Archives for November 2012

3.22.13: Celent UK CIO Roundtable

Celent senior analysts, Insurance Group Registration for this event is available by invitation only. Please contact Chris Williams at +44 (0)208 870 7875 or for more information. Please click here for more information.

1.15.13: Celent Insurance Webinar: How to Give a Really Bad Demo: Ten Worst Practices from Actual Experience

Celent Research Director Donald Light This event is free to attend for Celent clients, flex-plan clients, and the media. Non-clients can attend for a fee of US$250. If you are unsure of your client status, please contact Chuck Smith at +1.617.262.3125 or Please click here for more information.

Gadgets, personal computing, black Friday and 2013

It seems like every time I have set out to discuss some new technology event a new one has popped up. It has been an epic year for news and new gadgets for all of us. This coupled with my discussions with insurers in recent weeks on the subject of Bring Your Own Device and the increasing number of mobile platforms has provided a different perspective on this growing complexity. 2012 has seen the rise of the smartphone as more popular than the simple mobile in many countries. There are arguments and articles arguing about who has greatest market share in different territories but for 2012, Apple and Samsung are the clear winners here. I love that Samsung’s note has re-introduced the stylus i was using back in the 90’s with my first smartphone. There’s still noise about Apple TV’s which aren’t here yet, while Samsung have been making smart, gesture enabled TV’s for sometime. Oh and there’s plenty of noise about Apple maps – will Apple get local right like they did mobile or will they outsource like they did social (to Facebook and Twitter)? The iPad is still king of the tablets although has lost market share to cheaper – smaller Android based models which have grown in capability, specification and design. Apple has itself launched the iPad mini in the last couple of months and felt it necessary to compare how Apps for iPads are generally better designed (in the examples given) than Apps for Android tablets. Actually this year saw Apple refresh it’s entire line up of devices, a much need refresh in some cases but 2012 saw Apple flex it’s “biggest company in the world” muscles. Some however feel that Apple has lost the flair for innovation, lost their magician. Many are looking to Sir Jony Ive (oh yes, KBE) to see what he brings as he assumes a role only ever occupied by Steve Jobs in the past. Apple is still the brand the Exec’s want, with many insurers now working on ways to or already enabling Apple devices in their enterprise. Meanwhile innovation has come from an unexpected quarter – a sleeping dragon perhaps? One not so asleep? I’m not speaking of Android here, which while I like the platform always felt too similar to the iPhone and desktop ’tiles of icons’ approach for me to call it truly innovative. Now Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and the Surface – these are quite different, clearly influenced by Microsofts experience with Xbox and while I’ll admit I don’t like the interface yet, I can see me and a great many others getting used to it. I mentioned TV earlier and with Xbox Microsoft now has a route to phone, tablet, TV and laptop/desktop if you still need one – time will tell if the software wins people over but the sleeping dragon is certainly moving. The Surface is a strange device. Hardware built by a software provider to ‘showcase their software’. The interesting thing is that anecdotal accounts suggest they got the hardware right but the software has a way to go. This frankly is the right way round. Once it’s in the hands of the customer software is easy to fix but hardware isn’t – provided the customer sticks around. It’s not just customers watching the Surface though. IT departments are now supporting executives and business leaders who are carrying around a laptop and an iPad – the iPad seemingly unable to completely usurp it’s predecessor but still preferable for many tasks. Could the Surface be the answer here? Not yet, seems to be the answer so far… Also IT departments are finding that they have different software for Windows machines, for Apple, for Blackberry, for Android – a single Microsoft solution could be very interesting. Ah, and I have mentioned the dark horse (or dark fruit?). RIM and the Blackberry brand still has a huge footprint, especially in the insurance industry, could BB10 turn their fortunes around in 2013? Insurers want a solution for secure phones and tablets with a simple administration ability but Blackberry has lost ground – could the once leader, now underdog and ugly duckling of the smartphones, make a comeback? 2012 was the year of Apple and Samsung in many ways, what of 2013? Will the jilted generation of Apple fans shift? I own a third generation iPad, all too swiftly relegated to “so last year” just a few months after release – there are plenty of angry blogs about new connectors with many saying Apple must innovate again to keep pace. A new connector was necessary and hardly an innovation – will the fans let Apple innovate? Will Microsoft continue it’s slow march, quietly stealing market share or will it’s coming software updates and apps win out? What of Blackberry this time next year? Will Google leverage it’s Motorola purchase for a new Nexus line and what of Asus, HTC, Samsung and the others? It seems to me there’s still all to play for in personal computing in 2013, with surprises on the way. For now after the gadget avalanche of 2012, a wealth of great gadgets to buy this Friday and holiday season.

1.17.13: Celent Asia Webinar: The Transition to Electronic Signatures in South Korea’s Insurance Industry

Celent analyst KyongSun Kong This event is free to attend. Celent clients and the media will have access to the webinar’s PowerPoint presentation after the event. Please click here for more information.

3.14.13: Celent Model Insurer Asia Summit 2013

Celent senior analysts, Asian Financial Services Group Admission to the event is FREE for Celent clients, insurers, technology firms and the media, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please click here for more information.

12.18.12: Celent Insurance Webinar: Insurance E-Business in Asia: Trends and Best Practices

Celent Senior Analyst Wenli Yuan This event is free to attend. Celent clients and the media will have access to the webinar’s PowerPoint presentation after the event. Please click here for more information.

Toronto Peer Networking Event

Celent held its 10th Peer Networking Event in Toronto last week and met with Canadian-based carriers to discuss insurance innovation and trends in big data. The purpose of the discussions was to identify practical ways to make progress on these topics in the face of increasing demands from the day-to-day business. The group reviewed the Celent Innovation Model and then broke into subgroups for a hands-on exercise. They used the model to analyze a set of strategic projects. The group agreed that using a model to analyze the disruptive potential of projects lends a valuable perspective to the standard project review process. There was also a broad recognition that funding and implementing truly innovative projects requires significant alignment between IT and business. One participant observed that senior leadership’s challenge when sponsoring innovative and disruptive initiatives is to be ready for quick failures and recalibration. The host CIO then led a discussion on current challenges and opportunities in the Canadian market. A consensus view was that past allegiance of a policyholder to their company that existed five years ago is largely gone today. Insurers cannot take for granted their customers will renew. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to engage and reach the customer in various ways and with new products. For example, telematics is receiving a lot of attention in the Canadian market and usage based insurance is likely to be standard very shortly. In the afternoon, Ben Moreland presented a framework in which to understand Big Data and also gave the group insight into the vendor market serving this area. His prediction for the market development of big data products is that they will follow a similar path to portals. Initially, large system providers such as IBM and BEA delivered platforms on which insurers could build portals. As the market matured, purpose-built solutions emerged that contain deep functionality built in. The final session was led by a business architect from one of the leading banks in Canada. He shared an analysis tool developed by his company that used customer experience mapping techniques to trace the journey that customer data takes through the various systems used in their insurance area. As a result of this approach, insights and opportunities for consolidation were discovered that would have remained hidden using traditional data analysis techniques. As with the all of other Peer Networking Events, the feedback from participants was that this format allows for open and active exchange of ideas between insurance company technology professionals. If you are interested in attending or hosting an event, please contact for more information.