Guidewire Software (NYSE: GWRE), a provider of software products to general insurers, recently held its first insurance forum in Germany. Representatives of insurers – including business and IT managers – from the entire German-speaking region attended the forum.
Speakers provided practical insights into their Guidewire implementation, and spoke about new opportunities resulting from digitisation. Frequently asked questions about digital transformation, such as challenges, factors to consider regarding employee motivation, and technological innovations the industry will influence in the coming years, were addressed by various speakers.
Niels Zijderveld, sales director, Northern and Central Europe, Guidewire, started the day with a presentation on a recent Guidewire study, " Generation Y Insurance Behaviour," conducted in Germany and the UK. Zijderveld explained how insurers need to engage with customers from this age group to retain them in the long-term. He argued how important it is to provide core systems, data, and digital services as a single entity to support this goal, and gave insight into how Guidewire meets this requirement by means of Guidewire InsurancePlatform™. Zijderveld concluded with an overview of new business areas that could be developed through digitisation, including protection against cyber-crime risks or risks arising from new technologies, such as drones.
The following speakers presented:
Guidewire: René Schoenauer, product marketing manager, EMEA, stressed that for insurers to succeed they must combine core systems with data and digital products, and provide these to internal and external users as a single entity. Using practical examples, he explained the various applications of digital portal interfaces, offering customers access to a range of products and services.
IPsoft: Tim van Baars, sales director, introduced Amelia, the first digital customer service employee working for insurers. He talked about the automation of human-to-human interaction, and how insurance companies benefit from easy integration with Guidewire core insurance systems, low operational risk and horizontal scaling.
Guidewire: In his second presentation, René Schoenauer talked about the integration of predictive analytics with core systems. He used practical examples to show how combining predictive analytics, expert knowledge and Guidewire solutions, such as PolicyCenter, BillingCenter and ClaimCenter, lead to a smart insurance company.
EY Innovalue: René Vogel, director, Direct Insurance, explained the impact that digitisation has on IT, and identified new opportunities that come with Big Data and real-time client communication. As part of a recent study, he noted that the awareness of digitisation and corresponding strategies and structures does exist, but its execution is still very rare.
Zurich Germany: Horst Nussbaumer, chief claims officer, presented a case study about Zurich’s implementation of Guidewire InsuranceSuite ™ as a new core system. He explained why the IT landscape is not prepared for new distribution channels; and how the gradual introduction of InsuranceSuite, in five phases, will ultimately ensure improved customer experience.
Basler Versicherung: Andreas Jud, product owner, Migration and Guidewire DataHub, pointed out which aspects to consider in the business transformation of a new product and explained how insurers can prepare for challenges, such as different product models or new tariffs. He presented DataHub as a pivot for data migration and described its successful implementation in EMEA.
Guidewire: Udo Apel, portfolio director, DACH, talked about the successful use of agile action models, and how Guidewire leverages value alignment, best practices and an agile approach. He provided an insight into customer discussions and the positive experiences they have had following the implementation of Guidewire solutions, such as an increase in productivity of 300 percent in less than a year.
Frank Bechtoldt, consultant, talked about the influence of technical innovations on corporate culture and the question of whether a new system landscape would also lead to a new way of thinking.
kehren + partner: Henrik Kehren, managing partner, pointed out that companies often lack an understanding of digitisation potential, and to ensure successful market positioning they must include a digital expert on their board.
"The fact that so many insurers from across the DACH region have come together to share their experiences of digitisation is a great pleasure for us at Guidewire," said Niels Zijderveld. "Together, we can push forward digital transformation so that insurers can work in a more customer-oriented and flexible way. A prerequisite for this is the implementation of a modern, compatible core system. This gives insurers an overview of their customers’ needs, and allows them to provide the new technologies that meet those needs. Only in this way can insurers establish and position themselves in the market for the long-term."