, asking attendees to consider how the challenges afforded by digitalisation can be turned around and used to the advantage of insurance businesses, positioning insurers as proactive, digital hunters. He talked about the company’s aspiration to provide an industry standard platform for general insurance, an ecosystem, supported by partners, that would enable insurers to bring services and products faster to market, and reduce total cost of ownership. For a successful industry platform, Mr Zijderveld described how digital solutions, data and analytics, and core systems need to work together, and thus provide a smart core system.

The following speakers presented:

  • Guidewire: René Schoenauer, product marketing manager, EMEA, explained how Guidewire's products both mirror global insurance industry development, and innovate it. A current trend is to modernize IT systems to guarantee acceleration, simplification, and a better quality of personalised customer service. Maximum efficiency can be achieved by merging all data from different areas, and storing it in a smart core, producing a complete data set in a unified data store. In this way, insurance data is easily manageable, and can be processed or evaluated using predictive analytics – in real time.

  • Basler Schweiz: Philippe Boog, Head of Services, Non-Life Insurance and OPEX, talked the audience through Basler’s digitalisation programme, and their ability to move from offer to contract within three minutes. Basler is working 100% digitally in its motor line of business. All client data is stored in the customer portal, and print copies sent by mail are a thing of the past. Mr Boog emphasised how car usage is changing dramatically, and that insurers must accommodate changing customer needs.

  • Warta Poland: Rafal Stankiewicz, Vice President Executive Board of Warta SA (Talanx Group), described Warta’s work to revolutionize claims handling in the Polish insurance market, the resulting efficiencies, reduced claims costs, integration of peripheral systems, and improved customer interaction. He demonstrated the use of their mobile chatbot, the only claims settlement app in Poland, and how Warta employs machine learning evaluation with data drawn from Guidewire ClaimCenter™.

  • Guidewire: Alexander Gnodtke, functional sales consultant, described how predictive analytics can make the difference in handling claims, and how insurers can optimize time, cost, and workforce by using it. Further, he defined what Guidewire means by Smart Core™ and demonstrated the use of predictive analytics in claims processing.

  • FRI:DAY: Silvan Saxer, Head of Agile Strategy and Co-Founder, explained the background to FRI:DAY as an insurance business, and how they achieved the fastest global deployment of Guidewire InsuranceSuite™ in 60 days, in the cloud. Moving forward, he emphasized the need to focus on continued optimisation of the digital experience for their customers.

  • Guidewire: Oliver Winkenbach, digital solutions owner, provided an overview of Guidewire’s digital products and strategy, and the benefits to insurers of a 360-degrees customer view. He emphasized the importance of Guidewire partners to the digital ecosystem, including Salesforce, and offered an overview of Guidewire’s chatbot. Mr Winkenbach concluded by describing how Guidewire’s InsurancePlatform™ allows insurers to engage with customer across all channels.

  • Basler Deutschland: Wolfgang Pander, Programme Manager for Guidewire Project, described their early experiences of Guidewire InsuranceSuite™ implementation, the importance of a proof of concept, and the vital role of proper planning. A key lesson learned by Basler was to decide fast, and not prevaricate.

  • Zurich Switzerland: Michael Maise, Head of Claims and Finance IT, talked about the transformation and digitalization of Zurich’s claims processes, and how this was an opportunity to introduce both agile methodology, and a corresponding “agile” mindset within the workforce. He mentioned how the biggest challenges they encountered during the implementation process lay mostly outside Guidewire, and that it was important to see transformation projects not just as IT projects but spanning to the entire company.

  • Brandes & Partners: Ulf Brandes, Inspirational Speaker, asked, “How do large organisations become agile?“ He explained that traditional company structures shape and limit our capability to change and experiment. Mr Brandes stated that agility requires a combination of strategy, methodology and mindset; mindset is the most challenging. To succeed in becoming agile, large organisations need a mix of curiosity and courage.

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.

For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter: @Guidewire_PandC.

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