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Forecast 2013 A Change of Page on Customer Orientation at the Core

Source: IASA Interpreter winter 2013

The people in your organization are working hard, but at times it feels as if they are working in opposing directions. It seems like every corner of the company has a good project underway, but most of them aren’t addressing the disjointed silos that will hamper business if consolidation doesn’t occur. Fortunately, a renewed customer-centric focus across the industry will spur companies toward consolidation. Business will lend a hand in driving the consolidation. For many insurers, IT budgets will only be slightly increased from 2012. Companies wishing to find some discretionary dollars for things like social-local-mobile (SoLoMo) technologies may be forced to consolidate their IT budget behind universal needs, and they will be looking to IT and proven vendors to help them consolidate.

As a part of the industry trend toward system consolidation, we see more large carriers investing in vendor packages as compared to building in-house, as technology has come a long way over the last decade and level of content and toolkit support available in vendor packages negates the need to reinvent the wheel. In the mid-size carriers, we see a lot more interest in addressing the entire core processing platform through a single vendor, even though the acquisition may happen a component or a module at a time (buy billing system today, upgrade policy administration system later). Cloud-based options with similar functionality will continue to gain ground in the smaller tiers. IT departments will be looking closely at their core-competencies to see what areas can be outsourced to vendor applications. All of these scenarios will lead to a massive refocusing in 2013 behind a better customer focus.

Back office Development Fits Front Line Needs

Insurers are commonly running too many systems. Beginning with a good consolidation and integration plan, many of them will be moving to systems and processes that support dynamic delivery, better task management, efficient workflow and excellent service by giving customers complete access to their policy and history, across products. One customer. One consolidated view. Because system technologies will continue to evolve, adaptability will continue to be a key factor for any improvements or upgrades. Today’s customers are begging to be KNOWN, so 2013 will see organizations concerned with using all of their tools to build upon existing relationships and create new ones.

PAS and Billing System that Reflects Customer Focus

One continuing trend is that new technologies and opportunities are revolutionizing CRM. Every touch point is an opportunity to improve engagement. The policy administration system (PAS) and billing system are great examples. Forward-thinking companies are using their booking (PAS) systems to take a customer or household view as compared to policy centric view. Billing and payment experience is being leveraged to show customers that they care about their life events and helping them meet their needs.

More Focus on Direct-to-consumer Model

The direct-to-consumer model, fairly prevalent in personal lines, will take roots on the commercial lines side, especially for offerings directed at mid-market and niche markets. Insurers will use 2013 to build and maintain healthy direct-to-consumer distribution, helping loyal customers stay loyal and attracting Gen Y and Millennial. Enhancing distribution channels will improve their transparency and simplicity — drivers that are increasingly more important than price point.

Greater Data Proficiency and a More Informed Product Development Cycle

Business Intelligence (BI) is one point of consumer focus that may provide more impact than any other to an insurer’s bottom line. Data is easier to gather and analyze when back office and front office operations are focused upon the business of customers instead of the business of policies. Companies will be tapping into the new realms of data (e.g. mobile, social, client histories) to build better products, reduce risk and target prospects with greater effectiveness. In 2013 and beyond, vendors will continue to upgrade their toolkits for the future, embedding analytics, mobility and big data extensions into their solutions to better serve carriers.

Increased Use of Vendor Expertise

To bring a customer-oriented focus from the core of an organization out to the outer layers of customer-facing applications, insurers will draw upon the experience of proven partners. Carriers have gotten smart and are looking at a partner with the 4 C’s: Commitment, Collaboration, Credentials, and Content. Only the “fittest” vendors will survive in coming years, so choosing an organization that has good mix of platforms, implementation successes, a global model and an ROI-emphasis is important.

Vendors too will respond with investments in upgrading their toolkits for future, embedding analytics, mobility, big-data extensions in their solutions. While making investments in solutions will be important, vendors will now be called upon to have a greater stake on the ground by not just limiting to role to providing a technology solution, but ensuring implementation success and ROI accountability.

Reference : IASA Interpreter winter 2013 (Page No. 23)

About Majesco

Majesco is a provider of core insurance technology software and IT services to insurance carriers (P&C and Life, Annuity, Group) globally. Majesco delivers proven software solutions and IT services in core insurance areas including policy administration, billing, claims and distribution.

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